In Managing Oneself, Peter Druker tells us that it’s up to you to carve out your place in the world and know when to change course.
Napoléon, da Vinci and Mozart were great achievers
History’s great achievers–a Napoléon, a da Vinci, a Mozart–have always managed themselves. That, in large measure, is what makes them great achievers. But they are rare exceptions, so unusual both in their talents and their accomplishments as to be considered outside the boundaries of ordinary humane existence.
Now, most of us, even those of us with modest endowments, will have to learn to manage ourselves. We will have to learn to develop ourselves.
What are your strengths?
Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong. More often, people know what they are not good at–and even then more people are wrong than right. And yet, a person can perform only from strengths. One cannot build performance on weaknesses, let alone on something one cannot do at all.
The only way to discover your strengths is through feedback analysis
Whenever you make a key decision or take a key decision, write down what you expect will happen. Nine or twelve months later, compare the actual results with your expectations.
Practiced consistently, this simply method will show you within a fairly short period of time, maybe two or three years, where your strengths lie–and this is the most important thing to know. The method will show you:
- What you are doing or failing to do that deprives you of the full benefits of your strengths.
- Where you are not particularly competent.
- Where you have no strengths and cannot perform.
Several implications for action follow from feedback analysis
First and foremost, concentrate on your strengths. Put yourself where your strengths can produce results.
Second, work on improving your strengths. Analysis will rapidly show where you need to improve your skills or acquire new ones. It will also show the gaps in your knowledge–and those can usually be filled.
Third, discover where your intellectual arrogance is causing disabling ignorance and overcome it.