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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself

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The path to your professional success starts with a critical look in the mirror. If you read nothing else on managing yourself, read these 10 articles (plus the bonus article “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles to select the most important ones to help you maximize yourself. HBR's 10 The path to your professional success starts with a critical look in the mirror. If you read nothing else on managing yourself, read these 10 articles (plus the bonus article “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles to select the most important ones to help you maximize yourself. HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself will inspire you to: Stay engaged throughout your 50+-year work life Tap into your deepest values Solicit candid feedback Replenish physical and mental energy Balance work, home, community, and self Spread positive energy throughout your organization Rebound from tough times Decrease distractibility and frenzy Delegate and develop employees' initiative This collection of best-selling articles includes: bonus article “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen, "Managing Oneself," "Management Time: Who's Got the Monkey?" "How Resilience Works," "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time," "Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform," "Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life," "Reclaim Your Job," "Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership," "What to Ask the Person in the Mirror," and "Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance."


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The path to your professional success starts with a critical look in the mirror. If you read nothing else on managing yourself, read these 10 articles (plus the bonus article “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles to select the most important ones to help you maximize yourself. HBR's 10 The path to your professional success starts with a critical look in the mirror. If you read nothing else on managing yourself, read these 10 articles (plus the bonus article “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles to select the most important ones to help you maximize yourself. HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself will inspire you to: Stay engaged throughout your 50+-year work life Tap into your deepest values Solicit candid feedback Replenish physical and mental energy Balance work, home, community, and self Spread positive energy throughout your organization Rebound from tough times Decrease distractibility and frenzy Delegate and develop employees' initiative This collection of best-selling articles includes: bonus article “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen, "Managing Oneself," "Management Time: Who's Got the Monkey?" "How Resilience Works," "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time," "Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform," "Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life," "Reclaim Your Job," "Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership," "What to Ask the Person in the Mirror," and "Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance."

30 review for HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself

  1. 4 out of 5

    remi d

    Pick what works best for you. Some stories will resonate more with you than others. In my case, 2 out of 10 did.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peter House

    A lot of the essays in this book might be ones that any regular reader of HBR might have read before such as, "How Will You Measure Your Life?" or "Managing Oneself" but I would encourage anyone to read this book. There's a lot of tips and tricks that even if one has read an essay before, might have gone missed or might need to be picked up again. While it may seem that this book is something that seems to be directed at executives, this is a book that should be read by high school students, col A lot of the essays in this book might be ones that any regular reader of HBR might have read before such as, "How Will You Measure Your Life?" or "Managing Oneself" but I would encourage anyone to read this book. There's a lot of tips and tricks that even if one has read an essay before, might have gone missed or might need to be picked up again. While it may seem that this book is something that seems to be directed at executives, this is a book that should be read by high school students, college students, junior staff, and senior staff. In fact, it probably should be re-read at regular intervals because so much of the book is focused on developing the habits of success and not indulging in small, seemingly innocuous choices that ultimately undermine what we would like out of life. 5 stars. If you haven't read it, do so. If you haven't read it recently, I highly recommend a re-read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    The article about monkeys and delegation is worth the price alone....loved it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Zainab Al-Sammak

    If you read a lot of self development books, you do not need to read this one. It serves as a good reminder, but no huge benefit out of it. Maybe, I was having high expectations since its from HBR.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Atul Maheshwari

    "The need for managing one's self is creating a revolution in human affairs." Peter Drucker (1999) This collection of articles by HBR is excellent! The article authors leave lasting impressions upon the reader in terms of ways to self-manage. It is so appropriate that the first chapter On Managing Yourself is written by Peter Drucker and the focus is on knowing yourself. "One cannot build performance on weaknesses, let alone on something one cannot do at all." You need to understand your strength "The need for managing one's self is creating a revolution in human affairs." Peter Drucker (1999) This collection of articles by HBR is excellent! The article authors leave lasting impressions upon the reader in terms of ways to self-manage. It is so appropriate that the first chapter On Managing Yourself is written by Peter Drucker and the focus is on knowing yourself. "One cannot build performance on weaknesses, let alone on something one cannot do at all." You need to understand your strengths - what you are good at - and focus your efforts on improving your strengths. "Do not try to change yourself - you are unlikely to succeed. But work to improve the way you perform. And try not to take on work you cannot perform or will only perform poorly." The book contains ten chapters - a collection of articles written by world renown thought leaders - on what it takes to effectively manage yourself. Each chapter covers a different lesson or concept. In each chapter there is a summary of the concept, called "Idea in Brief" and a short summary of how to implement the idea, called "Idea in Practice." Both summaries are very helpful as refresher but should not be used in lieu of reading the entire chapter.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Said AlMaskery

