Workplace Rights

Weekly (5/17/10)

Topic of the Week  Walking Your Talk - Effectively Managing Yourself

• DO know yourself.
• DO know what you do best.
• DO take control of your career.
• DON'T get stuck in management.

Managing your staff is one of the most important jobs of a leader. But don't overlook your other great management challenge, managing yourself. It sounds simple, but you just may be the only thing holding you back from a big breakthrough. Which reminds me of a Bradenton, FL man who was arrested after reportedly calling 911 18 times in two months. The 55-year-old man was warned about making non-emergency calls to 911, but just kept calling.

Unfortunately there is no emergency line for dealing with yourself, so you'll just have to create your own game plan. That's why I've included three Do's and one Don't for managing yourself more effectively. For more, check out, Robert E Kelley's book, "How To Be a Star At Work (Times, 1999).

DO know yourself. Duh! That's probably what you're thinking. But most leaders spend so much time managing others that they don't take the time to take a hard look at themselves. 360 evaluations can help. But more importantly is just being open to feedback. Remember, just because you have an open door, it doesn't mean that your mind is open to what you're hearing. What do you value? What are your blind spots? What have been your biggest mistakes and what did you learn from them?

DO know what you do best. Most people I've met in management can rattle off a long list of their weaknesses, but they are challenged to come up with a clear list of their strengths. Think I'm exaggerating? Sit down with a few of the people who you trust the most. Ask them to give you honest feedback about what you do best. I guarantee a few of the things that you hear will shock you, in a good way. I've coached a number of people and had them go through this exercise, so this insight is based on real experience.

DO take control of your career. It's fascinating how many of us are passive with the direction of our careers. We react to opportunities that fall in our lap as opposed to creating our own opportunities. I know you're busy, heck, we're all busy today. But each week take a small amount of personal time. Grab a cup of coffee with someone doing a job that has always intrigued you. Take an online assessment survey. You'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in just a half an hour of personal time each week.

DON'T get stuck in management. Stuck? Isn't management the destination for almost everyone at work? No. I've received a lot of emails through the years from recovering managers, people who ended up in management who shouldn't have been there. If you find yourself dreading going to work each day, stressing out over missed assignments and ready to bite off the heads of most of the people that report to you, maybe it's time to move on.

Follow these tips and you won't have to call 911 for help, people will be looking to you for advice on how to stay sane in a mostly insane workplace.

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning You can also hear workplace911 on BlogTalkRadio weekly. If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

Thought of the Week

"Make a careful list of all things done to you that you abhorred. Don't do them to others, ever."

–Dee Hock

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