We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: with ambition, drive, and talent, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession regardless of where you started out. But with opportunity comes responsibility. Companies today aren't managing their knowledge workers careers. Instead, you must be your own chief executive officer. That means it's up to you to carve out your place in the world and know when to change course. And it's up to you to keep yourself engaged and productive during a career that may span some 50 years. In Managing Oneself , Peter Drucker explains how to do it. The keys: Cultivate a deep understanding of yourself by identifying your most valuable strengths and most dangerous weaknesses; Articulate how you learn and work with others and what your most deeply held values are; and Describe the type of work environment where you can make the greatest contribution. Only when you operate with a combination of your strengths and self-knowledge can you achieve true and lasting excellence. Managing Oneself identifies the probing questions you need to ask to gain the insights essential for taking charge of your career. Peter Drucker was a writer, teacher, and consultant. His 34 books have been published in more than 70 languages. He founded the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, and counseled 13 governments, public services institutions, and major corporations.
Peter Ferdinand Drucker was a writer, management consultant and university professor. His writing focused on management-related literature. Peter Drucker made famous the term knowledge worker and is thought to have unknowingly ushered in the knowledge economy, which effectively challenges Karl Marx's world-view of the political economy. George Orwell credits Peter Drucker as one of the only writers to predict the German-Soviet Pact of 1939.
The son of a high level civil servant in the Habsburg empire, Drucker was born in the chocolate capital of Austria, in a small village named Kaasgraben (now a suburb of Vienna, part of the 19th district, Döbling). Following the defeat of Austria-Hungary in World War I, there were few opportunities for employment in Vienna so after finishing school he went to Germany, first working in banking and then in journalism. While in Germany, he earned a doctorate in International Law. The rise of Nazism forced him to leave Germany in 1933. After spending four years in London, in 1937 he moved permanently to the United States, where he became a university professor as well as a freelance writer and business guru. In 1943 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He taught at New York University as a Professor of Management from 1950 to 1971. From 1971 to his death he was the Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management at Claremont Graduate University.
Drucker managed to say absolutely nothing in 72 pages.
Below is my Suggested Reading page from my business book that will be released this spring. If you are looking for a book to read, read one of these. Do not waste your time on this book!
Suggested Reading & Listening
Business TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, by Chris Anderson The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferriss Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures, by Malcolm Gladwell Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, by Seth Godin The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau Side Hustle, by Chris Guillebeau Outwitting the Devil, by Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne The Phoenix Project, by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford Business Model Generation, by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur Practical Genius, by Gina Amaro Rudan The Fifth Discipline, by Peter M. Senge Start With Why, by Simon Sinek Scrum, by Jeff Sutherland Networking Is a Contact Sport, by Joe Sweeney Hit Makers, by Derek Thompson
Career The New Rules of Work, by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew Mastery, by Robert Greene Business Model You, by Alexander Osterwalder, Tim Clark, and Yves Pigneur The Element, by Ken Robinson Getting There, by Gillian Zoe Segal
Change Transitions: Making sense of Life’s Changes, by William Bridges Switch, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath Change Anything, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
Communication If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?, by Alan Alda The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition, by Michael P. Nichols Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher and William Ury
Emotional Intelligence Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, by Daniel Goleman
Gamification Level Up Your Life, by Steve Kamb Reality is Broken, by Jane McGonigal SuperBetter, by Jane McGonigal
Health Head Strong, by Dave Asprey The 4-Hour Body, by Timothy Ferriss In Defence of Food, by Michael Pollan The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan The Dorito Effect, by Mark Schatzker Anticancer, by David Servan-Schreiber Sleep Smarter, by Shawn Stevenson Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes The Sleep Solution, by W. Chris Winter, MD
Mindfulness The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh Waking up, by Sam Harris (note: this is a book for the nonreligious-nonspiritual) Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn Catching the Big Fish, by David Lynch Mindfulness at Work, by Stephen McKenzie The Buddha Walks Into a Bar, by Lodro Rinzler
Money Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide To Money, by Dave Ramsey The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko The Millionaire Mind, Thomas J. Stanley
Motivation The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly Mcgonigal Essentialism, by Greg McKeown Drive, by Daniel H. Pink Do the Work, by Steven Pressfield Turning Pro, by Steven Pressfield The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield
Neuro-Linguistic Programming NLP: The Essential Guide to Neuro-Linguistic Programming, by Susan Sanders, Tom Dotz, and Tom Hoobyar NLP: principles in practice, by Lisa Wake
Philosophy of Living The Consolations of Philosophy, by Alain de Botton The Pleasures of Sorrows of Work, by Alain de Botton Status Anxiety, by Alain de Botton Daily Rituals, by Mason Currey The Art of Living, by Epictetus Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin Mastery, by George Leonard The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo, by Plato The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession, by Leo Tolstoy The Book, by Alan Watts The Wisdom of Insecurity, by Alan Watts
Practice Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin The Little Book of Talent, by Daniel Coyle The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon Bounce, by Matthew Syed
Psychology Grit, by Angela Duckworth The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg Mindset, by Carol S. Dweck Moonwalking With Einstein, by Joshua Foer A Whole New Mind, by Daniel H. Pink Why We Work, by Barry Schwartz The Happiness Track, by Emma Seppala
Writing On Writing, by Stephen King The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition, by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
Here are the takeaways for me: (1) use "feedback analysis" to discover and focus on your strengths (don't really have a good sense of what "feedback analysis" really is, as it seems too simplistic as described). (2) determine how I best perform, as a reader or as a listener, determine how I learn, and determine if I work well under stress or want highly structured, predictable environments. (3) know what my values are, and align my organization with them. (4) build relationships, and communicate clearly, effectively, constantly within them, and (5) after 20 years, most high-performing people will seek out or start a 2nd career, and planning for it or developing it while in the 1st one is most successful.
