18th September 2008

Managing Oneself

To unlock your full potential you first have to discover yourself

The first secret of effectiveness is to understand the people you work with so that you can make use of their strengths.

Throughout history people did little to manage their careers – you were either born into your station in life, or in the recent past, your company plotted your career path. But times have changed. Today we live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: with ambition, drive and talent, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession, regardless of where you started out.

But with opportunity comes responsibility. Typically, companies today aren't managing their knowledge worker's careers. Instead you must be your own chief executive officer. That means it's up to you to carve out your place in the world and know when to change course. And it's up to you to keep yourself engaged and productive during a career that may span some 50 years.

In Managing Oneself, author Peter Drucker – regarded as one of the greatest management thinkers of our time – identifies the probing questions you need to ask to gain the insights essential for taking charge of your career. What are your most valuable strengths and most dangerous weaknesses? How do you learn and work with others? What are your most deeply held values? And in what type of work environment can you make the greatest contribution?

The implication is clear: only when you operate from a combination of your strengths and self-knowledge can you achieve true, and lasting, excellence.

Seven Keys to Success

  1. Concentrate on your strengths. Place yourself where your strengths can produce performance and results.
  2. Work on improving your strengths. The feedback analysis shows where to improve skills and get new knowledge.
  3. Identify areas where your intellectual arrogance causes disabling ignorance to you and the team.
  4. Take action to remedy bad habits that can inhibit your effectiveness and performance in the workplace.
  5. Be on the lookout for failures due to bad manners and a lack of common courtesy.
  6. Do not take on jobs and work assignments where there is little talent and little chance to be even mediocre in performance.
  7. Use your energy to turn a competent team member into the star performer of the team.

From Managing Oneself, Peter Drucker, Harvard Business School Publishing/McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Published in Intouch August-September 2008, and reprinted with permission from FCm Travel Solutions.

Best regards
Iain Pepper


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Iain Pepper
Head of Lending

Iain Pepper is a Vice-President and the Head of Lending for the La Trobe Group.Read full profile here.

La Trobe is one of Australia's leading independent specialist mortgage Financiers. Its business includes residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, and investment services operating one of Australia's largest Mortgage Funds under AFSL 222213. It employs over 145 staff and has raised over AUD$10Billion to assist over 100,000 customers since inception in 1952.

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