(This is based on chapter “Managing Oneself” of the book “On Managing Yourself”, Harvard Business Review. The book focuses on professional career. I have extended it to include personal life and added my own perspective (2 cents!), here and there.)
We are living in an age of unprecedented opportunity and options. So if one has the drive, ambition and willingness to develop required skills, one can rise in the chosen profession or in personal life, irrespective of where one started out.
With opportunity comes responsibility. The organizations today are no longer managing their employees’ careers.
On personal front, not only do we have choices but we have host of people (our loved ones!) demanding a slice of our time.
So each of us need to become our own CEO. This is true for both success in professional as well as in personal life and relevant for people of all ages.
Some of the questions to ask and address in this journey are –
- What are my passions. What drives me most.
- What are my ethics and values. What do I want to see in a person in the mirror.
- What do I want to contribute to my family, the organization I work for, the society and the world I live in.
- What are my strengths. What strengths and skills do I need to develop.
- How do I work best. Do I need to be interacting with people or work best when on my own. Do I learn by reading or hearing. There are many other such questions to be addressed.
- Do I have good understanding of people I work with. How can I understand them better.
This is not a complete list and none of this is easy. It involves constant effort, challenges and struggles. The trick is to learn to enjoy the process itself (the journey), rather than waiting to reach some destination.
Irrespective of the challenge, the implication is clear –
It is only when we work from the combination of our passions, strengths, knowledge about self, people surrounding us and the environment, have drive to develop the skills we need, that we can achieve true excellence, leading to lasting happiness and contentment.