Today, I turn 31 and Peter Drucker says to me:
To keep on striving means one mature but one does not age.
One of the men who had a profound impact in my journey through life is Peter Drucker. He is considered to be one of the greatest management thinkers of all time.
In his classic, Management, Peter Drucker asks the question.
“How can the individual, especially the individual who is putting knowledge to work, become effective, and how can such a person remain effective over long periods of years, over periods of change, over years of work, and over years of living?”
In answering this, he goes on to share seven personal experiences that teaches one on being effective as he ages.
In this article, I attempt to address these experiences as applicable to my life’s journey and profession as a Front-End Developer.
Experience One: Goal And Vision Taught By Verdi
“All my life as a musician, I have striven for perfection. It has always eluded me. I surely had an obligation to make one more try.” — Giuseppe Verdi
As a software developer, one of the key factors that will determine how exceptional you will be is the goal and vision that you set for yourself.
If you want to be exceptional at what you do, then set a goal and vision of perfection like the great Giuseppe Verdi and push yourself beyond the limit as you strive towards perfection.
Interestingly, I find this lesson to be applicable to every sphere of human life.
Experience Two: The Gods Can See Them Taught By Phidias
Strive for perfection even if only the gods can see it.-Peter Drucker
If perfection is so elusive, what then can be considered the right definition of “perfection”?
The definition of perfection will draw on a debate on what humans consider perfect.
In trying to define perfection, let’s take a clue from the great ancient Greek sculptor, Phidias who said “the gods can see them” while responding to the refusal by the accountant general to paying his wages for building the sculptor in 440 BC that to this day stand on the roofs of Parthenon in Athens.
As I go about my work, I am conscious that the gods will see my work and if that is the case, then my work must be done with the utmost respect and integrity.
Experience Three: Continuous Learning
A software developer has to know about many technologies as possible to be considered “best fit”. This is no mean achievement, it requires the developer to commit to a lifetime of continuous learning.
I am yet to see an exceptional developer who isn’t committed to continuous learning and you know what? It has to be on a daily basis.
To remain a competent software developer, one has to make a commitment to a lifetime of learning. Ours is a profession that is continually inundated with new technologies, libraries and frameworks.
Committing to continuous learning will play a major role in your goal towards perfection.
You can start by committing to a technology to and follow the #100DaysOfCode movement.
Experience Four: Reviewing
At the end of the day (or week or month or year),
“Take stuck of the things you have done well for that day, the things you had tried to do well. Next the things you had not tried hard enough to do well and lastly the things for which you did badly or failed to do.” — Peter Drucker
Let this reviewing be done by you and for you, it will bring out the best in you. I am always conscious of the fact that I am the real me when no one else is watching.
Experience Five: What Is Necessary In A New Position
Find yourself working in a new position? Then ask yourself:
“What do I need to do now that I have a new assignment, to be effective?” — Peter Drucker
Most times, people do the same things they did in a previous role/position that made them exceptional in a new role/position not realizing that a change in approach in a new position will produce a better result.
Changing the way you approach a new position, will tremendously make an impact on the delivery of your work.
Experience Six: Writing Down
One of the most important things an individual can learn for himself is his strengths. — Peter Drucker
Write down the results you anticipate from making a major decision. Get a feedback from the anticipated results later, say three months.
This will show you what you did well and what your strengths are. It will also guide you in what you have to learn and the habits you have to change.
Lastly it will show you what you are not gifted for and cannot do well.
Drucker summarizes this thus:
To know one’s strengths, to know how to improve them, and to know what one cannot do — they are the keys to continuous learning.
Experience Seven: What To Be Remembered For — Taught By Schumpeter
One does not make a difference unless it is a difference in the lives of people — Joseph Schumpeter
The most valuable assets you can ever find, as I journey through life is PEOPLE. Have you ever asked yourself what you wish to be remembered for?
First, one has to ask oneself what one wants to be remembered for. Second, that should change as one gets older. It should change both with one’s own maturity and with the changes in the world. Finally, one thing worth being remembered for is the difference one makes in the lives of people.
Thanks for reading this on this occasion of my 31 year birthday. Find this article interesting, click on the 💚 below.