3Self-Management in the Pursuit of Purpose

This chapter will give you a detailed understanding of the essence of today’s work—self-management. As we’ll see, it is the defining characteristic of employee engagement as well as the source of the intrinsic rewards that drive employee engagement.

You’ll probably miss the core of today’s more purposeful work if you only look at the visible activities or behaviors of this work. You will see only tremendous variety—bookkeeping, counseling, sales, and so on. The common core requirements of the new work aren’t behavioral at all—at least not in the traditional way we think of overt, behavioral actions. They involve the mental events that direct those actions toward a purpose.

Consider the way managers ...

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