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Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker's Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life

by Bruce Rosenstein

Living in more than one world

Amazon Link Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker's Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life


Working on something like this is extremely important to prepare you for an unfolding world that steam-rolls many people—think corporate crisis.

Try to stay away from "activities" that don't serve you. See "this is who I am" and Ten Principles for Life II (Great advice drawn from three interviews with Peter Drucker)



From the book … You may wonder: “Wasn’t Drucker known primarily as an author of books on management and as an adviser to Fortune 500 companies? Why is he relevant to my personal life?” Drucker also wrote about individual self-development and self-management. But these aspects of his thought are scattered across a number of his books and articles. In this book, I collect and synthesize his best lessons for knowledge workers into a logical structure. For you, the reader, this book is the self-help guide Drucker never wrote, and the next-best thing to being mentored by him.

Drucker’s life can be a guide and inspiration for all knowledge workers. For many years, he carried out an interrelated, multidimensional life. He taught at a school named for him, The Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, in Claremont, California. He wrote bestselling books for nearly seventy years. He was a highly sought consultant both to corporations such as General Electric and Procter & Gamble, as well as to nonprofits such as The American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Chapter Overviews

Chapter 1, “Designing Your Total Life,” lays out the concept of living in more than one world, the idea of having a multidimensional life that is not overly dependent on any one component. You’ll begin work on your personal Total Life List, and continue throughout the book (and ideally after that!). We will also look more closely at the concept of the knowledge worker, and learn more about Drucker’s life.

Chapter 2, “Developing Your Core Competencies,” revolves around the idea of identifying and getting the most out of your personal areas of excellence. Although Drucker and others usually refer to this concept in the organizational sense, we will use it from the standpoint of the individual.

Chapter 3, “Creating Your Future,” looks at how parallel and second careers prepare you for further journeys in life. It begins with the following Drucker quotation: “The purpose of the work on making the future is not to decide what should be done tomorrow, but what should be done today to have a tomorrow.”

Chapter 4, “Exercising Your Generosity,” explores some specific ways that you can make a positive difference in the lives of other people, through a variety of activities. We’ll examine possibilities in volunteerism, mentorship, nonprofit organizations, and social entrepreneurship.

Chapter 5, “Teaching and Learning,” revolves around the twin concepts at the heart of Drucker’s success. He had a long-standing teaching career that was an integral part of his life. We’ll look at your opportunities to become involved as a teacher, at the idea of continuous, lifelong learning—including Drucker’s personal three-year self-study system—and also at the idea of learning how to learn.

The Conclusion, “Launching Your Journey,” wraps up your personal journey in reading the book and helps you consider the implications for your own life. You will have thought about what you want to add (and subtract) from your Total Life List, and you can think of as many ways as possible to use the list as a personal, ongoing guide for your own inspiration and transformation.

“Suggested Readings” is a brief section that guides you to some of Drucker’s most important books, with an emphasis on what you can learn from each about personal and professional development.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Synthesizing management legend Peter Drucker's simple yet profound core teachings into a guide to personal and professional transformation, this work shows readers how to apply Drucker's recommendations to lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives.

About the Author

Bruce Rosenstein has been a regular contributor as a writer reviewing business and management books for USA Today's Money section. He is also an adjunct lecturer in The Catholic University of America's School of Library and Information Science, in Washington, D.C. He has studied Drucker's work for more than 20 years.

Living in more than one world; with diverse people, activities and pursuits

  • Foreword by Frances Hesselbein Chairman and Founding President, Leader to Leader Institute

  • Preface

    • You and the Surrounding World in Which You Are Embedded

    • This Book Will Guide You on a Personal Journey of Considering Life Holistically

    • Personal Study of Peter Drucker

    • Chapter Overviews

    • The Organization of the Book

  • Designing Your Total Life

    • The Knowledge Worker

    • Peter Drucker's Extraordinary Life (Adventures of a Bystander)

    • Multiple Worlds, and Beginning Your Total Life List

    • The Benefit to Others

    • The Challenges of Self-Management

    • Your Outside Interests

    • Maturity and Your Outside Interests

    • Keeping Active and Healthy

    • Chapter Question Summaries

    • Chapter Recap and Next Steps

    • Hints for Creating Your Total Life List

  • Developing Your Core Competencies

    • Workmanship, Excellence, and Diligence

    • Achievement

    • The Effective Use of Time

    • Priorities

    • The Power of Self-Reflection

    • Your Legacy

    • Values and Your Place in Life

    • Systematic Abandonment

    • Chapter Question Summaries

    • Chapter Recap and Next Steps

    • Hints for Creating Your Total Life List

  • Creating Your Future

    • The Second Half of Your Life

    • Second Careers

    • Parallel Careers

    • Portable and Mobile

    • Reinvention

    • Chapter Question Summaries

    • Chapter Recap and Next Steps

    • Hints for Creating Your Total Life List

  • Exercising Your Generosity

    • Volunteerism

    • Nonprofit Organizations

    • Rick Wartzman on The Drucker Institute and The Drucker Societies

    • What Is the Drucker Society of New York City?