    A critical book for self realization and improvement. It captures the fruit of proper academic research on self management.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dragoljub Ignjatović

    I found some articles extremely valuable, others less so. Definitely a useful read

  8. 4 out of 5

    Roger Royse

    Some good tips, but mostly theories, presumptions and platitudes from a group of contributors who have never had to meet a payroll.

  9. 4 out of 5

    The Conch

    Wish to read Peter Drucker brings me to this book. It is collection of articles published in HBR. Few best articles are: 1. Managing Oneself - To manage oneself is need to know types of one's self such as what is one's strength, giving importance on the strength and increasing it day by day, to know whether one is reader or listener and loner or team worker and decision maker or adviser etc. 2. Management time: who is got the monkey? - Here monkey means responsibility. Often subordinates or collea Wish to read Peter Drucker brings me to this book. It is collection of articles published in HBR. Few best articles are: 1. Managing Oneself - To manage oneself is need to know types of one's self such as what is one's strength, giving importance on the strength and increasing it day by day, to know whether one is reader or listener and loner or team worker and decision maker or adviser etc. 2. Management time: who is got the monkey? - Here monkey means responsibility. Often subordinates or colleagues pass their monkey on their boss or manager, which in turn free themselves of duty, but bogs down the boss or manager. Hence, productivity goes down. 3. Why smart people under-perform? - Due to recent information explosion, people are suffering from attention deficit trait (ADT) and suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADD). The article describes symptoms and mitigating measures, by organizing oneself, to control ADT. The world of business management is vast and there are plethora of good books. For a quick read, this book can be considered as good option.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lee G

    A lot of really good stuff in here but some that has more to do with managing others than managing yourself.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carolina Esteves de Andrade

    I just invested in myself with the HBR’S 10 Must Reads Collection by Harvard Business Review Press. This series is really good because each book has 10 of the best articles published by Harvard University on each topic. I think it is a must read for any ambitious manager, new or experienced leader. It is easy to read, each book has approximately 300 pages. Each chapter is an article from great authors such as Peter F. Drucker, Theodore Levitt, Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton and others. One of I just invested in myself with the HBR’S 10 Must Reads Collection by Harvard Business Review Press. This series is really good because each book has 10 of the best articles published by Harvard University on each topic. I think it is a must read for any ambitious manager, new or experienced leader. It is easy to read, each book has approximately 300 pages. Each chapter is an article from great authors such as Peter F. Drucker, Theodore Levitt, Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton and others. One of the things that I liked on these books is that each chapter has a box called Idea in Brief, which gives you an idea of the basic concept of the chapter and most of them has very interesting case studies as well. I highly recommend you to get this collection because will inspire you with ideas and knowledge that will accelerate both your own growth and company. Each title includes timeless advice that will be relevant regardless of an ever-changing business environment. The titles include: Leadership, Managing Yourself, The Essentials, Change Management,Managing People and Strategy. One of my favorite articles were: What Makes an Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Leadership) Putting the Balanced Scorecard to Work by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton (HBR’S 10 Must Reads The Essentials) Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker (HBR’S 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself) The Real Reason People won’t Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Change Management ) What Great Managers Do by Marcus Buckingham (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Managing People) The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution by Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, and Elisabeth Powers (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Strategy) “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes “ Peter F. Drucker “The ability to change constantly and effectively is made by high-level continuity.” Michael E. Porter

