brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns


pyramid to dna

Early career WORK

Think of this page as a career shopping mall. You should be looking for the elements you want in your future life.

So many people waste their time doing trivial things and make no effort to learn anything about "how the world works." There are plenty of clues on this page.

This page is meant to be used to create a career "radar" list with topics, timing, dependencies and importance. More on this below. This is relevant to anyone who wants more than a routine job in a dying organization.

… Real life involves a great deal of 'pro-active' thinking.

This means going out and doing things.

All the information is not given — you have to find it.

Something is not placed before you.

If you just sit in your chair nothing will happen. …

If you have an Internet identity, make sure it paints a positive, constructive picture. Otherwise it will be used against you. Cleaning up your online identity or reputation




Major reality check: There are over seven billion people on the planet and almost none of them care about your career thinking—delusions. They care about themselves. Their question throughout your life will be: "what are you going to do for me tomorrow?" — what you did yesterday carries little weight. They behave just like you do—as a consumer. They move on when it suits their interests—just like you. This is a part of a foundation for career understanding and action. The work on this page will help you get organized for this reality.




This page focuses on careers over a life time—a longer and different view than jobs. It is different from occupation titles. There are people who use their work lives to create a good, meaningful life for themselves — more and different from just a good paying job. This is not something you can do once and then live happily ever after — that only happens in fairy tales.

The society of organizations demands of the individual decisions regarding himself. Read more




It is not possible to work on things or draw on things that aren't on your radar.

This page is meant to be used as a conceptual landscape, systematic brainroad SM and time-investment menu. To perform this brainroad function requires an introduction to a broad range of topics and quite a few sidebars (through indentation) that add breadth or elaboration to a topic.

This page looks down the road ahead of you (2015, 2020, 2030 …), not the road behind us.

The roadS ahead are not linear extensions of the roads behind—an iPhone isn't just a more up-to-date version of the black, rotary-dial, party-line phone of the 1950s and a tweet is not a more up-to-date version of a telegram.

The content of this page will be useful to anyone at any age. It provides a foundation for managing oneself for life. It provides information for working on the question: "Where do I (as a unique individual) belong?"

Those who want to live a fulfilling life—who want to feel as if there is some purpose in their being on this earth—will have to learn to manage themselves.

They will have to accept the fact that it is their own responsibility to find meaningful work that builds on their strengths and values.

"The World Is Full Of Options"
by Peter Drucker




This page is an attention-directing tool — click now.

People sometimes use the words jobs and careers interchangeably, but few say anything like “I’m going to my career today,” rather they would say “I’m going to my job.” A test of whether a job creates a career is what happens when a job comes to an end. There are millions of people who assumed their job was a career only to find out later that their daily work didn’t conveniently translate into a job somewhere else at a different point in time. Defining what precisely constitutes a career is not necessary for the purposes of this page.

Working on this page presents a challenge, but that is the nature of the world you should be preparing yourself to enter or participate in—it is not sanitary like school. It may take months to harvest and organize the ideas you want to pursue.

The page's purpose is to help you create a valuable launching pad for the rest of your life. The term "launching pad" has special significance. It is chosen in preference to the word "foundation." This distinction is explained further down this page—in several places.

This page provides a work-life landscape view, links to conceptual resources, and suggested tools for harvesting and organizing those resources. In other words it performs the function of a menu. This allows you to pick what fits you. These are part of the building blocks of your future life and careerS. This page provides a foundation for future directed decisions. Part of that foundation is the understanding of the launching pad idea above.

The title of this page is early career WORK. This means finding important concepts, harvesting, organizing, acting, reflecting, rethinking, reflecting, more finding, harvesting … etc. This work should never stop—it is a part of navigating your life. If you are not willing to do this work, you will end up a "cog" in somebody else's "scheme" and be manipulated by somebody who doesn't care about you.

The page is a work approach blueprint that will take your brain to places it wouldn't go otherwise. No one—regardless of intelligence—can invest time in opportunities that aren't on their radar. Most people's radar is filled with yesterday—it couldn't be otherwise. The brain is a history library that has to run in the future tense. Getting the right stuff on one's radar is only the first step—and a repeated challenge.

