Managing Oneself (Harvard Business Review Classics) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 70 pages
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Top Customer Reviews
This "book" isn't actually a book. It's a reprinting of an article published in Harvard Business Review January 2005, which I realized I had laying around the house! I read that first, then when I opened this book was rather shocked to realize it was an exact reprint stretched from 10 magazine pages to 50 in 24+ pt font size.
Frankly, this book isn't a book by the standards you probably have. As other reviewers have lamented, Drucker mentions something important then just moves on, giving no steps on how to go about figuring it out. What you get is a barebones explication of managing oneself, and it has a few good insights. The semantic point aside---that it shouldn't be called a book---you will probably learn a few pointers about managing oneself. But you will be greatly disappointed if you expect there to be much more than an outline of what you should do in general.
Here's what it covers:
What are my strengths?
How do I perform?
What are my values?
Where do I belong?
What should I contribute?
Responsibility for relationships
The second half of your life
You'll notice that they are mostly questions. The article really seems to just be a (guided) impetus to think about certain important things in your life. The shortness of the book is really a reflection that YOU have to do the work of figuring out the answers.
Today, knowledge workers outlive organisations and are mobile. The need to manage oneself is therefore creating a revolution in human affairs. Drucker gives advise on the management of ourselves. We need to ask ourselves the following questions: What are my strengths?; How do I perform?; What are my values? The authors provides advise on how to answer these questions> Once these questions are answered we need to find out where we belong and what we should contribute. According to Drucker, "we will have to place ourselves where we can make the greatest contribution." But because we need to work with others we also need to take responsibility for our relationships. This requires us to accept other people as much as individuals as ourselves and take responsibility for communication. The author also identifies that most knowledge workers are not "finished" after 40 years on the job, "they are merely bored". He identifies three ways to develop a second career: (1) start one; (2) develop a parallel career; or (3) be a social entrepreneur. And managing the second half of your life requires you to begin with it before you enter it.
Great article by the Master of Management on how we can manage ourselves. He recognizes the latest trend whereby knowledge workers are outliving organizations which result in them having/creating second careers. He provides advise on where to locate yourself based on your strengths, performance, and values. This article is an exerpt from his 1999-book 'Management Challenges for the 21st Century'. As usual Drucker uses his famous simple US-English writing style. Highly recommended, just like all his articles.
* Yes, this is more like a pamplet. But so what? It's only like $8. And partnered with a small Moleskine notebook it fits in your laptop bag or backpack without taking up too much space. Perfect for business trips or vacations.
* The book gives you the ONE thing that is (imo) most important to succeed, so much more than tons of other crappy "self-help novels." It explains to you the importance of taking a step back, looking in the mirror, and developing your own metric driven approach to Managing Yourself.
* If done correctly, this is the LAST "self-help" book you'll ever have to buy. Screw Tony Robbins or that scam artist Tay Lopez, or any other similar scam artists.
Here's how I've *interpreted* this book and what I've done since I bought it a few years ago:
I made a Google Calendar with a notification to pop up every 3-months for me to check the list of goals that I created on a Google Docs page. I also use a Moleskine journal for daily/weekly thoughts. But every 3 months I look at the goals, figure out how I've done since then, and what I can do to be more successful, and/or what did/didn't work, and how to either avoid the things that didn't work, or do more of the things that did work.
Here are some of the results:
* I went from making $48,000/year in 2014 to making $110,000/year (+ bonuses) in 2017. I was able to do this because I constantly looked into ways to learn more about my job/industry, and also switching jobs twice when opportunities arose. I know this isn't "millionaire" territory or anything like that, but it's still a pretty good leap for someone in my field :) And it didn't come easy, there were tons of sacrifices, late nights staying at the office, working on projects, etc. But I credit checking my goals and doing more to manage myself as a huge contributor. I also reread this book from time to time on long flights or at least once a year.
* I started doing yoga and I no longer have back pain (caused by being too sedentary at the office)
* I got into powerlifting and have been hitting PRs almost every week
* I've earned 3 certifications related to my career since 2015. I plan on doing 1 every year (if I can find relevant ones).
* I generally have more time to go hiking, longboarding, surfing, snowboarding, etc. I've really come to have a good system during the week, which allows me to have fun on the weekend.
* I also have been reading a lot more, mostly fiction books and business-case related books.
I hope this book and this advice helps you out. I highly recommend it, but it's not just a book you read and forget about. YOU need to set up systems where you can check your progress, and make "course-corrections" as needed in order to accomplish your goals. It is A LOT of work! But anyone who tells you they have an "easy" system is likely either lying to you and/or a scam artist.
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