    • Social Entrepreneurship

    • Servant Leadership

    • Mentorship

    • Chapter Question Summaries

    • Chapter Recap and Next Steps

    • Hints for Creating Your Total Life List

  • Teaching and Learning

    • Continuous Learning

    • Knowledge Workers as Teachers

    • The Odyssey Experience

    • Charles and Elizabeth Handy

    • Learning How to Learn

    • Working with Knowledge, Information, and Data

    • Chapter Question Summaries

    • Chapter Recap and Next Steps

    • Hints for Creating Your Total Life List

    • Exercise: The guest lecture

  • Conclusion: Launching Your Journey

  • Suggested Readings

    • The Quickest Route to Drucker's Books

    • The Most Crucial and Comprehensive Drucker Books on Management

    • Drucker Books on Society

    • Drucker on Drucker

    • Final Thoughts on Drucker's Books

    • Further Reading

  • Notes

  • Acknowledgments

  • Index

  • About the Author

Career and Life Guidance from Peter Drucker
is attention-directing work


As I write this, the world is undergoing unprecedented social and economic upheavals.

We need all the hope and good counsel we can get.

It is just the time when we need the voice of Peter Drucker, and he is no longer here to speak to us.

So the timing of Bruce Rosenstein’s Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life is fortuitous, and not just because it will be published in Drucker’s centenary year.

Rosenstein has distilled Peter Drucker’s philosophy and teachings in a powerful way to help us meet new challenges and help others do the same.

He brings the authentic Drucker voice to each reader.

The Peter Drucker I encounter in these pages is the man I met in 1981 and worked with while I was with the Girl Scouts of the USA.

In 1990 I left the Girl Scouts and six weeks later found myself CEO of the new Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, now the Leader to Leader Institute.

He is wise but tough-minded.

He is good-humored yet serious, and profound when the need arises.

He is capable of introspection, yet always his focus is on others.

Readers who treat this book as an interactive experience will gain the most from it.

In particular, Rosenstein’s thought-provoking questions that you are encouraged to ask yourself throughout the text are reminiscent of Peter’s consulting style: many questions—even seemingly obvious ones—to make your companion think about the reasons for a situation that is happening, and what that person can do about it.

As you read this book, you may find yourself responding in the spirit of Drucker by thinking through your answers from every possible angle and questioning your own assumptions.

You will move internally to ultimately have an external impact.

Positive change beyond your own four walls will happen because of the change and growth within you, with the aid of this remarkable partner for the journey.

There are good reasons why a steady stream of articles, books, and Web sites continue to reference or quote from Drucker’s words and work.

He mastered the art of remaining relevant throughout a long lifetime.

His followers have the satisfaction of knowing that his relevance has grown, expanding globally in the years since his death.

In a way that few authors have accomplished, Rosenstein’s interviews draw out Drucker’s wisdom in this intense, ongoing study of Peter Drucker as a person.

Published over more than a decade, Rosenstein’s many articles and interviews—appearing mainly in USA Today, but also in the journal Leader to Leader and elsewhere—demonstrate a keen perception of what continues to make Drucker so significant.

Rosenstein extends that deep study and analysis into the pages of this book.

He has interviewed not just Drucker himself, but also many of Drucker’s friends, colleagues, and students.

This book does not simply present Drucker’s thinking, but takes a fresh approach by placing it in the context of how we can improve our lives now and in the future.

The answer, Rosenstein discovered, is to diversify our daily existence, much as Drucker himself did.

It is to sharpen our sense of curiosity, remain open to new ideas, and learn as much as possible for as long as we can.

It is to teach others, partly so we can learn more and be more effective.

It is to be introspective when needed, but to remember that the most important things happen in the outside world.

An especially important theme of our guidebook is generosity.

We will be asked to share our time, talents, and expertise.

A successful diversification also involves doing what needs to be done today so that your future will be bright—the kind of future that will not unfold just because we or someone else predicted it.

The book will provide many suggestions and strategies.

You will find that a premium is placed on areas such as character, competence, achievement, and leaving something of value behind for others.

These are presented not as a choice, but as essential.

Rosenstein also reminds us that we must be aware of possible pitfalls in our diversification, including finding the time to do everything we want to do.

Getting the most out of our reading will require ongoing work and thought, not a quick fix.

Answers will emerge, but not because we have taken shortcuts.

I believe Drucker would have appreciated that the entire book involves helpful action.

You can start right now to make a better life for yourself and others, including people you will never meet, possibly those who may be born after your lifetime.

I have been deeply impressed since I first met Bruce Rosenstein by his rapport with Peter Drucker, which makes him as an author an especially companionable fellow traveler.

Rosenstein writes from the viewpoint of a person facing the same challenges as his readers, with a fluid writing style that makes it easy for us to absorb the message.

It is not necessary to have ever heard of Peter Drucker, much less to have read his books, to enjoy and find value in Living in More Than One World.

It is entirely possible that, beyond what you learn here, your curiosity will be stimulated to discover or return to Drucker’s books.

The suggested reading section at the end of this book will guide you to a select group of his most important books for individual development and personal growth.

I believe you will now read or re-read these books with new eyes and a deeper appreciation of the meaning and philosophy of the Drucker message.

You will find it energizing to read and interact with the distilled, yet information-filled pages ahead.

It will not be a passive experience.

You will be elated as you discover that life and work approached with the Drucker spirit is a gift you can give to yourself, a gift that brightens the journey.

Frances Hesselbein
Chairman and Founding President,
Leader to Leader Institute (formerly The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management)



What are the opportunities time and history have (will) put within your grasp? — Peter Drucker




tags: life-design-happiness time-life-navigation time-life-navigation-conceptual-resource career-education career-evolution career-knowledge-worker career-early-work


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving toward unimagined futures.

It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.

Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting point



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