I strongly suggest that you read through this entire page before clicking links except the ones in this paragraph. It would be a good idea to have some kind of structured note-taking system for harvesting and organizing ideas on this and its linked pages. I'm a Mac user. I personally use OmniOutliner Pro, MindNode Pro (there is a free non-pro version), Scrivener, and DEVONthink Pro. Unless you need a heavy article archiving solution, Scrivener should do the job (there's a Windows version). Also see specialized knowledge now.


data fragments Harvesting

Career and Life Guidance from Peter Drucker
is attention-directing work

Thoughts on interesting topics you encounter during a day: As you're going through your day, it is a good idea to make note of any moderately interesting topic and where you discovered it. Later you can review these and archive those that don't seem valuable. The purpose of these notes is to help you look out the window. They are attention-directing tools. So pay attention to what catches your attention—it may mean something later on. Beware of the futility of politics, predictions of the future, and things that look like they are going to be big.

The new always looks so small, so puny, so unpromising next to the size and performance of maturity. Anything truly new that looks big is indeed to be distrusted. The odds are heavily against its succeeding. And yet successful innovators, as was argued earlier, start small and, above all, simple. — Chapter 13, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Identifying the Future (The Daily Drucker)

Futurists always measure their batting average by counting how many things they have predicted that have come true. They never count how many important things come true that they did not predict. Everything a forecaster predicts may come to pass. Yet, he may not have seen the most meaningful of the emergent realities or, worse still, may not have paid attention to them. There is no way to avoid this irrelevancy in forecasting, for the important and distinctive are always the result of changes in values, perception, and goals, that is, in things that one can divine but not forecast.

But the most important work of the executive is to identify the changes that have already happened. The important challenge in society, economics, politics, is to exploit the changes that have already occurred and to use them as opportunities. The important thing is to identify the "future that has already happened"—and to develop a methodology for perceiving and analyzing these changes. A good deal of this methodology is incorporated in my 1985 book Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which shows how one systematically looks to the changes in society, in demographics, in meaning, in science and technology, as opportunities to make the future.

The notes that survive your initial pruning process can be organized in a number of ways. Filing them by review sessions will keep them on your radar. David Allen suggests a weekly review (overview of his system). See JUN 2 "A Successful Information-Based Organization" and "30 AUG — Finding Opportunity in Surprises" in The Daily Drucker for a monthly review process. See NOV 15 in The Daily Drucker — The Management Letter for a semi-annual review. See Drucker's Annual Review in My Life as a Knowledge Worker. Also reviews are needed for: people decisions; expected results from assignments, contributions, key activities and projects; effective decisions. You are going to have to design your own attention-directing system as you go through your life—nobody else can do it for you.

The overriding question is "What needs doing" (See The Effective Executive)

The answer to the question "What needs to be done?" almost always contains more than one urgent task.

But effective executives do not splinter themselves.

They concentrate on one task if at all possible.

If they are among those people—a sizable minority—who work best with a change of pace in their working day, they pick two tasks.

I have never encountered an executive who remains effective while tackling more than two tasks at a time.

Hence, after asking what needs to be done, the effective executive sets priorities and sticks to them.

… snip, snip …

Other tasks, no matter how important or appealing, are postponed.

However, after completing the original top-priority task, the executive resets priorities rather than moving on to number two from the original list.

He asks, "What must be done now?"

This generally results in new and different priorities.

"If something fails despite being carefully planned, carefully designed, and conscientiously executed, that failure often bespeaks underlying change and, with it, opportunity."

— Peter F. Drucker, 1985

When you're reading something of substance its a good idea to think about what you need to calendarize.



The Road Ahead

bbx Managing in the Next Society

Career Directions I

Formal Education

Self Education

Career Directions II

Conceptual resources that provide career vision and guidance

Preparing for the journey ahead

Early career horizon

Jumping In

Further down the road

Career Directions I

At age 20 a person can anticipate a 50-60-70 year work life. It pays to be informed on the nature the work challenges ahead. It pays to make the right foundational work decisions early on.


The pay differences above reflect the differences between the potential knowledge contribution values in world of work—see the economic content and structure diagram further down the page.

Choice of College Major Can Mean Millions Over Career, Census Bureau Reports

STEM Workers: Please Live Long and Prosper

Simple view of the complex "world" of careers

Blue and rose rectangles above are linked to other pages.

