Byron's Babbles

Creating A Vision of Our Greatest Desires

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Inspirational, Leadership, Strategic Planning by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on October 11, 2015

“Take a little control over your career…I am talking about career planning in the sense of: What do I have to learn, what are my strengths, how can I build on them, where do I belong, do I really belong in this company? One must take responsibility of asking oneself these questions from time to time, and acting on the answers…You build on your strengths so they stand you in good stead when you need them.” ~ Peter Drucker

visionIn this week’s entry in A Year With Peter Drucker (Maciariello, 2014) continues with the theme of going from success to significance. Drucker posited that the knowledge society we now live in creates such an opportunity (Maciariello, 2014). We need to remember, however, that sometime we are not able to fulfill our greatest desires for significance even if we are successful in our present position, job, or career. Remember, success does not necessarily equal significance. In fact, most times it does not. Many times we are so busy working on success, as measured by salary, title, employer, and awards, that we lose the vision of what would make us truly happy.

The question then becomes: “Where do I belong?” We all have cultural interests, but we are reminded that as we enter the second half of our life those interests are driven more by a sense of doing and contributing. This is a great thing, but we need to make sure we plan for this and prepare ourselves (Maciariello, 2014). That may mean studying, taking part in professional development, volunteering in a position to gain experience, or a host of other ways of learning. Drucker broke these new ways of finding significance into to categories (Maciariello, 2014):

  1. Parallel Career: Taking a position in a church or some other social sector organization using your top skills and talents for the betterment of others.
  2. Social Entrepreneurs: Using significant financial resources or contacts to make a difference by solving social issues.

Ayn_Rand_quote,_American_Adventure,_Epcot_Center,_Walt_Disney_WorldOften it is our duty to do what we are good at even though we would rather do something else. There may come a time when we are mostly free of our obligations and can do what we truly love. I would have to point to my father in-law, Fritz Behrens, as an example of someone who has found significance. In fact we just had a conversation last night about his next steps – I must point out he is in his mid-eighties! He has been on boards that have done significant great things in Anderson, Indiana. He also served the City of Anderson after selling his successful family business. Additionally, he has been of tremendous service to his church. He led the building of a new church, and in my opinion a great church business model would be for him to serve as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the church. With his great business sense, unwavering faith, and ability to build relationships he could run (financial and operations) a church of considerable size on a couple of days a week. Plus, he is a a point where he could do it for nothing in terms of salary. Think about that – that’s significance. It is really hard to find a senior minister who is good in all the areas of pastoring a church: oratory skills, outreach, ministering to youth, financial management, and operations management. So, why not go find the greatest pastor with the skills, that in my opinion, matter most: oratory skills and ministering. Then, let a second halfer like my father in-law manage the church with his tremendous skills. I am still amazed that more churches don’t do this.

“Develop a genuine, true, major outside interest. Not a hobby, a genuine interest, which permits you to live in a different world, with different peers whose opinions are meaningful to you.”…”{O}ne needs a true outside interest, not just water-skiing. It not only develops your strengths, it helps to protect you against the inevitable shocks.” ~ Peter Drucker

Heath's Newest Addition To The Herd Purchases At The 2015 World Dairy Expo

Heath’s Newest Addition To The Herd Purchased At The 2015 World Dairy Expo

I am such a believer in what Drucker says here. Those that know me well know I have many such outside interests. One of the most important to me is the operation of our farm. In the last several years we have added a dairy operation because of my son’s 4H dairy project. I love it because it has enabled me to teach my son, Heath, many animal science skills I have learned over the years and as a part of my Animal Science degree from Purdue University. An example of this learning would be studying the genetics to make breeding decisions for his cows. Also, most recently the studying of available females to move his herd to a higher level. Through our diligent studying we were able to purchase a champion female bred to have a calf next spring at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin two weeks ago. Through this outside interest and teaching my son, I am able to develop my strategic planning skills that ultimately has an effect on my leadership roles in education. Not to mention some high quality “dad and lad” time with my son!IMG_0640

Engage in career planning by clearly identifying your strengths and values. Continue to develop your strengths. Early in life, plan for a second career. Consider volunteer work that may itself provide the transition to a second career or provide enough fulfillment to achieve significance. What will it take in your career to allow you to seriously explore opportunities to move from success to significance, assuming you cannot do so from where you are right now?


Maciariello, J. A. (2014). A year with Peter Drucker: 52 weeks of coaching for leadership effectiveness. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.


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