Managing Oneself Harvard Business Review Summary

Managing Oneself Harvard Business Review Summary

Managing Oneself Harvard Business Review Summary

If you prefer video reviews – watch here: 

How to manage oneself… What a challenge!

Managing Oneself Harvard Business Review Summary

When I decided to read this, I was surprised that I could not get it on amazon, – well, normally, I guess I could – it’s just that every seller was out of stock. I ordered my copy from Barnes and Noble. I was a little disappointed at the size when I got it –  only 55 pages of content in a 4.5″ by 6.5″ little book.

However, the size is not what matters most. The content is exactly why so many business owners have read it and it has been suggested reading for many years. Managing knowledge means managing oneself in many areas of business – but there is a bit more to it than simply knowledge.

As a review, I will recount some of my favorite quotes from the book. These specific quotes to me explain why this is such a powerful book to read.

  • Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong.

Utilizing input from others and even aptitude tests of some kind can assist in determining what you are really good at. Sometimes the things that appears to come naturally – is not really the natural choice.

  • A planner may find that his beautiful plans fail because he does not follow through on them. Like so many brilliant people, he believes that ideas move mountains. But bulldozers move mountains; ideas show where the bulldozers should go to work.

I really love this thought. Planners plan, do-ers do – you need to have a bit of both in your life to balance it out and bring your ideas to fruition.

  • Far too few people know that there are readers and listeners and that people are rarely both.

Most people know whether they learn by reading or listening – going to the next obvious step and capitalizing on the way you learn is critical to your success,

  • Ethics requires that you ask yourself, What kind of person do I want to see in the mirror in the morning?

Do you have a vision of yourself? Does it match up with how others see you? It’s important to get these two aligned in order to progress…

  • Values are and should be the ultimate test

Not only is this true for you – but it should be true for those you do business with as well. I once hired a business coach, only to find out that our values were in conflict. It took a few months and several thousand dollars before I realized that working together was not a good thing for my business. Sometimes you need to change direction – especially when ethics and values are concerned.

  • Managing yourself requires taking responsibility for relationships. This has two parts. A) accept the fact that other people are as much individuals as you yourself are B) Take responsibility for communication.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the boss as an individual – when you only see the person as a figurehead. In order to have a healthy relationship, you need to grasp the fact that their individuality comes into play as you work together.

Communication is key. And you cannot blame the other person if you are misunderstood. It is your responsibility to make sure that another person hears what you mean for them to hear.

  • The existence of trust between two people does not necessarily mean that they like one another. It means that they understand one another.

This is especially true in the workplace. I have had several bosses that I did not particularly like, but I did understand them. This paved the road for a working relationship that moved the business forward even though we were not best buds, by any means.

  • Knowledge workers outlive organizations, and they are mobile. The need to manage oneself is therefore creating a revolution in human affairs.

This Harvard Business Review paper was originally published in 1999, but this is still applicable today. Workers are even more mobile now as more and more telecommuters do their jobs from their own homes. From large to small companies, there are many people who perform their duties using web and teleconferencing than ever before. Saving a worker the stress of a driving commute and the companies the expense of available office space.


There is a reason this book is a Classic – if you haven’t picked up a copy, can you spare the time to read a small 55-page book to learn a few things that can change the direction of your life?

I do hope this Managing Oneself Summary has been helpful to you.

You can get your paperback copy of Managing Oneself amazon at this link: (assuming they are not out of stock now)

If you prefer the Managing Oneself Audiobook download – you can get that here: 

Or the Managing Oneself ebook here:

It doesn’t matter which format you choose for the Managing Oneself book, as long as you get it.

Managing Oneself download is available from amazon here: 



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