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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Peter Drucker on Self-Management and Coaching (plus a Bonus)

Peter Drucker wrote the business classic "Managing Oneself," dispensing timeless wisdom about becoming your best. Here's a Drucker synopsis. Here's a distillation of Drucker's thoughts. There are others

Consider the acronym VOWS - values, opportunity, work, and strengths. 

Values. Each of us differ in our beliefs, attitudes, and values. We may be patient or short-term focused. We may function best as leader or advisor. Our risk tolerance varies. We may be altruistic or egocentric. To function best, we must be comfortable in our own skin. 

Drucker describes the "mirror test." What is my ethos? What do I want to see in the mirror? Ben and Jerry (the Ice Cream magnates) had a principle that management could only earn a certain multiple of employee wages. They felt compensation above that was obscene. Those values are not widely held. 

Some leaders willingly "sell their souls to the devil." Relationships of college coaches with AAU coaches and shoe companies come to mind. Some coaches skimp on discipline to keep talented players on the court. Many trade educational values for wins. Coach Gary Williams said that he would never win a National Championship because he wouldn't sell out to club coaches for access to the best players.   

As coaches, do we value existing players (e.g. upperclassmen), newcomers, or both equally? 

Drucker asks whether we want to be "the richest man in the cemetery?" He says, "values are, and should be, the ultimate test." 

Opportunity. We might also consider "options". Based on "how I do business" where will I fit? Do I belong in a small college or large, as an independent entrepreneur or a big company? Where do our values, strengths, and work take us. Find the right fit. 

Work. "Nothing will work unless you do." That's obvious. But how do I learn, communicate, and excel? We learn by watching, by listening, by doing, by writing, and more. 

Drucker mentions that FDR ("fireside chats") and Truman functioned best with verbal communication, but Eisenhower was a reader. But after becoming President, he compromised his effectiveness by adopting the style of his predecessors, which was less intuitive for him. 

I'm a reader and a writer. If I watch a lecture or hear a podcast, I retain more by summarizing. My blogs reinforce learning. That doesn't relieve me from oral presentations. But we can leverage our strengths with written (e.g. slides) content. We won't work best unless we manage ourself well. 

Strengths. Tracking identifies our strengths and weaknesses. For a trader, that includes profits and losses, and expectancy (outcomes per trade or dollar invested). Coaches track shot charts, offensive and defensive efficiency, assist-turnover ratios, and myriads of new age statistics. 

This figure from Multunus shows "above the line" strengths and "below the line" weakness such as lack of courtesy and manners, poor communication, and competence. Play to our strengths and hide our weaknesses. 

Translating industry "best practices" to coaching may not seem obvious. Heretics may believe "DATU" (doesn't apply to us). But leaders recognize that success flows from "doing more of what works and less of what doesn't." 

Bonus: beat the fronted post. 

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