Larger view

The "Changing World" (above) refers to the reality that we are embedded in a world moving relentlessly toward unimagined futures.

Changing Social and Economic Picture

A Century of Social Transformation—Emergence of Knowledge Society


Within the life span of today's old-timers, our society has become a "knowledge society," a "society of organizations," and a "networked society."

See chapter titled "Managing in the network society" in Managing in a Time of Great Change

In the twentieth century, the major social tasks came to be performed in and through organized institutions—business enterprises, large and small; school systems; colleges and universities; hospitals; research laboratories; governments and government agencies of all kinds and sizes; and many others.

And each of them in turn is entrusted to "managers" who practice "management."

Management, Revised Edition

Career math: "Many" people may have 5 or 6 Careers over a 50 year work life. That works out to about 10 years per career. Within each career there will be the need for learning and relearning.

To be valuable these careers will have to be based on knowledge specialties and competences. There will also be the need for developing necessary skills.

Within each career there is a possibility of 5 major assignments—each lasting a couple of years. These assignments should be derived from the needs of an organization

Within each career there will be jobs in which these assignments are embedded. These assignments are the bridge to new careers because they create new major capabilities. The new assignments you accept should fit you.

At some point you should start to consider the second half of your life.

If it were only this simple! Read on

Take Responsibility for Your Career

The stepladder is gone, and there's not even the implied structure of an industry's rope ladder. It's more like vines, and you bring your own machete.

Q: If a young man in a gray flannel suit represented the life long corporate type, what's today's image?

A: Taking individual responsibility and not depending on any particular company.

Equally important is managing your own career.

You don't know what you'll be doing next, or whether you'll work in a private office or one big amphitheater or even out of your home.

You have to take responsibility for knowing yourself, so you can find the right jobs as you develop and as your family becomes a factor in your values and choices.

Remarkably few Americans are prepared to select jobs for themselves.

When you ask, "Do you know what you are good at?

Do you know your limitations?" they look you in the eye with a blank stare.

Or they often respond in terms of subject knowledge, which is the wrong answer.

When they prepare their résumés, they try to list positions like steps up a ladder.

It is time to give up thinking of jobs or career paths as we once did and think in terms of taking on one assignment after another.

We have to leap right over the search for objective criteria and get into the subjective—what I call competencies.

September 9 — The Daily Drucker

My Delicious Career Bundle (A range of articles: some are written from the viewpoint of cogs in the system and some with a more elevated view)

Acquiring new capabilities

capabilities and assignments

If you start with capabilities X and successfully take on Assignment Z you now have Capabilities XZ …

Career Roads

There are two modern, attractive career roads that are available in reasonable quantities: knowledge technologist and knowledge worker. The remainder of this page applies primarily to knowledge workers.

career roads

Larger view

After looking at the illustration above in its simple form, you could mentally rearrange into the following sequence: Sectors > then Organizations that make up a sector > then a Work type branch > then the branches of the "Every organization" node> has Worker types. The sequence you've just configured is a tentative future career road.

Living in More Than One World runs in parallel and is personal. The Second Half of Your Life is a part of living in more than one world—further down the road. There are links to Living in More Than One World and The Second Half further down the page.

The world of work depicted above takes place in the real physical world. You might find it interesting to get a list of the world's largest population centers and visit them in Google Maps or Google Earth's street view. Also check out their skylines. A view of the earth at night indicates the spread of electrification and the potential for modern electronics.

There is a time lag between part of what goes on in the world of work and when it becomes visible on the "street." In June 2011 there was no iPhone 5 out in the wild, but it had been in the world of work for several years—R&D in several organizations through out the supply chain. The engine that creates the new is related to the "Every organization" node in the mind map above. Every organization needs to be fully engaged with management's new paradigm and strategic certainties for tomorrow. Every organization needs to be fully engaged with every topic in Management, Revised Edition and each topic is a potential work area for somebody. Unfortunately many, many, many organizations wait for trouble before aggressively pursuing these action areas—when it is too late. When they do respond its usually with an inside-out effort rather than an outside-in approach (Find: The Customer: Joined at the Hip in The Definitive Drucker).

