Companies today aren’t managing your career. You must be your own HR guru. That means it’s up to you to identify your place in the world and know when to change course. It’s up to you to keep yourself engaged and productive. This is the premise of Peter Drucker’s 2005 HBR article “Managing Oneself”.
Peter Drucker asks some great questions the article (available as a short book). This is a very brief summary of his article. (The summary image above is a wonderful thing to print and keep in your notebook.)
- What are my strengths? Feedback is the only way to find out. Do you have a systematic process for getting feedback on your behaviours?
- How do I perform? How do I learn best? Don’t struggle with modes that don’t work for you. (on Mastery)
- What are my values? “What kind of person do I want to see in the mirror in the morning?”
- Where do I belong? Mathematicians, musicians and cooks are mathematicians, musicians and cooks by the time they are 4 or 5 years old. Successful careers are not planned, they happen when people are prepared and positioned for opportunities that suit them. Knowing where one belongs can transform an ordinary person into an outstanding performer.
- What should I contribute? Given my strengths, methods and values: what is the great contribution to what needs to be done? Don’t look too far ahead – 18 months is the range of good planning. Define courses of action: what to do, where and how to start, what goals, objectives and deadlines to set.
- Responsibility for Relationships: Adapt to what makes those around you successful. Adapting to what makes your boss most effective is the secret of managing up. Take responsibility for communicating how you are performing; take responsibility for building trust
Final thoughts from Peter: In management…
- Success is at best an absence of failure
- People outlive organisations
- People are mobile and will move
- We must manage ourselves, and help others manage themselves
- Each worker must think and behave like a CEO
The Original Article is available at Harvard Business Review: Managing Oneself – Harvard Business Review or as a short book Managing Oneself (amazon).
Which question do you find hardest to answer in your own life? I will share some resources with those that comment or email.