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Non-Competitive Life and Personal Community

The topic came up in one of Peter Drucker’s books related to Managing Oneself. I haven’t had time to fill in all the details .


You can’t design your life around a temporary organization — Interview: Post-Capitalist Executive from Managing in a Time of Great Change by Peter Drucker

The Daily Drucker:

19 SEP — A Noncompetitive Life

No one can expect to live very long without experiencing a serious setback in one’s life or in one’s work.

Given the competitive struggle, a growing number of highly successful knowledge workers of both sexes—business managers, university teachers, museum directors, doctors—plateau in their forties.

They know they have achieved all they will achieve.

If their work is all they have, they are in trouble.

Knowledge workers therefore need to develop, preferably while they are still quite young, a noncompetitive life and community of their own, and some serious outside interest.

This outside interest will give them the opportunity for personal contribution and achievement beyond the workplace.


No one can expect to live very long without experiencing a serious setback in one’s life or in one’s work.

There is the competent engineer who at age forty-two is being passed over for promotion in the company.

The engineer now knows that he has not been very successful in his job.

But in his outside activity—for example, as treasurer in his local church—he has achieved success and continues to have success.

And, one’s own family may break up, but in that outside activity, there is still a community.


ACTION POINT:

Develop an interest that does not subject you to the competitive pressures you face at work.

Try to find a community in this area of outside interest.

Management Challenges for the 21st Century

The Next Society (Corpedia Online Program)

 

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The Price of Success

The upward mobility of the knowledge society, however, comes at a high price: the psychological pressures and emotional traumas of the rat race.

There can be winners only if there are losers.

This was not true of earlier societies.

The son of the landless laborer who became a landless laborer himself was not a failure.

In the knowledge society, however, he is not only a personal failure but a failure of society as well.


Japanese youngsters suffer sleep deprivation because they spend their evenings at a crammer to help them pass their exams.

Otherwise they will not get into the prestige university of their choice, and thus into a good job.

These pressures create hostility to learning.

They also threaten to undermine Japan’s prized economic equality and turn the country into a plutocracy, because only well-off parents can afford the prohibitive cost of preparing their youngsters for university.

Other countries, such as America, Britain, and France, are also allowing their schools to become viciously competitive.

That this has happened over such a short time—no more than thirty or forty years—indicates how much the fear of failure has already permeated the knowledge society.


Given this competitive struggle, a growing number of highly successful knowledge workers of both sexes—business managers, university teachers, museum directors, doctors—“plateau” in their forties.

They know they have achieved all they will achieve.

If their work is all they have, they are in trouble.

Knowledge workers therefore need to develop, preferably while they are still young, a noncompetitive life and community of their own, and some serious outside interest—be it working as a volunteer in the community, playing in a local orchestra, or taking an active part in a small town’s local government.

This outside interest will give them the opportunity for personal contribution and achievement.

 

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Joe’s Journal: On Turning Failure to Success

“Knowledge workers … need to develop, preferably while they are still quite young, a noncompetitive life and community of their own, and some serious outside interest.

This outside interest will give them the opportunity for personal contribution and achievement beyond the workplace.

No one can expect to live very long without experiencing a serious setback in one’s life or in one’s work.

There is the competent engineer who at age 42 is being passed over for promotion in the company.

The engineer now knows that he has not been very successful in his job.

But in his outside activity — for example, as treasurer in his local church — he has achieved success and continues to have success.

And, one’s own family may break up, but in that outside activity, there is still a community.”


– Peter F. Drucker


As knowledge workers we are bound to experience failure and serious failure at times.

What matters in times of failure is our resolve to pursue, and ultimately accomplish, our mission in life and work.

I know of no top executive who experienced more failures in his life than our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, both in office and prior to it.


His failures were especially pronounced in choosing his top generals during the Civil War.

Following each battle that the Union lost, Lincoln, after suffering depression, went right to work to try to figure out what had gone wrong.

While there were always underlying causes, he could not turn around the course of the war permanently until he found and tested Ulysses S. Grant, whom he ultimately promoted to lieutenant general and put in charge of Union Armies.

Before then, the list of his failures in choosing generals was massive: Winfred Scott, George Halleck, Irvin McDowell, George McClellan twice, John Polk, Ambrose Burnside and Joseph Hooker.


Some of these failures simply reflected the superiority of the legendary generals of the Confederacy, including Robert E. Lee.

But most failures were failures of strategy and tactics, which ultimately Lincoln had to devise himself and then find generals to successfully implement.

Grant became known as “Unconditional Surrender Grant” because of his relentless pursuit of Confederate troops.

Grant’s victories came with a tremendous loss of life on both sides, but this was a conflict so deep that it had to be “tried by war” and “decided by victory.”

War, as Lincoln found out, is hell.

Tragically, there did not seem to be any other way.


President Lincoln, known for his supreme magnanimity, had to join these instincts with discerning judgment that saved him from becoming sentimental.

He provides us as knowledge workers with a tremendous lesson — what Peter Drucker called “feedback analysis”: Failure should be followed up by brutal self-evaluation and used as a steppingstone to success.

– Joe Maciariello


The second half of your life

Living in More Than One World

Friends and Lovers will provide some starting ideas

 

“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 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

 

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

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 figure out a coping plan for 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 point

 

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