Managing oneself: Peter S Drucker

His work emphasizes adding to your strengths and avoiding your weaknesses. This does not say that you should ignore your weaknesses. But understand them and find ways to minimize how your weaknesses impede performance. In this entry I will break up his sub-chapters and demonstrate the importance of knowing where you are and self awareness

What are my strengths?
This chapter states that most people are wrong at what they think they are good at. Drucker believes that significant self reflection is required to understand exactly what that is. Writing out and tracking expectations and outcomes is entirely necessary. If you realize a trend in which outcomes are negative or wrong, it’s time to change your approach. Listeners and Talkers is the example he uses. Kennedy, known for his prolific speeches could talk in a rhetoric that connected with people. Johnson, his successor seemed to drudge on with little direction for his rambling was known for his misdirection. Kennedy, a listener was able to eloquently answer questions and have carefully prepared statements. Johnson, a talker could not direct his abilities in the same capacity.

 

How do I perform?


Are you a commander or a follower. There’s no shame in either, it’s simply based on programming. Ideally you want to focus on your strengths and let others strengths enhance your own.
What Are my values

Values are not about ethics. Peter Drucker refers it as “Mirror Test” i.e. What kind of person you want to see in the mirror. Like individuals, organisations also have values. Examples are:

* Incremental improvements vs breakthroughs -IE New Drug vs small improvements on an existing.

* Emphasis on Short term results vs Long term goals

* Quality vs Quantity

* Growth vs Sustenance

Where do I belong

This he believes is up to you. You can plan and plan but the majority of people do not end up knowing where they are headed. This requires planning. The book operates under the idea that people do not plan ahead. If you know where you belong, make it happen through interactions.
Because, “Successful careers are not planned, successful careers are developed by preparing for opportunities”.

Overall the book is extremely short but useful. You can complete it in a single read with little difficulty. The examples used are not contemporary but still relevant, including the historical perspective. The book relies on long term growth and tracking your own results. Self exploration is obviously the key to most self growth books, and this is no exception. He doesn’t specifically say how manage yourself or a formula for success. But he does make note of the importance of self reflection and being honest with yourself. Patton was the greatest subordinate in US history. He was a top troop commander but his superiors truly believed he’d be an awful overall commander. Where do I belong?

 

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