Reading - Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker

by Helene Malmsio

Managing Oneself (Harvard Business Review Classics)

Peter F. Drucker is a prolific author with 34 books published, including this book in the Harvard Business Review Classics series. Apart from his work with major corporations he has also consulted with and counselled thirteen US governments in his career.

In his book he expounds the need for us all to become able to do what only the outstanding masters of the past were able to do. Extraordinarily successful people like Napoleon, Da Vinci, Mozart not only had talent, but they understood how to manage themselves and their environment.

In this day and age, just to survive and especially to thrive in their careers, people need to learn this rare skill of the most successful people in history

We can no longer just follow in the steps of our parents, into traditional Trades... we need for forge our own paths and craft our own Careers, based on knowing our strengths.

In "Managing Oneself" Peter Druker says "Most people think that they know what their strengths are. They are usually wrong."

This book shows you how to analyse yourself, how to get to know yourself. Learn HOW you do what you Do, using feedback analysis over 9 - 12 months.

John Calvin and Ignoratious of Loyola both used this system of feedback analysis to create their institutions - the Calvinist church and the Jesuit order.

Peter stresses the need for you to build on your strengths to become even stronger in those areas... a leader... rather than spend all your energies focusing on an area you are incompetent in to becoming mediocre in it.

You do need to overcome intellectual arrogance, and develop well balanced skills eg: Engineers need to develop good people skills... HR managers need to develop good organisational skills.

A summary of what the book explains how to do is this quote:

"Successful careers are not planned.
They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because -
they know their strengths,
their method of work,
and their values.

Knowing where one belongs can transform an ordinary person - hardworking and competent - but otherwise mediocre - into an outstanding performer" - Peter Druker.

This is all part of the new world. Corporations are no longer built on Force, but on Trust.

To become a Knowledge Worker that thrives in this environment you need to tell your co-workers and your boss how you do what you do, your learning styles and your values. Then also ask your co-workers and your boss how THEY do what they do, and learn about their values and methods of operation.

It all makes good common sense. Know yourself so that you can better Manage yourself to a better outcome for your achievements in life and in business success.

And for anyone who does not yet know how to go about this, or doesn't especially see the need for managing OTHERS around you, you should grab a copy of this slim little booklet.

There is also a very interesting chapter on how to make the most of your second half / mature life career. This is very insightful in my view. Almost worth the book for that section alone.

In conclusion, I quote from Peter about the need to learn about managing yourself and other people:

"Taking responsibility for Relationships is therefore an absolute necessity. It is a duty.

Whether one is a member of the organisation, a Consultant to it, a Supplier, a Distributor, one owes that responsibility to all one's coworkers: those whose work one depends on as well as those who depend on one's own work"

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