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sid

    This is a set of essays curated by HBR to give insights on being a good manager, being a positive influence on others, overcoming obstacles and living a balanced life. My favorite essay was on How Resilience Works. This 3 step process includes, facing down reality, finding meaning and continually improvising. Another fascinating essay was titled Moments of Greatness. We all have faced challenges either personal or professional, at one point in our life. It's important to remember how we overcame This is a set of essays curated by HBR to give insights on being a good manager, being a positive influence on others, overcoming obstacles and living a balanced life. My favorite essay was on How Resilience Works. This 3 step process includes, facing down reality, finding meaning and continually improvising. Another fascinating essay was titled Moments of Greatness. We all have faced challenges either personal or professional, at one point in our life. It's important to remember how we overcame it, for this will give us the confidence needed in the future. Whether your in a management role or not, this book is a great guide on navigating/overcoming challenges.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Usman

    Gives great insight and perspective on how to be efficient, productive and live a fulfilling life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matias Myllyrinne

    A lot of truth and insight. Interesting and quick way to read ten views on the subject. Yet feels like in 2018, many of the “insights” are common practice in the games industry, at least in Finland.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alikhan Oitan

    Has a lit of insights worth reading if you are manager or business owner. However as a student I could spend my time for books that better suit my needs.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Lately I have really struggled through fiction, so I thought it might be time to pick up a business book on a whim, like “hey, nothing can be as bad as the fiction I’ve been reading lately, let’s buy some total crap business book! “. So imagine my surprise when I’m about halfway through the book and I read the article on “Managing your Energy”, when my perspective on my entire life and my relationship with “work” completely changed. I have never had such a shocking personal revelation from any a Lately I have really struggled through fiction, so I thought it might be time to pick up a business book on a whim, like “hey, nothing can be as bad as the fiction I’ve been reading lately, let’s buy some total crap business book! “. So imagine my surprise when I’m about halfway through the book and I read the article on “Managing your Energy”, when my perspective on my entire life and my relationship with “work” completely changed. I have never had such a shocking personal revelation from any article or book or movie. I read the article three times, journaled about it, thought about it for days, and then literally wrote myself a set of rules (guidelines, really) on what my life would now look like. And I embraced it immediately and with profound results. I bought a few copies of the book and distributed to friends/colleagues. So. That was interesting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Neil

    Interestingly structured and largely intended more for an “executive“ audience, nonetheless I found tidbits to be useful. In particular, several sections align and examine evaluating time usage in accordance with priorities and tips on validating that you present to peers in the same way that you feel. Additionally, tips for mental roadblocks that prevent top performance are spread throughout. I’ll also add that the book lends itself particularly well to ongoing and inconsistent reading as it has Interestingly structured and largely intended more for an “executive“ audience, nonetheless I found tidbits to be useful. In particular, several sections align and examine evaluating time usage in accordance with priorities and tips on validating that you present to peers in the same way that you feel. Additionally, tips for mental roadblocks that prevent top performance are spread throughout. I’ll also add that the book lends itself particularly well to ongoing and inconsistent reading as it has very helpful summaries of each chapter and asides. It would be easy to maintain as an ongoing reference when anecdotes/strategies are needed for situations you may face.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tess Huelskamp

    Quick collection of essays detailing ways to improve your professional and personal lives. "Management Time: Who's Got the Monkey?" is well worth reading for the insight there alone. After being challenged in "Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life", I'm going to implement a small life experiment. There were a few other essays in this book that are strong (but not as revelatory as the other two). I'd recommend this to anyone looking to improve their work/personal life. Solid all around Quick collection of essays detailing ways to improve your professional and personal lives. "Management Time: Who's Got the Monkey?" is well worth reading for the insight there alone. After being challenged in "Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life", I'm going to implement a small life experiment. There were a few other essays in this book that are strong (but not as revelatory as the other two). I'd recommend this to anyone looking to improve their work/personal life. Solid all around

  19. 4 out of 5

    Reezali Raharjaya

    People say you can only choose one realm of your several realms in life, choosing your work or your social life. That's wrong based on this book. Completed with how to, makes this book as the right choice. Looking forward to grabbing other HBR's 10 Must Reads series. People say you can only choose one realm of your several realms in life, choosing your work or your social life. That's wrong based on this book. Completed with how to, makes this book as the right choice. Looking forward to grabbing other HBR's 10 Must Reads series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alina Dandara

    Loved it as much or even more as I’ve enjoyed this edition. All the information is pilled up in useful and relatable/applicable schemes for upgrading our work efficiency and company contribution.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Arpit Vyas

