Things to Think About

How do you work well?

  • Do I perform well under stress?
  • Do I work best in a big organization or in a small one?

I don’t like stress, but I do work well with deadlines.  I would prefer to work in a medium sized organization or a small organization within a big one.

Do not try to change yourself.  Work hard to take on work you can do well and avoid that which you cannot perform or will only perform poorly.

What are your values?

This does not mean ethics.  Ethics are the same for all of us.  Ethics require that you ask yourself, “What kind of person do I want to see in the mirror?”  Ethics is only part of a value system.

Work in companies which match your values.

A person’s strengths and the way they perform is the same.  But what you are good at may not match your value system.

Your value should be the ultimate test.

Where do you belong?

Mathematicians, musicians, and cooks usually know pretty early on where they belong.  Physicians usually decide in their teens.  But most people don’t.

The rest of the people have to be able to decide where they do not belong as they go along.

Knowing what your strengths are, knowing how you work, and knowing your values helps you 

  • decide what you should do
  • decide how you should do it

What do you want to contribute?

Knowledge workers have to ask, “What should my contribution be?”

What does sit require?

Given my strengths, what can I do?

What will I do?  Where and how can I achieve results within the next 18 mths?

A plan can usually cover no more than 18 months because otherwise it breaks down.

Choose a plan that stretches you, but isn’t impossible.

Results should be meaningful.

Results should be measurable.

Analyze how your relationships work.

If your boss is a reader, write.

If your boss is a listener, talk to them.

The same holds true for all your coworkers.  

The first secret of effectiveness is to understand the people you work with.

Take responsibility for communication.

People don’t know what different people are doing because they haven’t asked and therefore have not been told.  Failure to ask.  Historically there was no need to ask, because people all did the same things.  Today the great majority of people work with people who are different doing things.

Make sure your boss knows what you are doing.  Educate her.  (My bosses are both listeners.)

Knowledge workers should ask

  • how do you work?
  • what are you going to do?

Second Life

Knowledge workers are often bored.  They know all they know and need to know… That is why knowing yourself often moves you to a second career.

More people will move to second careers because they need challenge.

Many people who are successful in their first careers, they stay in that, but add a second career/job/work that they add for ten hours a week.

Social entrepeneurs continue doing what they have done, but they do less of it.  Then they build second non-profit businesses.

But if you look at a long life, you need to work on the second thing or else you will retire on the job.

If you don’t do volunteer work before 40, you won’t volunteer after 60.

At times of crisis, a second thing to do will allow you to be a success.  In a society in which success has become important, having options will be helpful.  In a knowledge society we expect everyone to be a success.

Wherever there is a success, there has to be a failure.  (Really?)

Second career, parallel career, social opportunity offer different places to be successful when the first job doesn’t work out at the pinnacle.

Knowledge workers outlive corporations.

Knowledge workers keep moving along.

from Peter Drucker’s Managing Yourself 

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