The U. S. Census Bureau publishes frequent news releases. These contain indications of the complexity of the world and the world of work. You can be notified of these through a RSS feed or you can find them buried in my Society :: events :: stuff happening pages. Two more RSS feeds to consider: the Drucker Exchange ( and McKinsey ( I subscribe to the Daily Updates: Emerging Technologies Update. This newsletter is just a reminder of the kinds of things other people are pursuing. A lot of the things that get reported from the sources turn out to mean nothing. Also there is an enchantment with technology—for technology's sake—that is unjustified by its track record—people don't buy technology, they buy what it does for them. There is more on this theme further down the page.

Every social or economic problem is an opportunity available to the world of work.

We now have a foundation for thinking about formal education. Part of the foundation for the world you'll be entering later.

Formal Education

If you are in college or thinking about attending college:

Long before your senior year make sure you have a real-world knowledge specialty—be sure to follow the preceding link (not just a college major).

See the first few paragraphs of résumé and interview planning for a connection between jobs and qualifications

A knowledge specialty that is integral to the design, marketing and production (probably in another country) processes of the “things” that people want to buy (and can afford) in the worldS of tomorrowS.

In today's society and organizations, people work increasingly with knowledge, rather than with skill. Knowledge and skill differ in a fundamental characteristic—skills change very, very slowly. Knowledge, however, changes itself. It makes itself obsolete, and very rapidly. A knowledge worker becomes obsolescent if he or she does not go back to school every three or four years.

Peter Drucker, Jan 25, The Daily Drucker

Knowledge workers cannot be supervised effectively. Unless they know more about their specialty than anybody else in the organization, they are basically useless. The marketing manager may tell the market researcher what the company needs to know about the design of a new product and the market segment in which it should be positioned. But it is the market researcher's job to tell the president of the company what market research is needed, how to set it up, and what the results mean.

Peter Drucker, Managing in a Time of Great Change

The Function Of Organizations

The function of organizations is to make knowledges productive. Organizations have become central to society in all developed countries because of the shift from knowledge to knowledges.

The more specialized knowledges are, the more effective they will be. The best radiologists are not the ones who know the most about medicine; they are the specialists who know how to obtain images of the body's inside through X-ray, ultrasound, body scanner, magnetic resonance. The best market researchers are not those who know the most about business, but the ones who know the most about market research. Yet neither radiologists nor market researchers achieve results by themselves; their work is "input" only. It does not become results unless put together with the work of other specialists.

Knowledges by themselves are sterile. They become productive only if welded together into a single, unified knowledge. To make this possible is the task of organization, the reason for its existence, its function.

Peter Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society

Your chosen knowledge specialty should meets the following conditions:

1. Jobs actually exist and are growing (where you want to live). Growing implies a healthy need for the work and a future for the work.

Where you plan to live may limit your career and life development choices. There are a lot of places mired in the worlds of yesterdayS.

economic content and structure

Explore: Economic content and structure

2. Compensation is reasonable (there is plenty of info on the web)

3. Something you can do and you don't mind doing (to get you started in the real world). Make sure you have a crystal clear view of the daily work and working plus its realities.

"We have studied the country's best high school principals, the best affiliate leaders of Habitat for Humanity, the best emergency room nurses, the best pharmaceutical reps, and whenever we interview excellent performers in the same role," Buckingham says, "we find this same phenomenon—extraordinary results achieved in radically different ways."

It takes far more energy … to improve from incompetency to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence

Wrote Drucker: It's important "to accept the fact that other people are as much individuals as you yourself are. They perversely insist on behaving like human beings. This means that they too have their strengths; they too have their ways of getting things done; they too have their values. … Each works his or her way, not your way. And each is entitled to work his or her way."

Don't take someone else's word for it—do your own research, your own thinking. Try to make sense of the world from both customers and producers viewpoints. As an example, what explains the evolution of sound transportation technologies: from vinyl records of various sizes and speeds to 8 track to cassettes to CDs to digital downloads to cloud-based technologies … This is part of the evolving world of work.

Observations on course work: If you take a course in tennis, basketball or any other sport, does that make you an automatic member of your university's team? How many of those who play on a university's team actually go on to play professional sports? How many of the superstars of a university's team go on to become superstars in professional sports? How many of the superstars in professional sports were superstars earlier in life? Why wouldn't these same observation apply in all fields? How might observations of this nature change over time? Where does the specific content of a course fit in economy, society and customer value systems? Conclusion: coursework is only an introduction and is not even directly applicable to evolving situations in the real world.

