Rich Warren

sitting at the feet of Peter Drucker

In the March 21st issue of Fortune, thirty business superstars were asked the question: what is the best advice you ever got?" Rick Warren, minister and founder of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose-Driven Life, responded as follows.

"In life you need mentors, and you need models. Models are the people you want to emulate. I recommend that your models be dead. I'm serious. You don't know how people are going to finish up. A lot of people start out like bottle rockets. They look great, but then the last half of their life is chaos. That can be quite devastating.

"In my life, I've had at least three mentors: my father, Billy Graham, and Peter Drucker. They each taught me different things. Peter Drucker taught me about competence. I met him about 25 years ago. I was invited to a small seminar of CEOs, and Peter was there. As a young kid - I was about 25 - I began to call him up, write him, and go see him. I still go sit at the feet of Peter Drucker on a regular basis. I could give you 100 one-liners that Peter has honed into me. One of them is that there's a difference between effectiveness and efficiency. Efficiency is doing things right, and effectiveness is doing the right thing. A lot of churches - not just churches, but businesses and other organizations - are efficient, but they are not effective.

Another important thing that Peter taught me is that the best way to evaluate your organization is from the outside, not from the inside. Most people, whether they're in a company, in a church, or in an organization, think, Oh, we're not doing well, we need to restructure. They make internal changes. But the truth is, all the the litmus test for your organiztion's value comes from outside of your organization -- your stakeholders, the community, the underserved. Are you listening?

Source:  2004-2005 National Resource Center E-Newsletter