Are you making the kind of difference you could be?  Or do you get to the end of a day and realize that you’re only firing on some of your cylinders?  A couple years ago I came across a great HBR collection called Managing Yourself.  Fantastic.  Two of the three articles really turned out to be very important reads.  The article by Peter Drucker called Managing Oneself turned out to be instrumental in rethinking the basis for what I ought to be doing.

Have you read Managing Oneself?  Very helpful.  It is classic Drucker.  Based on a simple 5 step premise, it is a very workable strategy for identifying how to make your greatest contribution.  The idea is wrapped up in 5 questions:

  • First, what are your strengths?  Lots of people have talked about this lately and there are lots of helpful books on the subject.  Drucker’s take is to begin the practice of writing down your key decisions and your expected outcome.  You will be able to tell based on where you’re succeeding what your strengths are.  I’m thinking this would work very well within the context of a group.
  • Second, how do you work?  In other words, think about the personal style you bring to the work you’re doing.  Are you best with a team or by yourself?  Do you like structure or are you better at playing it by ear?  Do you work well with the predictable or the chaotic?
  • Third, what are your values?  If you’re in an organization where you’re not comfortable with the values you’re in the wrong place.  But the first step is to recognize your own values.
  • Fourth, where do you belong?  Based on your answers to the first three questions what kind of work environment suits you best?  If you can determine the environment that suits you best, you have a chance to move from merely an adequate employee to one that really is effective.
  • Fifth, what can I contribute?  I realize more and more that I am wired to do certain things in a very particular kind of environment with an organization that I truly believe in.  When I am operating in that sweet spot I can be very effective.  If I am off by a degree on any of those elements it will show.  It won’t necessarily be a deal breaker.  But it will show.

So the question is, are you making the level of contribution you could be?  Or is what you’re doing a notch off?  My suggestion?  Download a copy of Managing Oneself and get started!  And do it today!

The 5 Keys to Making Your Unique Contribution