# Identify strengths
  • Use "feedback analysis" to identify strengths and weaknesses.
    Feedback analysis
    Write down your predicted outcome when you make an important decision and compare it with the actual outcome after some time passes (i.e. 6 months).
  • Focus on improving strenghts rather than improving weaknesses.
  • Identify bad habits that slow down progress. [Brilliant thinkers believe "ideas move mountains" but buldozers move mountains; ideas tell where the buldozers should go to make this work].

# How do I need to structure my environment to perform well?
  • Can I better integrate information when I read or listen?
  • How do I learn? Do I need to write things down? Do I need to talk it out loud?
  • Am I a loner or a team member?
  • Am I a:
    decision maker [act with speed, self-confidence, courage once a decision is made] or
    an advisor [know what the right decision is but can't accept the responsibility to act it out]?
  • Am I a mentor?
  • Do I perform well in a stressful environment or do I need a highly structured, predictable environment to perform well?
  • Do I work well in a big or small organization?
  • Use the ways which make me perform best. DO NOT TRY TO CHANGE MYSELF.

# What are my values?

NOTE: Ethics are determined by the "mirror test" - what kind of person do I want to see in the mirror in the morning?
  • Can I coexist with the organization's values?
    - hire people from inside the organization or from outside organization for important positions? (i.e. what are the responsibilities of an organization to its people?)
    - obtain results by small incremental improvements or by risky "breakthroughs"?
    - run a business for short-term or long-term results?
  • Are my strengths aligned with my values? [what I do well sometimes is not aligned with what I value]. To minimize regret most often values prevail.

# Where do I belong?
  • By mid-twenties I don't need to know where I am heading but I should know what my specifications are:
    - What my strengths are
    - How I need to structure my environment to perform well
    - What my values are
  • Stay away from places that are not compatible with my specifications.
  • When an opportunity arises set the expectations of my performance based on my performance specifications.

# What should I contribute?
  • I most often work as part of a team.
  • Others have performance specifications just like me - I need to ensure we optimize our interactions to satisfy both my and theirs performance specifications.
  • Communicate how I work and what I am good at.
    "This is what I am good at. This is how I work. These are my values. This is the contribution I plan to concentrate on and the result I should expect to deliver."
  • Understand how others work and what their strengths are.
    "What do I need to know about your strengths, how you perform, your values and your proposed contribution?"
  • Take responsibility for establishing working relationships.
  • Organizations are increasingly composed of knowledge workers. Communication and trust are the oil lubricating the knowledge enterprise.
  • Trusting someone doesn't mean to like someone. It means to understand them.

# The second half of your life
  • Mid life crisis - plateau in development curve induces boredom.
  • Three ways to develop a 2nd career:
    - Switch to another business - in a similar role (CEO from large company switches to managing a large hospital). - Develop a parallel career (most often start by volunteering my skills for another organization). - Start another business.
  • Start a 2nd career early (mid 30s)
  • Having a 2nd career can shelter me from set-backs in my 1st career (being laid-off, the loss of a child, divorce).
  • 2nd career offers a back-up community to recover my energy in.
  • The expectation of success implies failure. The 2nd career allows for maintaining meaning in my life (being a leader, being respected, making a contribution) in case the 1st career stalls.
  • Managing oneself means I have to act as a CEO when planning my life.

  • Side Note:
    Eugene Mayer's (Kathrine Graham's father) philosophy - originally from W. E. H. Lecky "The Map of Life":

    "A man's life should be planned as a single whole, in which each stage would be prologue to the stage that followed. The first twenty years were generally called 'school'. Twenty to forty would be given to growth and experimentation, during which one would earn a 'competence', marry and start a family. Forty to sixty would be a time for implementing all that one has learned and done prior to this, which, 'if feasible should be devoted to public service.' One would retire at sixty to grow old gracefully and help young people"

    - from "Personal History" by Kathrine Graham