You can't manage others until you learn to manage yourself. This is one of my favorite ideas from the renowned management consultant and author, Peter Drucker, and failing to understand that concept has sabotaged many careers.1 Managing yourself consists of the following critical skills:
- Managing your life in a way that affords you the time and energy you need for your career
- Managing your personality, emotions, moods, and weaknesses to prevent them from becoming landmines that damage relationships or your reputation
- Communicating in the right way in all situations to enhance your ability to be a leader and help you maintain excellent relationships with your team
In the tenth year of my career, I came to the realization that my future career beyond that point would not be driven by my ability to be an expert, but rather by my ability to be a teammate, coach, and leader. To accomplish that feat, I needed to manage myself very differently than I had before.
Defining Balance of Life
Most professional service organizations today claim that they want their professionals to have balanced lives, but very few define what that means. Often, when firms profess their commitment to “balance of life,” they really mean, “We want you to work a lot, and we can't really tell you to ignore your family, so we hope you figure it out somehow. Good luck.”
The expectations are growing on both the professional and the personal side. A professional career is very demanding. ...