A person can perform only from strength. One cannot build performance on weaknesses, let alone something one cannot do at all.
The only way to discover your strengths is through feedback analysis. Whenever you make a key decision or take a key action, write what you expect will happen. Nine or 12 months later, compare the actual results with your expectations.
Implications for action that follow from feedback analysis: 1. Put yourself where your strengths can produce results 2. Work on improving your strengths 3. Discover where your intellectual arrogance is causing disabling ignorance and overcome it
Many brilliant people believe that ideas move mountains. But bulldozers move mountains; ideas show where the bulldozers should go to work.
One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence.
HOW DO I PERFORM? - Am I a reader or a listener? - How do I learn? Taking notes, by doing, by talking/teaching? - Do I work well with people or am I a loner? - Do I produce results as a decision maker or as an advisor? - Do I perform well under stress, or do I need a highly structured and predictable environment?
Do not try to change yourself - you are unlikely to succeed. But work hard to improve the way you perform. And try not to take on work you cannot perform or will only perform poorly.
WHAT ARE MY VALUES? The mirror test: Ethics requires that you ask yourself, What kind of person do I want to see in the mirror in the morning?
WHERE DO I BELONG? "Yes I will do that. But this is the way I should be doing it. This is the way it should be structured. This is the way the relationships should be. These are the kinds of results you should expect from me, and in this time frame, because this is who I am."
WHAT SHOULD I CONTRIBUTE? What does the situation require? Given my strengths, my way of performing, and my values, how can I make the greatest contribution to what needs to be done? What results have to be achieved to make a difference?
A plan can usually cover no more than 18 months and still be reasonable clear and specific => where and how can I achieve results that will make a difference within the next year and a halve?
RESPONSIBILITY FOR RELATIONSHIPS Accept the fact that other people are as much individuals as you yourself are. To be effective you have to know the strengths, the performance modes and the values of your coworkers.
Bosses are individuals who are entitled to do their work in the way they do it best.
Personality conflicts arise from the fact that people do not know: - what other people are doing - how they do their work - what contribution the other people are concentrating on - what results they expect
Do this with everyone you work with: "This is what I am good at. This is how I work. These are my values. This is the contribution I plan to concentrate on and the results I should be expected to deliver." Q to ask: "And what do I need to know about your strengths, how you perform, your values, and your proposed contribution?"
THE SECOND HALF OF YOUR LIFE Three way to develop a second career: 1. Start one 2. Parallel career 3. Social entrepreneur
Begin long before you enter it.
Historically there was no such thing as "success." The overwhelming majority of people did not expect anything but to stay in their "proper station." The only mobility was downward mobility.
Short and sweet book that everyone should read from time to time. I like how the Author emphasizes the fact that we should focus more on our strengths and discovering what we are really good at naturally, kinda goes against the whole new age theory that you can be whatever you wanna be. You can read this book in one evening and I definitely recommend that you do so.
Enjoyable short read. There are two ideas in this book: The fist one is that to manage oneself, one must first know oneself: reader/listener, decision maker/adviser, loner/team-player, big or small firm? The second idea is that one should prepare for a second or parallel career to continue challenging oneself once one has reached a "mid-life" crisis.
Key Message: Understand and act upon your strengths, values and how you perform best in order to achieve the most in life.
