All I Want For Christmas Is Validation That I’m Highly Effective

In his autobiography, Adventures of a BystanderPeter Drucker recalled returning to his hometown of Vienna in 1927 “for my first Christmas vacation, after four months as a trainee in an export firm in Hamburg.”

“I found waiting for me an invitation to attend an editorial meeting on the special New Year’s issue of the weekly magazine The Austrian Economist (Der Oesterreichische Volkswirt),” Drucker wrote. “I had been reading the magazine since my early teens but had never met any of the editors. . . .

“What made the invitation even more agreeable was a penciled scrawl at the bottom, signed with the editor’s initials and saying: ‘We here have read your article on the Panama Canal and think it is very good.’ The thesis on the Panama Canal and its role in world trade, which I had written as part of my university entrance examination the year before, had been published by a German economic quarterly only a few weeks earlier—and to the intense pleasure of seeing myself in print for the first time, even with a piece that consisted mainly of graphs and tables, now was added recognition from people whom I had been reading for years. I don’t think I ever received a better Christmas present.”

To all Dx readers celebrating today, we wish you a Merry Christmas. And to all others, whatever you celebrate, we wish you a joyous holiday season, as well.

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