Don't ever begin to believe that getting an academic certificate is a guarantee of success in the real world. There are untold numbers of organizations with or that had lots of financial resources, people of high intelligence, advanced degrees (even Nobel Laureates) and years of experience that get in terminal or near-terminal conditions—Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: Leading a Great Enterprise through Dramatic Change or It takes a crisis or Google: Nokia platform burning or the American auto companies or the real-estate melt down or the list could go on and on …. And they don't get out of trouble by doing more of yesterday. Things fail at the height of their success. Asserting that an organization is doing great and therefore doesn't need to create its future is predicting the future based on the past—which created today's situation. Peter Drucker once commented that "trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Its a competitive world and that spells change. It is also a world where knowledge is constantly making itself obsolete. All of this is unpredictable—except that its going to happen. If you don't believe me, get a list of prominent companies from 30 years ago and see what happened to them. How many completely disappeared? How many were able to successfully pursue a linear path?

Remember you may have a 60 year work life. Don't let yourself get lulled into a false sense of security—always keep trying to design your way forward.

Be aware of the unique risks inherent in new knowledge and the existence of the shakeout: Chapter 9 of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

In Peter Drucker's The Effective Executive and Innovation and Entrepreneurship he writes about the wisdom of "aiming high." As a thinking exercise pick ten current products or services that have large global markets then imagine "aiming high." Next try the same exercise on ten products or services from the 1960s. What did you learn? What about aiming to be average? In considering which of your enthusiasms or passions to pursue remember that "aiming high" is always future directed and dynamic.

From 4 FEB — Knowledge and Technology in The Daily Drucker

The new technology embraces and feeds off the entire array of human knowledges.

The search for knowledge, as well as the teaching thereof, has traditionally been dissociated from application.

Both have been organized by subject, that is, according to what appeared to be the logic of knowledge itself.

The faculties and departments of the university, its degrees, its specializations, indeed the entire organization of higher learning, have been subject-focused.

They have been, to use the language of the experts on organization, based upon "product," rather than on "market" or "end use."

Now we are increasingly organizing knowledge and the search for it around areas of application rather than around the subject areas of disciplines.

Interdisciplinary work has grown everywhere.

This is a symptom of the shift in the meaning of knowledge from an end in itself to a resource, that is, a means to some result.

Knowledge as the central energy of a modern society exists altogether in application and when it is put to work.

Work, however, cannot be defined in terms of the disciplines.

End results are interdisciplinary of necessity.



This is the launching pad for your life (not just a job or a career) in a world where there is little previous experience that is directly relevant to the years ahead.



Self Education

Learn to find a job !!! (See My delicious bookmarks)

Learn what employers are seeking

Learn what you have to contribute (see Strength Finder for an introductory approach)

Learn to connect what you have to offer with what the prospective employer is seeking.

This includes having an elevator pitch and some personal brand preparation.

Learn to ask intelligent, informed questions (the ammunition for your questions is on this page and it links) then stop talking and listen carefully. Ask for clarification where needed. Then say "Thank you."

Figure out how you are going to connect with people who have jobs to offer. 80% of jobs come through networking.

Below are a couple of books that present some ideas to be working on. The books are basically out of print but the outline topics can be used for creating web searches to fill in the missing details.

Marketing Yourself

Smart Questions: Interview Your Way to Job Success

Start some resume planning. This is not about format, but what you want to be able to say about yourself—that is rock-solid true. Start collecting information

Get some work skills and experience

Ten or So Things to Learn This School Year from Reality Check (good list, but suggestions in the book seem weak)

  • 1. How to talk to your boss. See chapter 46 in Management, Revised Edition

  • 2. How to survive a meeting

  • 3. How to run a meeting

  • 4. How to figure out anything on your own

  • 5. How to negotiate

  • 6. How to make small talk

  • 7. How to explain something in thirty seconds

  • 8. How to write a one-page report

  • 9. How to write a five-sentence e-mail

  • 10. How to get along with coworkers

  • 11. How to use PowerPoint (or Keynote). Presentations

  • 12. How to leave a voice mail

  • Prepare for life, not just work

Try an internship in your knowledge field. If this makes you squirm—maybe you're considering an inappropriate field.

