Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker
An almost pocket sized book containing 60 pages of large text… “surely it can’t contain much in the way of value or insight” I thought to myself, how wrong I was…
Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker is, in my eyes essential reading for everyone.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an entrepreneur, personal trainer, college student or lawyer – Drucker’s ‘Managing Oneself’ is loaded with principles to improve your efficiency, performance and quality of life in both your career and personal life.
It comes as no surprise that Managing Oneself is published as a Harvard Business Review Classic and that it’s constantly recommended and referenced by Tai Lopez in his 67 steps course.
My Summary & Key Points
Here’s the key lessons I took away from 3 read-throughs of Peter Drucker’s ‘Managing Oneself‘.
Don’t Try to Become Well-Rounded
As Drucker says, we cannot build on weakness.
We can patch our weaknesses but we cannot efficiently turn these into our strengths – attempting to do so wastes our precious time and energy.
Everything has an opportunity cost and the time spent attempting to round out our weak points to marry up to our strengths could be used to turn our strengths into a world class level of performance in that field.
Feedback is your Friend
We’re bad at judging ourselves on face value, we’re often too kind and skew our self-analysis with cognitive biases…
Feedback analysis is the only reliable way to discover where our strengths stand.
Keep a journal and before undertaking a project or endeavour you must write down what you think is going to happen – are you going to perform well? What results do you personally expect you’ll get?
Once it’s all said and done go back to your journal – did you do better? Did you do worse?
This is the #1 way to determine your strengths and weaknesses so you know exactly where to expend your energy and time.
You Must Learn How YOU Learn
The schooling system is based on a reading and listening learning base – unfortunately many great thinkers, geniuses and prodigies are not deemed the smartest by schooling standards because they don’t learn best via listening and reading.
You must know your preferred learning method – how do you personally absorb the most information?
Different methods of learning include:
- Extensive note-taking
I’m without a doubt a note-taker, for me to learn efficiently I can listen or read but to ensure this is engrained in my mind I’ll take extensive notes while absorbing the information.
You Must Know Your Values
When you know what your values are you must align these with what you’re doing each day.
If you’re unable to match your venture, career or past-time with your values you’ll never pass the mirror test (looking at yourself in the early hours of the morning and being proud with who you see).
If you value your health and fitness you won’t perform well working for a cigarette company.
If you value innovation and learning you won’t perform well packaging boxes in a factory.
Align your personal values with the values of the company or project you’re working on to set yourself up for limitless performance and passion.
My Highlighted Quotes
“A person can perform only from strength. One cannot build performance on weaknesses.”
“The only way to discover your strengths is through feedback analysis.”
“Like so many brilliant people, he believes that ideas move mountains. But bulldozers move mountains; ideas show where the bulldozers should go.”
“One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence.”
“Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves – their strengths, their values, and how they best perform.”
“It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”
“As this example suggests, it is rarely possible—or even particularly fruitful—to look too far ahead. A plan can usually cover no more than 18 months and still be reasonably clear and specific. So the question in most cases should be, Where and how can I achieve results that will make a difference within the next year and a half ? The answer must balance several things. First, the results should be hard to achieve—they should require “stretching,” to use the current buzzword. But also, they should be within reach. To aim at results that cannot be achieved—or that can be only under the most unlikely circumstances—is not being ambitious; it is being foolish. Second, the results should be meaningful. They should make a difference. Finally, results should be visible and, if at all possible, measurable. From this will come a course of action: what to do, where and how to start, and what goals and deadlines to set. RESPONSIBILITY”