    A must read for all professionals. This book has more knowledge per page than most self-help books combined. The takeaway from all the chapters is varied, necessary and tremendous.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Another good series of articles and essays on management, leadership, specifically about Managing Yourself, your time, your resources, and your life in and out of work. Two articles: "How Resilience Works" and "Primal Leadership" were in the HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence which I had just read. Another good series of articles and essays on management, leadership, specifically about Managing Yourself, your time, your resources, and your life in and out of work. Two articles: "How Resilience Works" and "Primal Leadership" were in the HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence which I had just read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joe Holder

    amazing. Essentially a strong look on how to manage yourself but not simply from a “productivity” perspective. Additional invaluable notes from a wellness perspective too

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sun

    Very disappointed by this book. I thought it would be a collection of complex ideas and new solutions, but it is only a handful of dated articles, only a couple of which gave me any novel insight. The introduction "How Will You Measure Your Life" is the best chapter and deserves a star to itself. "Managing Oneself" is a classic article with the humorous idea of managers getting stuck with problem "monkeys" and offers some practical examples of how to empower the managed to solve their own proble Very disappointed by this book. I thought it would be a collection of complex ideas and new solutions, but it is only a handful of dated articles, only a couple of which gave me any novel insight. The introduction "How Will You Measure Your Life" is the best chapter and deserves a star to itself. "Managing Oneself" is a classic article with the humorous idea of managers getting stuck with problem "monkeys" and offers some practical examples of how to empower the managed to solve their own problems instead of doing it for them. Sadly the follow-up by of "Management Time: Who's Got the Monkey" points at the subordinates as the monkeys and makes their problems seem unimportant. The topic of resilience is important but "How Resilience Works", instead of providing strategies for building resilience undermines itself by likening resilience to some sort of magic. "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time" is a great concept and neatly represented in the title and in depth. I particularly liked the ideas of changing perspective to see situations with a "reverse lens" (how might the other person see this?), "long lens" (what will I think about this in 6 months, a year etc?), and "wide lens" (regardless of the outcome, how can I grow and learn from this?) I didn't learn anything from the other articles

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alok

    All the articles in the book are by the management gurus with in-depth insight into all aspects of personality be it professional, personal, psychological, mental and all the other facets of human behaviour which makes a person interact externally with all other entity or with self to evaluate and understand oneself. The articles encompasses all the elements of a individual and what needs to be done to change in the positive direction. All the articles have a common thread of: 1) Donot stop learn All the articles in the book are by the management gurus with in-depth insight into all aspects of personality be it professional, personal, psychological, mental and all the other facets of human behaviour which makes a person interact externally with all other entity or with self to evaluate and understand oneself. The articles encompasses all the elements of a individual and what needs to be done to change in the positive direction. All the articles have a common thread of: 1) Donot stop learning and discovering self irrespective of age. Individual does not have any expiry date for learnings. 2) One of the difficult aspect of learning is there are few or more knowledge which 'We donot know what we donot know'. This is the blind spot in each of us which if overcome can enlighten us towards the path of enhanced skills. This can be achieved by feedbacks, open mind, self evaluation, coaching and many other tools. 3) Practice and preach emotional intelligence which is much more important than IQ. Standalone genius hardly impact the society unless they collaborate with teams. This is one of these books that demand multiple readings and practices and calibrating self. It should be read with patience and debated within a group to have a lasting impact.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Reading HBR is much like talking to your Mother - the pithy wisdom you've heard many times before, but somehow seem to often catch yourself not doing. This set is starting to get dated with several of the articles showing their age. "Always use a PDA to write down everything..." for example, which can throw one off a bit. For the audiobook version the starting summery, then the stories then another closing summery can make the book very repetitive in a way the written format wouldn't be as you wo Reading HBR is much like talking to your Mother - the pithy wisdom you've heard many times before, but somehow seem to often catch yourself not doing. This set is starting to get dated with several of the articles showing their age. "Always use a PDA to write down everything..." for example, which can throw one off a bit. For the audiobook version the starting summery, then the stories then another closing summery can make the book very repetitive in a way the written format wouldn't be as you would quickly skim the two summery sections. Of most value to me were the look at ADD as a learned habit stemming from how the external environment has evolved, and how to take coping strategies of 1) ignoring & turning our these constant notifications 2) not starting with email as it is usually "other people's priorities" and 3) constantly keeping your priorities at the forefront and not adopting other people's monkeys as your own (this one particularly resonated.) As has been the focus of other books I've recently read - focusing on the habits and rituals is the best process for keeping yourself on an auto-pilot who stays on the track.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anshul Thakur