A substantial portion of self education involves seeing what needs doing in the outside world and what your contribution should be.

Career Directions II:

The more a person knows, about the world, its complexities and its changing nature the better able they are to navigate. They also need some personal and individual conceptual tools to help navigate along the way—those tools are here (either directly or through links—the ones I like the best are marked with the following symbol: symbol)

symbol Time as a social and personal resource

Effective executives know that time is THE limiting factor.

The output limits of any process are set by the scarcest resource.

In the process we call “accomplishment,” this is time.

Time is also a unique resource.

Of the other major resources, money is actually quite plentiful.

We long ago should have learned that it is the demand for capital, rather than the supply thereof, which sets the limit to economic growth and activity.

People—the third limiting resource—one can hire, though one can rarely hire enough good people.

But one cannot rent, hire, buy, or otherwise obtain more time.

The supply of time is totally inelastic.

No matter how high the demand, the supply will not go up.

There is no price for it and no marginal utility curve for it.

Moreover, time is totally perishable and cannot be stored.

Yesterday's time is gone forever and will never come back.

Time is, therefore, always in exceedingly short supply.

Time is totally irreplaceable.

Within limits we can substitute one resource for another, copper for aluminum, for instance.

We can substitute capital for human labor.

We can use more knowledge or more brawn.

But there is no substitute for time.

Everything requires time.

It is the one truly universal condition.

All work takes place in time and uses up time.

Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable, and necessary resource.

Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.

The Effective Executive preface by Peter Drucker


Before proceeding further, please review the previous Effective Executive link

“Concentration — that is, the courage to impose on time and events his own decision as to what really matters and comes first — is the executive’s only hope of becoming the master of time and events instead of their whipping boy” — The Effective Executive contents



“Follow effective action with quiet reflection.

From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” — Peter Drucker

These ideas about WHAT we spend our time doing have major strategic implications for individuals, organizations, and society.

Organization efforts: problems or opportunities

Making the future

One of Drucker's favorite sayings: Focus, Focus, Focus. (See How Drucker taught me to focus by Shao Ming Lo)

movies in time movies in time

Different thoughts for different times

According to Peter Drucker, "Leaders in every single institution and in every single sector … have two responsibilities.

They are responsible and accountable for the performance of their institutions, and that requires them and their institutions to be concentrated, focused, limited.

They are responsible also, however, for the community as a whole."

… As we get older we acquire roles and the expectations that come with those roles. This requires the right preparation!!!

… A knowledge worker becomes obsolescent if he or she does not go back to school every three or four years. This not only means that the equipment of learning, of knowledge, of skill, of experience that one acquires early is not sufficient for our present life time and working time.

… People change over such a long time span. They become different persons with different needs, different abilities, different perspectives, and, therefore, with a need to "reinvent themselves" for the second half of their lives.

second half

main characteristics

Larger view

knowledge work

Larger view

educated person

Larger view (outline)

Concepts presented in the mindmaps above were harvested from Management, Revised Edition by Peter Drucker. The educated person can be found in chapter 48 and also in the final chapter of Post-Capitalist Society. Near the very end of these chapters: "One thing we can predict: the greatest change will be the change in knowledge—in its form and content; in its meaning; in its responsibility; and in what it means to be an educated person."

Each terminal node on the mindmaps above could be explored using "Thinking Broad and Thinking Detailed."

This section started with a quotation on time. Everything that followed also involved time.

Conceptual resources that provide career vision and guidance

Again, before exploring the following resources, you might want to set up an action oriented note taking system—something you can calendarize. Also see harvesting and implementing

Attention (just the first few paragraphs for now), the patterning system of the brain (a basic human understanding—just the first couple of sections), why we need new thinking about thinking and what thinking habits, tools etc. make your life better, easier …

The conceptual resources that follow are attention-directing tools. They provide a way to force yourself to see the complex evolving landscape in which we are all embedded.

Career / life vision guidance from Peter Drucker — extremely, extremely, extremely valuable attention-directing concepts and ideas from a long-term standpoint.