My Key Takeaways: 1. Use Feedback Analysis (reviewing a decision after 12 months) to discover strengths 2. Acquire/improve skills to fill gaps in your knowledge that are keeping you from reaching the full potential in your strengths. 3. Act further upon my knowledge of how i perform to improve my results (reading & taking more notes, further structuring my environment, focus on becoming the best adviser (it’s ok to not be the decision maker), taking more action). 4. Further communicate more about how i perform and understand how others perform. 5. Prepare & create a second/parellel job to keep challenging myself, have multiple options of “being somebody” and as a way to further contribute.
Notes (elaborate version): Long ago: heritage or organisations decided upon our life & career, no options.
Nowadays we outlive organisations and can make our own choices on what we want to do and how.
Must learn how to manage ourselves in order spend our time and energy to get the best results.
What are my strengths? – Feedback analysis: write down expectation before making a key decision and review it within a year.
Also: What was I good at when growing up? Been doing last 10 years? Get compliments about? Can talk about endlessly on a Saturday night?
Then: 1. Put yourself where your strengths produce results. 2. Improve skills or acquire new ones to fill gaps in your knowledge or abilities. 3. Discover where your intellectual arrogance is causing disabling ignorance and overcome it. Also, remedy bad habits. Eg. Planner: beautiful plans fail because he does not follow through on them. – Ideas alone don’t move mountains. Bulldozers move mountains, ideas show where to go. 4. Focus on becoming from competent to star performer (takes less energy than from incompetence to mediocrity)
How do i perform? (maybe more important than what are my strengths) – Am i a reader or a listener? – How do I learn? (reading, listening, writing, doing, talking, …?) (Beethoven = taking lots of notes, even if he doesn’t read them.) (Me = also notes, even if others mention slides will be shared afterwards…) – Do I work well with people or am I a loner? – Good as a coach / mentor or not? – As the commander or as the subordinate? Decision maker or adviser? – Under stress or in a highly structured and predictable environment? – Big organisation or a small one?
Do not try to change yourself, work hard to improve the way you perform. Act on this knowledge.
What are my values? The ultimate test! – What kind of person do I want to see in the mirror in the morning? – Your values must be compatible with your organisation’s values (short term vs long term?, many small improvements or few big ones?, quality vs quantity?)
Where do I belong? “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 any ordinary person – hardworking and competent but otherwise mediocre – into an outstanding performer”
What should I contribute? Up until 1960’s, we didn’t have to ask this question, others answered it for us…
1. What does the situation require? 2. Given my strengths, my way of performing and my values, how can i make the greatest contribution to what needs to be done? 3. What results have to be achieved to make a difference?
Make an 18-month plan… must be: – challenging yet within reach – meaningful – visible – measurable Actions: what to do, where and how to start, what goals and deadlines to set.
Take responsibility for relationships & communication Accept that others are individuals as well, with their own strengths, way of performing and values. Learn /ask them and express your own strengths, how you perform, values…
Second half of your life. Often after 45… people get bored… midlife crisis…setbacks… – Prepare & start a new / parallel career (even if it is in nonprofit). – Begin long before you enter it! – Keep challenging yourself – Create options! – Multiple possibilities to “be somebody” (if your primary career is not providing this)
“It is the minority of men and women who see a long working-life expectancy as an opportunity both for themselves and for society who will become leaders and models.”
Again, a great gem from Peter Drucker! This little piece of advice is to be read again and again. Managing Oneself may seem obvious and naive and you can say I know all of these already. But if you really pay attention to this principle, you may found that you did poorly on implement this into real life. This book is a great reminder on how to be a better person. Quite precisely and constructivelyーWhat are my strengths, How do I perform, Am I a reader or listener, How do I learn, How do others perform/learn, What are my values, Where do I belong, What should my contribution be, Responsibility for relationship and community and The second half of your life. The need to manage oneself is therefore creating a revolution in human affair.
Two shorter essays on the value of managing oneself and leading others. Although the advice sounds like good solid common-sense, it is far from applied in reality. Druckers main point is that we should focus on our strengths and then delegate our weaknesses to others. Write down what you think will happen after you make a big decision and then review it ater 8-12 months to see if your prediction was true. This is one way to create a feedback loop which will let you know your strengths and weaknesses.
I would recommend it to managers as well as those who are keen to find out what place they could fill in the work place.
Drucker is the OG management educator. Firmly believing that managers can get better through self-education. He wants us to treat management as a skill to be honed, not as a natural gift. Something that I think it still widely believed, but that I bet was much more widely believed in Drucker's hey-day, in the mid-20th century. I've always wanted to read Drucker, and finally someone on my team directly recommended this. It's written in a fantastic style that makes it clear where many of the management gurus of today have their strongest influence from. He advocates many of the management principles that are brought to light again in new forms, e.g. through Dalio's Principles.
