Byron's Babbles

Understanding Oneself to Manage Oneself

Posted in Coaching, Educational Leadership, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on October 25, 2015

8763a1284900cff969045fb94238efa0“Truly knowing yourself is a powerful lever for initiating personal growth and development.” “When you know yourself well, you are better able to maximize your leadership potential. You will realize what’s been working for you and what’s not. You will gain clarity on how to leverage your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.” ~ John M. Manning

It is amazing to me how two entries in two entirely different books could be so alike in the entries today. In A Year With Peter Drucker (Maciariell, 2014) discussed “A Catalyst to Help People Manage Themselves and Move to the Second Half of Their Lives.” I titled my blog post about that entry “Managing Oneself.” Click here to read that post. In that study I learned that once we understand our strengths, our values, how we work, and areas in which we are likely to make a contribution, we are ready to manage ourselves in the second half of our lives. In today’s entry in The Disciplined Leader: Keeping Focus on What Really Matters (Manning, 2015), John Manning taught us that part of initiating a change or developing professionally begins with an analysis of ourselves. This analysis can then provide the necessary building blocks for continued improvement.

disciplined-leaderI have learned that in order to understand ourselves and our willingness to lead others we should also take a detailed look at what really drives us.  What drives us will influence what we value and enjoy, our attitudes and behaviors in the workplace and is likely to provide insight into our strengths and talents. In order to lead others, we need to be able to relate to and connect with other people, their motivations, needs and aspirations and their deepest values and core beliefs. Before others are willing to be lead by us, they will want to connect to something within us – something that is authentic, real and true. This is why when we talk about leadership, we often focus on ‘authentic leadership’ or being an ‘authentic leader’. In order to be an authentic leader, we need to be a person that others can relate to.  We need to know ourselves, our beliefs and core values and how they manifest in our attitudes, behaviours and actions and in the impact that we have on others. For this I would go back to what Drucker (Maciariello, 2014) argued were the four things we needed to understand for managing oneself:

  1. What are we good at – that is, our strengths.
  2. Managing oneself requires that we understand our values.
  3. We should understand how we work best – alone or with others as a team.
  4. Are we good at taking on unstructured tasks, or do we do better when we understand the structure at the outset?

KnowYourselfI am going to try one of Manning’s (2015) Take Action! Tips and would encourage you to as well. Identify five changes in routines you could do tomorrow that are easy. I can think of five right of the bat that would make me a better leader. I’ll bet you can to!


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

Manning, J. (2015). The disciplined leader: 52 concise, powerful lessons. Oakland, CA: Barrett – Koehler Publishers, Inc.


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