Peter Drucker on Manners

“A final don’t: Don’t tolerate discourtesy. Since the beginning of the world, young people have resented good manners as dishonesty. They think manners are substance. If you say ‘Good morning’ while it rains outside, you are a hypocrite. But there is a law of nature that where moving bodies are in contact with one another, there is friction. And manners are the social lubricating oil that smooths over friction. Young people always fail to see this. The only difference is that in my youth you got slapped if you were not courteous; but we didn’t feel like being courteous either. One learns to be courteous – it is needed to enable different people who don’t necessarily like each other to work together. Good causes do not excuse bad manners. Bad manners rub people raw; they do leave permanent scars. And good manners make a difference.”

Peter F. Drucker, Managing the Nonprofit Organization: Practices and Principles (New York: Collins Business, 2005), 115.

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