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Peter Drucker is universally acknowledged as one of the most influential business thinkers of all time. His theories on how organizations affect society and how to manage them effectively have profoundly shaped the way we live today. Here, his friend Jim Champy offers unique insights into his legacy.

If there were a pantheon for the geniuses of business management, my friend Peter Drucker's bust would loom front and center. Whenever I face a management conundrum, I try to imagine his solution. His quizzical smile—kindly but knowing—has kept me straight on many a crooked path.

In person he was every bit as dynamic and fascinating as his writings and reputation were. He awed people, including me. After all, he was arguably the most influential business thinker of the twentieth century. His eccentricities strengthened his legend. Disinterested in material wealth, he lived and worked in a modest Southern California ranch house that in no way reflected his renown as a one-man think tank. He was such an expert on Japanese art that you expected to find his house full of priceless objects. I don't think I ever saw a single one.

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