Book Reviews Reading

Book Review: Managing Oneself

By on January 7, 2016

Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker

Managing Oneself is a short 72 page business and finance management book published by Harvard Business Press on January 7th, 2008.

To start this book off Peter Drucker states that histories greatest achievers — Napoléon, da Vinci, and Mozart have always managed themselves, and that, in large is what made them such great achievers.

In order to more effectively handle life situations such as business, finance, career, relationships, time, etc… You first need to get better at managing yourself, and the most effective way to do that Peter argues is by discovering what your strengths, performance, and values are. You can start to figure these out by asking the right questions and using feedback analysis. Digging in…


What are my strengths?

You need to know your strengths in order to know where you belong. One of the best ways to discover your strengths is through feedback analysis which works as follows: Whenever you make a key decision or action, write down what you expect to happen nine to twelve months later. After the time passes, compare the actual results with your expectations. Peter recommends that you practice this method consistently for two to three years, and by doing so you will discover where your strengths lie. Once you know your strengths — you can put yourself in situations that will allow your strengths to foster.

It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.  And yet most people–especially most teachers and most organizations–concentrate on making incompetent performers into mediocre ones.  Energy, resources, and time should go instead into making a competent person into a star performer. ~ Peter Drucker


How do I perform?

How you perform is unique to you. It’s a matter of beliefs, ethics, and so forth. What’s most important to you? Peter states that performance is a matter of personality. Whether personality be a matter of nature or nurture. It surely is formed long before your working life. As an individual, It’s very important to know if you are a reader or a listener, and it’s as equally important to know how you learn.  By knowing these things you’ll know how you perform, and how you can improve your overall performance.


What are my values?

Values determine what is most important to you in life. You need to understand very clearly what your actual values are. A lot of people tend to say they have certain values, but on the flip side never truly abide by them. There is a value and ethics technique mentioned in this book coined the “mirror test”. You simply ask yourself: “What type of person do I want to see in the mirror each morning?”. By asking and answering this question consistently it should begin to give you a clear understanding of where your values and ethics lie. Organizations, cultures, and businesses all have their own set of values. If you are not compatible with their values you will normally not fit in.


Where do I belong?

In order to know where you belong you should confidently know what your strengths and values are, and how you perform as an individual. By knowing these things you’ll be able to effectively say yes or no to any opportunities, offers, or assignments that arise depending on how well they match with you and your strengths.

Successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values. ~ Peter Drucker


What should I contribute?

Through out history the majority of people never had to ask what they should contribute. They were told what to contribute and the tasks were dictated by the work itself. It’s different now. Everyone is connected by technology, and technology is progressing very fast. The ability to work for yourself and remotely is becoming more commonplace, and with it, an abundance of new opportunities are arising. Knowing what you should contribute should be based on your strengths, passions, values, and way of work.


In closing

Learn how to manage yourself more effectively by using feedback analysis to find your strengths. Figure out if you are a reader or a listener, and how you learn in order to improve your individual performance. Find out what your values are by using the “mirror test” daily and consistently. By figuring out what your strengths, values, and way of work are you start to understand where you belong, and you enable yourself to more effectively say yes or no to upcoming opportunities or offers. Your contribution should be based on your strengths and passions primarily, and then values and way of work secondary.

My take

Managing Oneself is a good book that covers one of the most overlooked and important tools for personal growth & progress: management. Every page is engaging and full of great advice and techniques. I didn’t cover everything in the book with this review. I recommend that you add it to your collection and read it often.


Did you like this review? Let me know in the comments section below. I would love to hear your feedback. It will help me improve.

  1. Reply


    January 8, 2016

    Truly another great read curt! All of this inspiration is a lot to take in but I look forward to reading at least most of the books you recommend. Already starting to look at my life in a new way! XD

    • Reply


      January 8, 2016

      Thanks Tim!
      I appreciate it. This review felt a bit off to me, but I suppose that’s part of the learning process. I’m glad you like it. I’ll have plenty more coming your way. 😉

  2. Reply


    January 8, 2016

    This is great! Definitely buying this book soon:) can’t wait to see more of your reviews and articles!

    • Reply


      January 8, 2016

      Glad you like it!
      I’ll write at least one book review per week for quite some time, Karen.

  3. Reply

    Dawn Cooke

    January 10, 2016

    I will definitely be reading this one. Can you give a heads up on your next read?

    • Reply


      January 10, 2016

      Hey Dawn,
      It’s a good choice — short, simple, and concise book. I’m practically done with Worldly Wisdom. I have a list of three marketing books that I’m going to choose from for my next read. I’ll let you know which one I read tomorrow morning.

      I usually post it on my Snapchat story if you want to add me: cbthug

  4. Reply


    January 17, 2016

    Awesome read, Curtis! This sounds like a book that would be good for me.


Curtis Blackmore

Hi my name is Curtis, and I'll be blogging about reading, traveling, and entrepreneurship. My core reason behind LibMode is to help liberate you in your journey to discover your passions, find balance, and improve your lifestyle through these three modes.

Subscribe To LibMode's Newsletter
Get my upcoming blog posts, book reviews, and tips delivered right to your inbox.
Popular Posts