A Drucker-Inspired Approach for Improving Knowledge Worker Productivity Through the Practice of Self-Management

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A Drucker-Inspired Approach for improving Knowledge Worker Productivity through the Practice of Self-Management

Editor's Note:

This article is based, in large part, on the work of Jeremy Hunter, Ph.D., Mind Leadership guru, Drucker School of Management.

Jeremy will be conducting a two hour "free" highly interactive workshop entitled Transforming Adversity Into Opportunity at our upcoming virtual conference held March 9, 16, 23 and 30.

Jeremy's presentation will take place on March 9, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM EST.

A Tested Methodology To Help People Manage Themselves

Development is always self-development. "The responsibility for the development of employees of all kinds rests with the individual, her abilities, her efforts…"

But – and this is a big "but" – employees must be equipped with the appropriate self-management guidelines or methodologies to maximize their performance, productivity, and ability to "switch tracks" from the rigid world of the fixed mindset to the open and receptive way of the growth mindset.

Spend two hours with Jeremy, and gain a wealth of easy-to-learn, easy-to-use practices that are virtually guaranteed to help attendees manage themselves… and achieve quantum leaps in knowledge worker productivity.

Crucial: Manage Yourself and Then Your Organization

Said Peter F. Drucker:

"All management books, including those I have written, focus on managing other people… But you cannot manage other people unless you manage yourself first…

Talent development is, foremost, dependent and how much you get out of the one resource that is truly under your own command and control – namely, yourself…"

Managing Oneself, observed Drucker, “is a revolution in human affairs. It requires new and unprecedented things from the individual – especially, the knowledge worker."

Indeed, it demands every knowledge worker think and behave as a manager/executive who must plan, do, and control their own work.

Knowledge workers of all kinds are now held responsible for specific outcomes. And when they are held responsible, they act responsibly.

But to act responsibly requires self-management of the highest order.

More On Managing Oneself…

From Drucker's perspective, boredom, burnout and the tendency to become "an on-the-job-retiree" is a major problem with many knowledge workers.

Once they learn the best-kept secrets of how to continuously up-skill themselves through the practice of self-management, their productivity increases dramatically.

Self-management is an acquired management skill. Said Edward Russo and Paul J. H. Schoemaker in their marvelous book Decision Traps:

“Good coaches help people realize their full potential… Sports coaches know the natural mistakes of untrained athletes and smart strategies for playing the game…

…They focus on a few key points – often simple points… Once you master these points your play improves immensely…"

Yet relatively few people have ever had systematic coaching in how to self-manage.

The Enormous Contribution of Jeremy Hunter to Self-Management

Jeremy Hunter has converted many of Drucker's precepts about managing oneself into a systematic, well-organized discipline that is, into a step-by step methodology that can be taught, learned and practiced.

The purpose of learning the practice of self-management is to enhance self-awareness, self-regulation and self-transformation – and fundamental to the entire process is to understand why "concentrated attention" is the foundation for self-management.

It must be mentioned – indeed, emphasized –  in addition to building upon Drucker's all-time best-selling Harvard Business Review article entitled Managing Oneself – Jeremy added many new findings from the most recent advances in neuroscience, medicine and psychology to his fully self-contained methodology.

Thinking Smarter: The New Necessity

A college education never hurt anyone who was willing to learn something after he or she graduated.

No one is too young or too old to learn. We can literally force our brains to work in new and marvelous ways by adapting new thought patterns to help us make better decisions… ask the right questions… and continuously improve our individual (and corporate) productivity via the practice of self-management.

There is a built-in treasure chest in our heads. It contains the answers to billions of questions.

We have to learn how to get that treasure out of our heads, that is, how to make it an active part of our daily problem-solving.

We all need a self-management methodology – formal or informal – to make full use of our greatest asset, the ability to think.

Jeremy Hunter has spent more than a decade creating what we believe the best self-management methodology to help knowledge workers of all kinds to develop themselves – while retaining humanity in the face of monumental change and challenge.

Perseverance Is Overrated

Perseverance, the act of beating your head against the stone wall, is more likely to give you a headache than help you succeed in business.

Practice does not make perfect; practice creates permanence. So, be sure you are practicing the right things because as Peter Drucker once said: ‘Effectiveness is a habit, that is, a complex set of practices that must be practiced, practiced and practiced.’

If you practice the wrong things, unlearning is much more difficult than learning how to do the right things and do them right.

Unrestrained hard work will do little or no good unless that work energy is expended in the right direction.

The key to effectiveness is practicing the right things.

Ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they are taught the right self-management habits/practices rather than depend on trial-and-error learning and self-discovery.

Jeremy Hunter's Self-Management Methodology Is About Restructuring Your Thinking – Liberate Yourself!

At our virtual conference, Jeremy presents a methodology for letting go of old attitudes that keep many people stuck in traditional mind-sets and unable (or unwilling) to radically liberate themselves from self-imposed boundaries/self-restraints.

If you learn to liberate yourself (and you most definitely can), you’ll see things previously unseen and open yourself up to a new world full of possibilities.

Mindsets for the Status-Quo and Mindsets for Growth

Knowledge and our experiences among other things form a mindset.

People perceive things differently depending on their knowledge (s) and experiences. Mindsets serve as an unconscious filter that predetermines what we see and how we see it.

A well-developed perception – observes Jeremy Hunter – allows a person to see hidden assumptions as well as new possibilities.

In Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Drucker reminds us that "when a change in perception takes place, the facts do not change. Their meaning does."

Simply put, how we see things influences how we understand them and how we respond to them.

Are You Problem-Focused or Opportunity Focused?

Many people are by now familiar with the statement: "A pessimist sees problems in every opportunity… An optimist sees opportunities in every problem…"

Similarly, we are all familiar with the analogy of the glass seen as half-empty or as half-full.

The former view reflects a mood of pessimism; whereas the latter view mirrors optimism, enabling opportunity-focused people to look for and capitalize on possible opportunities.

An Example of Viewing the Glass as Half-Empty or Half-Full

This basic truism is made crystal clear in the story of the two shoe salesmen who visited an underdeveloped country to determine if a market for their shoes existed.

One reported back there was no demand there because the people did not wear shoes.

The other salesperson reported back a major market existed because people did not wear shoes – and with proper advertising and communication, campaigns stressing the benefit of shoes, the company would have a first-mover advantage and create a profitable new revenue stream.

Take-home message: Attempt to rewire your brain. Become opportunity-focused. Fight against the natural inclination to be problem-focused.

That's, in large part, what Jeremy Hunter's Self-Management methodology will help you do.

In time, you'll develop your perception to see the opportunities rather than just the problems.

An organization will have a high spirit of performance and high knowledge worker productivity if it is consistently directed toward opportunity rather than problems.

It's a Tough Time To Be A Manager – And No Time To Be Without Jeremy Hunter's Self-Management Methodology

Jeremy has been working with IQPC since 2014 and his Corporate Learning Week conference presentations – related to the practice of Mindfulness/Self-Mastery/Best-Kept Secrets to Help Knowledge Workers Better Manage Themselves – have mesmerized, energized and totally enthralled jam-packed conference audiences.

The majority of participants claimed "learning Jeremy's structured approach to liberating managers from self-imposed boundaries/limitations was one of the best investments and experiences of their professional career."