How you Should Manage Yourself (Drucker)

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Paula Kokare
Project Manager, Switzerland

How you Should Manage Yourself (Drucker)

Peter Drucker (1999) emphasises several components of effective self-management. The underlying principle of one-own’s self management is identification and development of one’s STRENGTHS instead of focusing on improvement of one’s weaknesses. Giving a careful consideration to and answering the following questions are the main components of effective self-management:
  • WHAT ARE MY STRENGTHS: the most effective way to discover these is carrying out regular feedback analysis, i.e. tracking and comparing expectations of own performance to actual results achieved. This will enable not only identifying strengths but also noticing if your arrogance is a barrier to your own development in certain areas.
  • HOW DO I PERFORM: this includes figuring out questions such as:
    - Am I a reader or a listener?
    - Do I learn better by reading or writing?
    - Do I work better alone or in teams?
    - If so, in what relationships with the team members?
    - Do I perform better in a decision maker’s or in an advisor’s role?
    - Do I produce results better in an unpredictable or a well-structured environment?
    - Do perform better in large or small organisations?
  • WHAT ARE MY VALUES: figuring out own values is the ultimate test. Answering the question "What type of person do I want to see in front of the mirror everyday?" should lead to the right direction. Ultimately, personal values and the actions one carries out should be aligned.
  • WHERE DO I BELONG: answering the previous questions, thereby developing one own’s feedback journal (tracking performance expectations with actual results) should clarify whether the failure is lack of manners, sincerity or just arrogance.
  • WHAT SHOULD I CONTRIBUTE: instead of working on improving one's weaknesses to - at best - the mediocre level, one should dedicate all efforts to developing those to excellence once having identified them.
Performing the previous steps one by one will let one answer questions, such as:
What should I do given the situation requirements and my own strengths in order to make a difference now? In such a way, you can make the greatest contribution given your strengths.

Source: Drucker, Peter F: „Managing Oneself,“ Harvard Business Review, March-April. 65–74. 1999.

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