Week 41 of 52. Welcome to Drucker Mondays, a 52-week journey through the new book, A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness, by Joseph A. Maciariello. Each Monday, we'll feature a Drucker fan and his or her favorite snippet from the week's topic. (Subscribe on this page.) Glen Melin is our guest writer today.
THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: “Often it is our duty to do what we are good at even though we would rather do something else. There may come a time when we are mostly free of our obligations and can do what we truly love . . . What will it take in your career to allow you to seriously explore opportunities to move from success to significance?”
GLEN MELIN'S FAVORITE DRUCKER INSIGHT from Week 41, pages 324-329:
• “It is not uncommon in life to remain in a position that doesn’t fulfill your greatest desires even though you are successful in that position.” (Joseph Maciariello)
• “Take a little control over your career . . . What do I have to learn, what are my strengths, how can I build on them, where do I belong, do I really belong in this company? One must take the responsibility of asking oneself these questions from time to time, and acting on the answers.” (Peter Drucker)
• “Develop a genuine, true, major outside interest. Not a hobby, a genuine interest, which permits you to live in a different world, with different peers whose opinions are meaningful to you.” (Peter Drucker)
• “With proper planning it may be possible to retire or to leave your position and continue to fulfill your responsibilities at home . . . The danger is that during the first half of life you lose the vision of what would make you truly happy.” (Joseph Maciariello)
GLEN MELIN'S COLOR COMMENTARY:
Our culture places tremendous pressure on each of us to “succeed,” which is often assumed to mean “get a job that pays well and pursue a never-ending string of promotions.” Peter Drucker points to Bob Buford as an example of the opportunity we each have to look beyond a successful career to something far more profound and meaningful: significance.
Sometimes that involves making a change when your personal values don’t align with the values of your organization. I believe a more common lack-of-significance scenario is when we persevere in a role that is perfectly satisfactory, but that doesn’t tap into the God-given passion hidden in our hearts.
I’ve enjoyed a 25-year career in senior care, a field that I greatly value and in which I certainly find significance. But about a year ago God opened the door for me to spend a season loaning my leadership skills to an international relief and development agency. I discovered that the same passion that led me to spend two years in the Peace Corps after college was still alive and well in my heart, and I’ve been invigorated, inspired and challenged as I’ve engaged with new colleagues from across the globe.
It’s been one of the best years of my life!
Stay alert for the opportunities God may place before you, for as we know from Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
THIS WEEK'S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY GLEN MELIN:
Glen Melin is the Director of Finance at CRISTA Senior Living in Seattle, Washington. His recent foray into international relief and development was with World Concern, another ministry of CRISTA, which works to create lasting, sustainable change in the lives of those living in extreme poverty in some of the most remote corners of the planet. Glen is a frequent teacher in his church’s Awana ministry, an occasional cellist, and a recovering marathon runner.
Is it time to quit your job? Heed Drucker’s counsel:
“The right decision is to quit if you are in the wrong place, if it is basically corrupt, or if your performance is not being recognized. Promotion itself is not the important thing. What is important is to be eligible, to be equally considered. If you are not in such a situation, you will all too soon begin to accept a second-rate opinion of yourself.”
On Oct. 19, 2015, watch for the color commentary on Week 42’s topic, “Halftime Is an Entrepreneurial Enterprise,” one of six chapters on “Developing Oneself from Success to Significance.”