Management is a profession & the manager should be a professional. Like any professional, a physician, or a lawyer, the professional manager has a “client”: the enterprise. He is bound to subordinate his own interests to those of the client. It is duty to the client that characterises the “professional.”

Professionals do not make decisions by opinions nor according to their preferences. They make them according to the facts.

The job of a professional manager is not to like people. It is not to change people. It is to put their strengths to work.

But performance is more than the “bottom line.”It is also setting an example. And this requires integrity.

Dissent, even conflict, are necessary, are indeed desirable. Without dissent & conflict there is no understanding, there are only wrong decisions.

Leadership is not “charisma.” It is performance.

Finally, the professional manager is a servant. It is not power, not privilege. It is responsibility.

Is management a discipline(a branch of learning) or a profession? There have been two parallel but separate approaches to governance. One is the constitutionalist approach:Organisations have to be based on a clear structure that, above all, provides for orderly succession & safeguards against tyranny.The other approach is called the “the training of the prince”- what matters is the character & the moral principles of rulers.

Peter Drucker’s 1954 Practice of Management & The Effective Executive, each take one of the two approaches.

Both are needed. But to Sloan the discipline of management came second to the profession of management. It was axiomatic (self-evident) to him that the core had to be the ruler, that is, the professional manager, as a practitioner, as a leader & as exemplar (appropriate model). Sloan put leadership before management.

Growth & progress are related, for there is no resting place for an enterprise in a competitive economy.

The General Motors type of organisation-co-ordinated in policy & decentralised in administration- not only has worked well for us, but has also become standard practice in a large part of American industry.

An essential aspect of our management philosophy is the factual approach to business judgement. The final act of business judgement is of course intuitive.

It takes more than the structural design of an organisation, however, to ensure sound management. No organisation is sounder than the men who run it & delegate others to run it.

Around 1908, the automobile was widely regarded, especially among bankers as a sport; it was priced out of the mass market, it was mechanically unreliable, & good roads were scarce.

So-&-So was a great man with a great weakness- he could create but not administer.

GM was soon overextended. A loan was obtained on stiff terms.

We had a confused product line.

I happen to be one of the old school who thinks that a knowledge of the business is essential to a successful administration.

This was a big chew, but it is correct.

We met during that year exactly 101 times in formal session.

GM was in need not only of a concept of management but equally of a concept of the automobile business. Every enterprise needs a concept of its industry.There is a logical way of doing business in accordance with the facts & circumstances of an industry, if you can figure it out.

GM had collected a number of profitless motor cars since 1908, & a few were still being produced. The problem was to design a product line that would make money.