Book summary: 7 tips from Peter Drucker’s Managing Oneself

I was first introduced to Peter Drucker’s Managing Oneself through the entrepreneur Tai Lopez’s course the 67 steps. In the course Tai talks about his system for reading a book a day, mainly non-fiction books which build your knowledge. This book is top of his 150 recommended non-fiction books.

Drucker argued in an era where you no longer just do what your parents do, to manage your career effectively you first need to know yourself. The top 7 tips below can be used to get to know yourself better to help find work which is right for you.

  1. What are my strengths?

Only take jobs which build on your strengths. Don’t take jobs in which you don’t have natural skills. It takes far more energy to go from being poor to average, than from being average to excellent.

  1. How do I perform?

To perform at your best you need to know the answer to the following questions: how do you learn? Do you learn best through reading or writing?

Do you want to work with people or be a loner? If with people, in what relationship? Some people work best as subordinates others as leaders.

Do you produce results as a decision maker or an advisor? Lots of people are great as subordinates but cannot take the pressure of being a leader.

  1. What are my values?

What kind of person do you want to see in the mirror in the morning?

Don’t work in an organisation where the values are different from your own, it will lead to failure and frustration.

If you have a conflict between an organisation’s values and your strengths, an organisation’s values should be the deciding factor.

  1. Where do I belong?

Once you know the answers to the above, you should be able to have an understanding of where you belong.

If you’re not quite there, you should be able to know where you don’t belong. In addition, you should be able to say yes to opportunities but that you want to perform the role in this particular way.

Managing oneself

  1. What should I 


You should answer 3 key questions: What does the situation require? Given my strengths, my way of performing, and my values, how can I make the greatest contribution to what needs to be done? And finally, what results have to be achieved to make a difference?

  1. Responsibility for relationships

To be effective, you need to understand from your colleagues what are their strengths, how they perform best and their values.

To understand this, you simply need to ask.

  1. The second half of your life

You need to start thinking about the second half of your life before you enter it. If you want to develop a second career, or start a social enterprise, you need to start collecting the necessary skills and contacts sooner rather than later. Even better, start now and work in parallel to your current role.

Drucker recommends planning using an 18 month time frame. Write down your expected results of any key decisions, and in 18 months reflect on what happened. In 2-3 years, this should help you find work which is more aligned to your individual strengths and values.


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