Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker Book Review

I bought the book Managing Oneself because of a recommendation Firas Zahabi made in a YouTube AMA. He’s a UFC coach. It’s a short book about an hour’s read but it’s full of useful straight to the point content.

Managing Oneself – Getting the best out of oneself

In this short book, the author states we need to know our strengths to know where we belong in the field of work and life to get the best out of ourselves, this is due to us having a choice in the modern world. He says a person needs to learn one’s strengths to be able to build from a position of strength.

He believes a person cannot build from a place of weakness and that we, in fact, do not really know our strengths and weaknesses. It states a person shouldn’t work on going from a field of incompetent to mediocre but to put our energy into going from first-rate to excellent.

The book teaches us how to learn them through feedback analysis. He states that when we make a decision or take action, to write down what we expect to happen in the next 9-12 months and then when the time comes, compare the results to the expectations written.

He says practiced consistently, in a few years you’ll find out where your strength lies because most people don’t know and it’s important to know to develop ourselves.

The method will show you what you are doing or failing to do that deprives you of the full benefits of your strengths. It will show you where you are not particularly competent and finally, it will show you where you have no strengths and cannot perform.

People Skills

An important section in the book talks about people skills and having good manners, how they’re important to understand how you work, and how to work well with others in any organisation.

Also discovering and realising where you are bad and going wrong. self-checking regularly and self-accountability is important to one’s best development and growth as you age and are always adjusting to new and ever-changing circumstances in the fast-paced era.

Manners are the lubricating oil of an organisation.

It is a law of nature that two moving bodies in contact with each other create friction.

Simple things as such as saying please and thank you make all the difference.

You learn to find out if you work best with others or by yourself and in what position. I’m a natural-born leader I’ve been like this since high school. A leadership role requires a decision-maker. The advisory role is the number two position but some people perform better from this position and enjoy it more, everyone doesn’t need to be a leader.

We have to accept other people are individuals just like us and they have their own way of working or working best in. We have to adjust ourselves to work well with others and make use of other people’s strengths.

How to Learn

Different people work and perform differently from one another. The book wants you to find how you learn best with the feedback loop performance.

School education is an assumption that there is one right way to learn, which is not true. It’s difficult for people who learn by writing instead of reading to perform well and enjoy their educational experience. Some learn by listening, some learn by speaking out loud.

Acting on knowledge learned is the key to performance.

Don’t try to change yourself you are unlikely to succeed but work hard to improve the way you perform.

Values

Nobody wants to be the richest man in the cemetery

When a person has conflicting values with strengths and the organisation, values are the ultimate test.

Values are the mirror test, ethics require you to ask what kind of person I want to see in the morning.

To be effective in an organization, a person’s value must be compatible with the organization’s values otherwise the person will be frustrated and not be able to produce results. Results in terms of short term results and long term growth.

What should my contribution be? In the short term ‘where and how can I achieve results that will make a difference within the next year and a half? To be able to achieve meaningful results.

Whilst reading the book, it was reminiscent of the classic How to Win Friends & Influence People.

I found some of the references outdated and inconsistent with how people operate and work in current times, particularly large global corporations not having the same values as previous times, people are expendable to them and they are not valued, thus people not valuing themselves. The anecdotes of olden day USA presidents were too out of date for me as I have no knowledge or understanding of these references to relate.

The second half of your life

The concluding chapter of the book is about the second half of our life and planning for that to make the most out of it.

He says we are knowledge workers and the reason people have a midlife crisis is that we don’t know what to do after work, our second career. We need community and a challenge, we have a skill set but not a challenge and are bored.

In a knowlegde based society, we expect everyone to be successful.

He said to benefit in the second half of our lives we need to begin long before we enter it, i.e. If we are not volunteering at 40 we won’t at 60. Working in a non-profit organisation or volunteering is an opportunity for both themselves and society.

What are my strengths? How do I perform? and what are my values? Are the crux of the book that is full of punch, a one hour read but lots to think about, ask ourselves and explore to turn you into an outstanding performer.

Managing Oneself – Behaving and thinking like a CEO about yourself, it demands it

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