Managing Oneself Book Summary - Managing Oneself Book explained in key points
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Managing Oneself summary

Peter F. Drucker

The Key to Success

4.1 (408 ratings)
5 mins
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    Managing Oneself
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    Discover your strengths, and build an action plan.

    Take a moment to think about your strengths. Don’t worry if you can’t readily identify them. Most people can’t – and those who think they can are often quite wrong. The reverse is also true: many of us think we know exactly what we’re not good at. But more often than not, we’re wrong about that too!

    The good news? There’s a tried and true method you can use to remedy this situation, and it’s called feedback analysis. It first emerged back in the fourteenth century and is a pretty simple technique. Here’s how it works. Each time you make an important decision, write it down along with what you think the outcome will be. Nine to twelve months later, review your predicted result and compare it to the actual outcome.

    If you practice this consistently, you’ll not only be able to determine precisely where your strengths lie – you’ll also see exactly what you’re doing, or failing to do, to take full advantage of those strengths. As an additional bonus, you should be able to accurately identify where your performance is poor due to a weakness in any particular area.

    There are five key actions that flow from your feedback analysis. 

    • First, concentrate your efforts on areas where using your strengths will produce results.
    • Second, work to improve areas where you already have strengths – and fill any knowledge gaps that come to light. 
    • Third, don’t be willfully ignorant about subject areas where your knowledge is lacking. Acquire new skills and knowledge to enhance your strengths. 
    • Fourth, be sure to rectify any bad habits that are revealed through your feedback. 
    • And finally, recognize areas where you have little or no talent and are unlikely even to become mediocre. There’s no point in wasting your energy trying to improve in these areas!
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    What is Managing Oneself about?

    Managing Oneself (1999) was originally published in Harvard Business Review. It’s a guide to identifying your strengths and weaknesses, understanding how you perform, and recognizing your values. In doing so, you can transform yourself from an ordinary worker into an outstanding performer.

    Who should read Managing Oneself?

    • Drucker devotees
    • Career optimizers
    • Anyone who wants to capitalize on their strengths

    About the Author

    Peter F. Drucker (1909–2005) was an Austrian-American management consultant, teacher, author, and cofounder of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management. He was a columnist for the Wall Street Journal for ten years and regularly wrote for the Economist and Harvard Business Review. In total, he wrote 34 books that have been published in over 70 languages. These include The Practice of Management, which was voted the third most influential management book of the twentieth century by fellows of the Academy of Management.

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