    They are definitely a good read if you are looking for guidance. While some articles (mainly collaborations or case studies of how the programs devised by the authors worked wonders) did beat around the bush, it is the veterans like Christensen Clayton, Kaplan and Norton, Kotter, Peter Drucker and many others who moved my heart through beautiful prose in argument. A real story is often more influential than those with ‘A construction company in America’ type of themes and yet some researchers ha They are definitely a good read if you are looking for guidance. While some articles (mainly collaborations or case studies of how the programs devised by the authors worked wonders) did beat around the bush, it is the veterans like Christensen Clayton, Kaplan and Norton, Kotter, Peter Drucker and many others who moved my heart through beautiful prose in argument. A real story is often more influential than those with ‘A construction company in America’ type of themes and yet some researchers have used the latter. To me, this reduced the credibility, though I understand that the research might be under a Non-Disclosure Agreement. If we analyze closely, many of the features have just been given different names, sold under different change management initiatives by different people, but actually, they are the same, revolving around the top 4 points (and Emotional Intelligence). Read complete review at Aesthetic Blasphemy And do tell me what you think :)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    The first three essays or pieces are worth reading. I feel like I read parts of the first two in the past, but it was good review. The article on managing monkeys was very helpful. The other articles are less detailed iterations of the Power of Full Engagement. I would recommend that book over this, but it was good that HBR confirmed the Power of Full Engagement. See here for my full write up https://medium.com/@Dave.Nash.33/the-... I used to subscribe to HBR but I stopped for two reasons - one t The first three essays or pieces are worth reading. I feel like I read parts of the first two in the past, but it was good review. The article on managing monkeys was very helpful. The other articles are less detailed iterations of the Power of Full Engagement. I would recommend that book over this, but it was good that HBR confirmed the Power of Full Engagement. See here for my full write up https://medium.com/@Dave.Nash.33/the-... I used to subscribe to HBR but I stopped for two reasons - one they watered down the articles to be less scholarly and MBA continuing ed to more like one step above a popular medium or linked in post. The articles here fit that bill (except Drucker). Second they have TWO double issues - January -Feb and July-August. It seems that they are focusing more on books like this and headed into US News & World report land. That's too bad. Here too I saw a lot of overlap between articles.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sotiris Makrygiannis

    Well, all the subjects are relevant. All articles are situations that one could face in a corporate environment. One was the best of all, the energy crisis, with a brilliant chart and survey to figure out if you have an energy crisis or not. What I dislike in books like this, is the extensive survey/charts/tables that you need to answer in order to find the answers. This format is so overused that is boring, innovation in writing management books is needed. So out of 10 articles, only 1 had huge Well, all the subjects are relevant. All articles are situations that one could face in a corporate environment. One was the best of all, the energy crisis, with a brilliant chart and survey to figure out if you have an energy crisis or not. What I dislike in books like this, is the extensive survey/charts/tables that you need to answer in order to find the answers. This format is so overused that is boring, innovation in writing management books is needed. So out of 10 articles, only 1 had huge impact on me, the rest was ok with my morning coffee but would have been better as life stories and examples rather a pseudo-scientific approach. And when I say life stories, please dont use animals metaphors, I had enough of those too.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

    I read this for the first time in my last year of college. The articles were not too long, not too short, and to the point. Instead of preaching career success it focused on how to maintain your well-being. Without a solid internal value system and viable tools to manage negative energy, even successful careers are meaningless. I bought the audiobook and listen to it everyday on my commute. It's a great way to start the day. :) I read this for the first time in my last year of college. The articles were not too long, not too short, and to the point. Instead of preaching career success it focused on how to maintain your well-being. Without a solid internal value system and viable tools to manage negative energy, even successful careers are meaningless. I bought the audiobook and listen to it everyday on my commute. It's a great way to start the day. :)

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