5 Questions to Ask Yourself Today

When you think of highly successful people, only a small handful were born with extreme talent or opportunity.  In fact, according to Peter Drucker in his essay Managing Oneself in the Harvard Business Review, everyone has the potential for success, and the secret is right at your fingertips – all it takes is a cultivation of the personal data you already house internally.

Read on to discover Drucker’s five questions you should be asking yourself today that will unlock the data you need to manage yourself to success:

1. What are my strengths? According to Drucker, one can only perform from strength.  Trying to improve upon ones weaknesses is an almost futile effort when you compare the return on investment from doing so to conversely building upon areas of strength.  Take some time to figure out what results you are most skilled at generating, and waste little time on trying to improve areas of lesser competence.

2. How do I work? Similar to knowing your strengths it is important to ask yourself how you perform best.  Are you better at learning through listening or reading? Do you work better alone or in groups?  The internal data generated from asking yourself these questions will allow you to make more informed decisions about the type of position in which you will succeed.



3. What are my values? As Drucker points out, organizations have a set of values much like people.  Do the values of the organization for which you work mirror your own?   While it is not necessary for these values to be identical, they must be similar enough so as not to cause conflict and frustration within the work environment, thereby limiting your ability to succeed.


4. Where do I belong? Once you have collected internal data about your strengths, preferred work styles and values, the next question you must ask is, “Am I using this data to make informed decisions in my career?”  Many people have taken the time to cultivate this internal data, but stop short of applying these insights when presented with workplace opportunities.  Make sure to consult your internal data when deciding the environment in which you work best.



5. What can I contribute? Lastly, in order to achieve workplace success, use your strengths work style and values to inform how best you can contribute to your team or organization.  By placing yourself in a position in which you can contribute the most, you also stand to be the most successful.

Like any important business decision, let data be your guide.  Use the internal data of which you already have access and manage your way to success today.