He advocates for keeping a diary of all the big decisions you make, admant it's the best way you get to know yourself better. It's also one of the earliest examples I've seen of talking about doubling down on your strengths, and working around your weaknesses. I like how Dalio puts it: for every weakness, you have four options. Turn it into a strength, find someone else to do it, change what you're going after, or ignore it. Of course, ignoring it is the default option we'll do until we're made aware of the weakness—but it's not a real choice once it's surfaced.
> One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence. It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence. And yet most people—especially most teachers and most organizations—concentrate on making incompetent performers into mediocre ones. Energy, resources, and time should go instead to making a competent person into a star performer.
I am still not sure how I feel about completely ignoring weaknesses. I feel that I have been able to get some weaknesses to a manageable level. I recognize they will not be strengths, but I think some at least need to be at some critical threshold to not drag everything else down. If you talk like shit to people, at least work on getting to a somewhat civil level of communication instead of just putting yourself in a position where you don't have to talk to people. That seems unrealistic. You may never become the best communicator, but you need to raise it to a critical level in order to be effective. I like to think that every team, individual, group, department, and company at any one point has a switch (weakness) that needs to be addressed. It can take a while to figure out what the next one is, but this search is key. You can also be proactive about looking for weaknesses that may occur in the near future.
Another interesting tidbit from the book is the distinction between a 'reader and listener':
> The first thing to know is whether you are a reader or a listener. Far too few people even know that there are readers and listeners and that people are rarely both. Even fewer know which of the two they themselves are. But some examples will show how damaging such ignorance can be.
I wonder if it's the right abstraction level to attack the problem at. Some people like to sit and brood on problems for a while beforehand, others prefer to do that with other people. This seems more akin to many of the attributes associated with introverts and extroverts, than really readers and listeners. One of my absolute favorites is the distinction between a decision-maker and an advisor:
> Do I produce results as a decision maker or as an adviser? A great many people perform best as advisers but cannot take the burden and pressure of making the decision. A good many other people, by contrast, need an adviser to force themselves to think; then they can make decisions and act on them with speed, self-confidence, and courage. This is a reason, by the way, that the number two person in an organization often fails when promoted to the number one position. The top spot requires a decision maker. Strong decision makers often put somebody they trust into the number two spot as their adviser—and in that position the person is outstanding. But in the number one spot, the same person fails. He or she knows what the decision should be but cannot accept the responsibility of actually making it.
This vocabulary was immediately useful to me, and have sparked some fantastic conversations on the team.
A closing note from Drucker to ponder:
> Organizations are no longer built on force but on trust. The existence of trust between people does not necessarily mean that they like one another. It means that they understand one another. Taking responsibility for relationships is therefore an absolute necessity. It is a duty. Whether one is a member of the organization, a consultant to it, a supplier, or 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.
This book is so short, about 70 pages, and has a couple of fantastic points (these were the main ones for me). I recommend skimming through it. Seems like this would make an annual re-read for me.
This book is not life-changing but it's small, straight to the point, and has many terrific bits of advice for your career and life. I would totally recommend you to read it since it's not expensive and quick to read/listen to (around 1 hour on Audible).
This book is amazing. So short you can happily read through it in a few hours. I have read it several times and then often refer back to it. I feel like it will be crucial in making this year the best year of my career.
If you can only read one book to help you get better at your career and life I would choose this one.
Well, I don’t know the historical context of this classic book. If Peter were alive, he would have recommended Carol Dweck’s Mindset. But who am I to judge him. I didn’t really enjoy this short read. May be this work is a bit archaic now.
I admit this was a little book we got at work and I read it because I knew it would be a very quick one to add in my pursuit of 100 books this year! ;-) However, I found it really fascinating - and learned a bit about myself, which is always useful! :-)
Peter Drucker explains how to understand yourself to succeed in work and life. I liked the emphasis on improving what you’re already good at, and not wasting time in a futile attempt to turn weaknesses into strengths.
What are my strengths? “We need to know our strengths in order to know where we belong.”
Feedback analysis: “every time you make a key decision write down the outcome you expect. Several months later compare the actual results with your expected result. Look for patterns in what you’re seeing.” Use feedback analysis to discover your strengths, weaknesses, and bad habits.
“Concentrate on your strengths. Put yourself where your strengths can produce results.” “Work on improving your strengths.” “Go to work on acquiring the skills and knowledge you need to fully realize your strengths.”
“One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence. It takes for more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence … Energy, resources, and time should go instead to making a competent person into a star performer.”
