Startup Best Practices 20 - Managing Oneself

It’s the end of the year, time for performance reviews, self-reflection, and planning for next year. In addition to preparing our goals for our teams and our businesses, we should prepare goals for ourselves. Oftentimes, it’s easy to let the company’s ambitions drive our OKRs. But there’s something more to consider.

In 1999, Peter Drucker, the greatest management thinker of the twentieth century, wrote short book called Managing Oneself. In it, he stresses a critical idea:

There is no return to the old answer of doing what you are told or assigned to do. Knowledge workers in particular have to learn to ask a question that has not been asked before: What should my contribution be? To answer it, they must address three distinct elements: 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?

The last two questions are the most important: how can I make the greatest contribution to what needs to be done? And what results have to be achieved to make a difference? At the intersection of those two concepts lies a plan for an exceptional year.

Before leaping into 2016, take some time to reflect on how to make the greatest contribution by aligning your strengths, your values and the needs of your team. And use those insights to craft goals for next year.

Published 2015-11-24 in best-practices 


I am partner at Redpoint. I write daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups. I co-authored the book, Winning with Data. Join more than 20,000 others receiving these blog posts by email.

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