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Begin 2017 by Unlocking Your Full Potential, but First, you 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 employees’ 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?

What are my Strengths?

To accurately identify your strengths, use feedback analysis. Every time you make a key decision write down the outcome you expect. Several months later compare the actual results with your expected result. Look for patterns in what you’re seeing:

  • What results are you skilled at generating?
  • What abilities do you need to enhance in order to get the results you want?
  • What unproductive habits are preventing you from creating the outcomes you desire?

In identifying opportunities for improvement don’t waste time cultivating skill areas where you have little competence. Instead concentrate on, and build on, your strengths.

How do I Perform?

In what ways do you work best? Do you process information most effectively by reading or by hearing others discuss it? Do you accomplish the most by working with other people or by working alone? Do you perform best while making decisions, or while advising others on key matters? Are you in top form when things get stressful, or do you function optimally in a highly predictable environment?

What are my Values?

What are your ethics? What do you see as your most important responsibilities for living a worthy, ethical life? Does your organisation’s ethics resonate with your own values? If not, your career will likely be marked by frustration and poor performance.

Where do I Belong?

Consider your strengths, preferred work style and values. Based on these qualities, in what kind of work environment would you fit best? Find the perfect fit and you’ll transform yourself from a merely acceptable employee into a star performer.

What can I Contribute?

In earlier eras, companies told business people what their contribution should be. Today you have choices. To decide how you can best enhance your organisation’s performance first ask what the situation requires. Based on your strengths, work style and values, how might you make the greatest contribution to your organisation’s efforts?

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

Peter Drucker’s words of wisdom continue to be relevant today. He was a man with a seriously keen eye for business and his insights still apply.

We wish you every success for 2017.

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La Trobe Financial Asset Management Limited ABN: 27 007 332 363 and AFSL No: 222213 is the issuer and manager of the La Trobe Australian Credit Fund. It is important for you to read the Product Disclosure Statement for the Fund before you make any investment decision. The PDS is available on our website or by calling 1800 818 818. You should consider carefully whether or not investing in the Fund is appropriate for you.

* The rates of return from the Fund are not guaranteed and are determined by future revenue of the Fund and may be lower than expected. Investors risk losing some or all of their principal investment. The investment is not a bank deposit.
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La Trobe Financial is one of Australia's leading independent credit specialist Fund Managers. Its business includes residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, and investment services operating one of Australia's largest Credit Funds under AFSL 222213. It employs over 180 staff and has managed over AUD$12 Billion covering over 100,000 investment grade assets since inception in 1952.

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La Trobe Financial Services Pty Limited - Australian Credit Licence Number: 392385
La Trobe Financial Asset Management Limited - Australian Credit Licence Number: 222213

This publication does not constitute financial advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek your own financial or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.