How do I work? • “Am I a reader or a listener?” How do you best answer questions? Do you perform best when reading and processing questions before answering, or are you able to carefully listen then immediately answer? • “How do I learn?” Listening, reading, writing, or talking? • “Do I work well with people, or am I a loner?” If you work well with people, ask, “In what relationship?” Leader, subordinate, team member? • “Do I produce results as a decision maker or as an adviser?” Many perform best as advisers but can’t take the burden and pressure of making the decision. Others need an adviser to force themselves to think. • “Do I perform well under stress, or do I need a highly structured and predictable environment? Do I work best in a big organization or a small one?”
“Do not try to change yourself - you are unlikely to succeed. But work hard to improve the way you perform. And try not to take on work you cannot perform or will only perform poorly.”
Where do I belong? Knowing the answer to these questions enables a person to say to an opportunity, offer, or assignment, “Yes, I will do that. But this is the way I should be doing it. This is the way it should be structured. This is the way the relationships should be. These are the kind of results you should expect from me, and in this time frame, because this is who I am.”
The Second Half of Your Life “There is one prerequisite for managing the second half of your life: You must begin long before you enter it.” For example, begin working in a second enterprise before peaking in your first business. Or, begin volunteering for a nonprofit before peaking in your profession.
A second area (second career, parallel career, or social venture) gives one a place to contribute, make a difference, and be somebody, even if they are not successful in their primary area.
A nice short pithy book easily read in one sitting.
To be effective one has to be able to manage oneself before one can look at managing others.
Drucker impresses the importance of taking care of ones improvement/development. Gone are the days when ones career was planned for one. We are now at a time when it's up to individuals to plan their careers.
The ideas Drucker brings up in this book are similar to the works of Tiago Forte (building a second brain) & Timothy Kenny (knowledge management).
The top 3 ideas I took from the book are: I'm the CEO of my own career, I need to start focusing on 'who' rather than 'what', I need to be able to manage myself before I can manage others.
I am eager to get into management and this book has answered a few questions I've had. I cannot believe that after all the management courses I've taken that mentioned Drucker I only just coming round to reading him!
The book is highly recommended for anyone looking to get into management. I for one will be digging into more Drucker books.
Although it does largely makes sense, the writing style is extremely simplistic with a lot of generalisations. "Most people" do this, "most do that"....repeated about every other page. There isin't anything in depth to takeaway that wouldn't get from thousands of other career articles out there.
Had this not been converted to book form and recommended, would have discarded it as a regular above average career advice article at best. Quite overrated.
Poca gente es capaz de meter tantas ideas importantes en algo más que 60 páginas.
Drucker aborda la cuestión que todos podemos hacernos sobre nuestros trabajos, y que casi ninguno nos hacemos. Preguntarse qué es lo que uno hace bien y cómo es la raíz de la que viene la buena marcha de uno mismo. Pocos nos hacemos esa pregunta.
An easy read containing the following information: Understanding other people as people. Taking responsibility. Knowing your strength and weaknesses. Doing what you want to do. As the second phase of your career starts, think about what gets you out of boredom beforehand.
It’s really short, more of an essay really, so there’s no reason not to read it. It gives a couple of really good and fairly practical tips about what to find out about oneself in order to be effective and successful. Definitely enjoyed it.
This classic from Harvard Business Review by Peter Drucker is good but not so easy to follow.
It asks a set of questions and give some basic guidelines for answering these questions.
What are my strengths? Use Feedback analysis to find out. Document key decisions and wanted outcome and compare 9-12 months later.
How do I perform? Are you a listener or a reader?
What are my values? Mirror test - what kind of person do I want to see in the mirror in the morning? Your values must be compatible with the organizations.
Where do I belong? In a place where 1)what are my strengths 2) how do I perform 3) what are my values all match
What should I contribute? Ask yourself 1) What does the situation require 2) What is the greatest contribution that I can make to what needs to be done 3) What results have to be achieved to make a difference then build a plan not longer than 18 months into the future
Responsibility for relationships 1) know the strengths, performance modes and values of your co-workers 2) take responsibility for communication and state "This is what I am good at. This is how I work. These are my values. This is the contribution I plan to concentrate on and the results I should be expected to deliver" then ask "What do I need to know about your strengths, how you perform, your values and your proposed contribution?"
The second half of your life - begin a second career 1) Start one 2) A parallel one 3) Social entrepreneurs You must begin before you enter it
He wraps it up by saying before organization outlived workers and most people stayed put, but now knowledge workers outlive organizations and they are mobile.
The result: The need to manage oneself is therefore creating a revolution in human affairs.