Managing Oneself (for the time being: familiarity with the existence of the work blueprint)

The Effective Executive (a major radar blip)

A Class With Drucker: The Lost Lessons of the World's Greatest Management Teacher (scan the chapter titles)

The Drucker Lectures: Essential Lessons on Management, Society, and Economy (scan the chapter titles)

Mastery (an alternate world view from The Effective Executive above)

symbol Living In More Than One World : How Peter Drucker's Wisdom Can Inspire Your Life by Bruce Rosenstein (looking down the road)

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels (awareness—nobody could really do all of this. See People decisions and My Life as a Knowledge Worker for alternatives.)

What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith (awareness of bad work place behaviors to avoid)

Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki (a broad landscape view of potential time investments and areas of work). Mr. Kawasaki has a product driven, inside-out world view—so beware.

Mojo by Marshall Goldsmith (mental health for those who don't manage themselves for effectiveness)

Management and Leadership (major radar blips)

The Definitive Drucker (major radar blip)

Marketing (major radar blip)

Innovation (super, major radar blip)

Start-up planning (Is this a radar blip for you?)

The Second Half of Your Life (major radar blip)

Getting Things Done — Project Planning by David Allen (a systematic tool)

Life Design > Happiness: There are a lot of different views. Try a Google search. See The Happiness Purpose and H+ (Plus) A New Religion?: How to Live Your Life Positively Through Happiness, Humour, Help, Hope, Health (radar blips)

Generic list of concepts that have become such buzz words that they have lost their intended meaning (Important to scan the list). The page on communications is very important.

Peter Drucker was famous for his one-liners. He had the amazing ability to sum up complex ideas in a sentence or two. Unfortunately these were buried in his writing or not there at all—he had a different purpose when he was writing. You can find some of these by Googling: Drucker quotes. You'll get lots of hits. These quotes—epigrams—can be helpful in seeing the road ahead from a different angle.

The Future That Has Already Happened (super, major radar blip)

Outline of Drucker's work (a shopping center for time investments)

If you followed my page work approach suggestion at the beginning, its time to go back and explore the links plus taking structured notes (outlines)—in many cases you may just want to note the existence of a topic so you can revisit at a later date (you'll need to set up a reminder). See Dense reading and Dense Listening

Preparing for the journey ahead

After your exploration there are some "tools" and topics that will be very useful in your immediate journey ahead.

Tools for thinking through questions and projects


Structures in The Five Most Important Questions

Project planning


Knowledge specialty

Resume and interview planning

Networking (my delicious tag)

Your objective: Let people know you can make a valuable contribution to the things they want to do.

Think through job search elements other than networking (my delicious tag)

Prepare for actual working life

Ten or So Things to Learn This School Year

Communication Responsibility

In Management, Revised Edition, look at the chapter outlines for the following topics:

25 Management by Objectives and Self-Control: The Manager's Letter (under the "How Should Objectives Be Set and By Whom?" heading)

19 Managing the Work and Worker in Knowledge Work

26 From Middle Management to Information-Based Organizations

31 Controls, Control, and Management

33 Information Tools and Concepts

42 Alliances

Part X: New Demands on the Individual

Prepare for spotting and exploiting the unexpected success—so you can run with it in a way that fits you. Think through how you might calendarize this—could be something you look for daily or constantly.

Cycling through The Daily Drucker a couple of times before graduation will provide a valuable foundation for your future directed decisions.

Early career horizon

Having come this far you should try to identify the ideas that will shape your early career horizon.

The more realistic the better. You're entering a competitive world—try to build on your strengths and values.

Hopefully you have some outline notes that you can structure and use as reminders.

Now its time to develop a horizon that you will be traveling toward.

One way of thinking about this is to revisit the career roads illustration above and chart your path through the various options—starting with sectors.

You need to have a plan B and a plan C and maybe a plan D. Using the "CoRT 1" tools described in Teach Yourself to Think will help.

It would be a good idea to scan through some career articles as a reality check. You can harvest key words from these articles to use in further Google searches.

Everything you've explored can be a resource for your journey

Jumping In

Next you should be able to start formulating your career implementation project. You need to figure out what really big ideas you want on your radar and the major work areas. You just want to make sure you're headed in the right direction for you and society. This is the practical stuff in finding work. Constantly test your conclusions against new information your acquire.

