From HBR Essentials - Idea in Practice for Drucker's "Managing Oneself"
To build a life of excellence, begin by asking yourself these questions: “What are my strengths?” To accurately identify your strengths, use feedback analysis.
Every time you make a key decision, write down the outcome you expect. Several months later, compare the actual results with your expected results. Look for patterns in what you’re seeing: What results are you skilled at generating? What abilities do you need to enhance in order to get the results you want? What unproductive habits are preventing you from creating the outcomes you desire?
In identifying opportunities for improvement, don’t waste timecultivating skill areas where you have little competence. Instead, concentrate on—and build on—your strengths.
“How do I work?”
In what ways do you work best? Do you process information most effectively by reading it, or by hearing others discuss it? Do you accomplish the most by working with other people, or by working alone? Do you perform best while making decisions, or while advising others on key matters? Are you in top form when things get stressful, or do you function optimally in a highly predictable environment?
“What are my values?”
What are your ethics? What do you see as your most important responsibilities for living a worthy, ethical life? Do your organization’s ethics resonate with your own values? If not, your career will likely be marked by frustration and poor performance.
“Where do I belong?”
Consider your strengths, preferred work style, and values. Based on these qualities, in what kind of
work environment would you fit in best? Find the perfect fit, and you’ll transform yourself from a merely acceptable employee into a star performer.
“What can I contribute?”
In earlier eras, companies told businesspeople what their contribution should be. Today, you have choices. To decide how you can best enhance your organization’s performance, first ask what the situation requires. Based on your strengths, work style, and values, how might you make the greatest contribution to your organization’s efforts?