manage oneself


  • what are my strengths
  • how do I perform
  • what are my values
  • where do I belong
  • what should I contribute
  • responsibility of relationships

What are my strengths

  • Feedback Analysis is the only way to identify your strengths.
  • Write down expected outcomes for your key decisions and actions. 9 to twelve months later, compare them with the results.
  • Action plan:
    • Put yourself where your strengths can produce results
    • Work to improve your strengths
    • Avoid intellectual arrogance – acquire skills as required
    • Remedy bad habits; have no lack of manners
    • Know what not to do – identify incompetence areas and avoid them

Know what you are good at - A person can perform only from strengths. One cannot build
performance on weaknesses, let alone something one cannot do at all.

How do I perform

As any personality trait – How a person performs is a given, just as what
a person is good at or not good at

Am I a “reader” or a “listener”?

  • A reader, such as the US President Kennedy or Secretory McNamara, prefers
    educating oneself by reading reports before press meetings and discussions
  • A listener, such as the US President Roosevelt, likes to face it and talking the
    matter out aloud instead of preparatory reading or writing
  • A reader can not fully become a listener–and vice versa

    How do I learn?

  • A person may learn by reading, writing, doing, talking, listening to, or a
    combination thereof
  • One must always employ the methods that work

Do not try to change yourself too much –
instead, work harder to improve the way you perform

What are my values

The mirror test: Ethics require that you ask yourself, “What kind of person
do I want to see in the mirror in the morning?”

Personal value system should be compatible with that of the
organization’s. The typical conflicts to avoid are:

  • Organization’s commitment to new vs. old employees
  • Incremental improvements or risky breakthroughs
  • Emphasis on short-term results vs. long-term goals
  • Quality vs. Quantity, and Growth vs. Sustenance

In other words, values are, and should be, the ultimate test for your
compatibility with an organization

Where do I belong

Highly gifted people must realize early where do they belong, or rather
where do they not belong

Successful careers are not planned:

  • Successful careers develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values
  • Knowing where one belongs can transform an ordinary person – hardworking and competent but otherwise mediocre – into an outstanding performer

Mathematicians, Musicians and Cooks are usually –
mathematicians, musicians and cooks by the time they are four or five years old…

What should I contribute

A knowledge worker’s quest on contribution involves:

  • What does the situation require?
  • Given my strengths, methods, and values, what is the great contribution that I can make to what needs to be done?
  • What results have to be achieved to make a real difference?

It’s rarely possible to look too far ahead – 18 months should be planned to

  • Achieve meaningful results and make a difference
  • Set stretched and difficult goals that are reachable
  • Gain visible and measurable outcome

Define the course of action – What to do;where and how to start; and what goals, objectives,
deadlines to set

Responsibility of relationships

Bosses are neither the ‘title’ on the Org chart nor the ‘function’ – to adapt to what makes the boss more effective is the secret of
“managing the boss”

Working relationships are as much based on people as on work – co-workers are as much human and individuals as you are

Taking the responsibility of communicating how you perform
reduces personality conflicts

Organizations are built on trust between people – not necessarily meaning that they like each other – but that they understand one another


In the knowledge industry,

  • Mostly, success is at best an absence of failure
  • Knowledge workers outlive the organizations
  • Knowledge workers are mobile, and may not stay put
  • The need to manage oneself is therefore creating a revolution in human affairs

Managing oneself requires new and unprecedented things from the individual – to the point where each knowledge worker thinks and behaves like a CEO


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