Further down the road

I'm sure it would be a good idea to regularly retrace your steps through this page. Reading Management Cases and Adventures of a Bystander will also broaden your horizons

Start looking for the other things you need to learn to do—to be able to perform in what you are primarily trying to do

A few years further down the road, start seriously working on self-development, "Managing Oneself" and maybe "Managing Oneself for Effectiveness." Somewhere along the way it would be a good idea to review the entire chapter list in Management, Revised Edition—what else needs to be on your radar. Make a difference. Ultimately consider "what do you want to be remembered for?"

Managing Oneself mind map

Larger view

Self-development tasks


Larger view

Organization evolution

organization evolution stages

Having a reputation for performance is a valuable life-long asset and that's where Managing Oneself comes in—dissect it, harvest and calendarize. Also try to navigate to an organization where your knowledge specialty has career path to top management — this is the place your contribution will be the most valuable.

Consider (do a PMI) an affiliation with a professional employee organization (PEOs) or business processing organization (BPOs). 15 May — The Daily Drucker

Simultaneously: 19 SEP—A Noncompetitive Life in The Daily Drucker. Also

Continuing Education

A knowledge worker becomes obsolescent if he or she does not go back to school every three or four years

From The Individual In Entrepreneurial Society

One implication of this is that individuals will increasingly have to take responsibility for their own continuous learning and relearning, for their own self-development and for their own careers. They can no longer assume that what they have learned as children and youngsters will be the "foundation" for the rest of their lives. It will be the "launching pad"—the place to take off from rather than the place to build on and to rest on. They can no longer assume that they "enter upon a career" which then proceeds along a pre-determined, well-mapped and well-lighted "career path" to a known destination—what the American military calls "progressing in grade." The assumption from now on has to be that individuals on their own will have to find, determine, and develop a number of "careers" during their working lives.

And the more highly schooled the individuals, the more entrepreneurial their careers and the more demanding their learning challenges. The carpenter can still assume, perhaps, that the skills he acquired as apprentice and journeyman will serve him forty years later. Physicians, engineers, metallurgists, chemists, accountants, lawyers, teachers, managers had better assume that the skills, knowledges, and tools they will have to master and apply fifteen years hence are going to be different and new. Indeed they better assume that fifteen years hence they will be doing new and quite different things, will have new and different goals and, indeed, in many cases, different "careers." And only they themselves can take responsibility for the necessary learning and relearning, and for directing themselves. Tradition, convention, and "corporate policy" will be a hindrance rather than a help.

From The Drucker Lectures

This coming Saturday I will teach—I still teach all day—our advanced management program, and about half the people in it are engineers.

I asked them when we began this course a few weeks ago, "How often do you have to go back to school?"

And they said, "Every other year, at least, to keep up with the changes.

And every three or four years, we go back to relearn the basics, or we're obsolete."

And these are not high-tech people mostly.

They are mostly people in traditional industries—a lot of automotive, a lot of aviation, a lot of machine tools.

And yet this knowledge changes so fast.

And the same is true of the physician or any other knowledge worker.

I work closely with our big local hospital on the training of nurses, and they have to go back to school at least once every year for several weeks, and every three or four years for three months, or they're hopelessly behind.

This is something fundamentally new in human history.

And it means that the most important thing to learn in school is how to learn—the habit of continuous learning.

See 12 JUN — Management Education and 28 NOV — Rules for Staff People in The Daily Drucker

See Chapter 24 — Developing Management and Managers and Chapter 33 — Information Tools and Concept (Going Outside) in Management, Revised Edition

See The Educated Person above

Invest time thinking through what is learning and what you need to learn. Remember this is learning for application and life not for passing a test.

What Have You Contributed to Me Lately?

Many years ago I did corporate restructuring work. No one I ever ran across was aware of what was happening—their attention was absorbed by their routines and things they should have abandoned many years before. Task lists that just come off the top of your head or the pressure of the flow of events are a real potential danger that day-to-day experience seems to contradict. Connect, connect, connect.

The underlying theme of this site is developing a work approach that is adequate to your challenges ahead. (Calendarize all of the above that fits you)

Assistance available.


Amazon: New and Used Textbooks

TLN Synthesis Managing in the next society Management Challenges for the 21st Century Managing Oneself Second Half on One's Life


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself (PDF) is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving relentlessly toward unimagined futures.



What’s the next effective action on the road ahead


It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then working out a plan for coping with what you’ve rejected.

Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting pointThe memo THEY don't want you to see



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