In effect, managing one's self demands that each knowledge worker think and behave like a chief executive officer. Furthermore, the shift from manual workers who do as they are told to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves profoundly challenges the social structure. Every existing society, even the most individualistic one, takes two things for granted, if only subconsciously; that organizations outlive workers and most people stay put. But today, the opposite is true. Knowledge workers outlive organizations and they are mobile. The need to manage oneself is therefore creating a revolution in human affairs.1
Excelling at leading a business is an amazing gift. We have lost sight of the enormous contribution made by the vast majority of people who lead organizations that produce goods or services. I have always been amazed by the extraordinary talents of my clients. Laughingly, I call them all action addicts. Truly authentic leaders are people who know how to make sure the stuff that really matters gets done and raise the performance of thousands of people (including themselves) to a higher standard through their presence, impact, and well-chosen actions.
I've learned from some of the best. What have I learned? Finding the balance between being yourself and relating effectively within a demanding context is not easy. ...