HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself: A book review by Bob Morris

HBR’s 10 Must Read on Managing Yourself
Editors of Harvard Business Review
Harvard Business Press (2010)

This is one in a series of volumes that anthologizes what the editors of the Harvard Business Review consider to be the “must reads” in a given business subject area, in this instance self-management. I have no quarrel with any of their selections, each of which is eminently deserving of inclusion. Were all of these article purchased separately as reprints, the total cost would be $60 and the value of any one of them exceeds that. Given the fact that Amazon now sells this one for only $15.14, that’s quite a bargain. The same is true of volumes in other series such as “Harvard Business Review on….” and “Harvard Business Essentials.” I also think there is great benefit derived from the convenience of having a variety of perspectives and insights gathered in a single volume

Authors of several articles about self-management later developed their concepts in much greater depth. They include Stewart Friedman (“Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life” was followed by Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life) and Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee (“Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance” was followed by Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence). “Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey”?” co-authored by William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass continues to be the second most popular HBR article ever published.

The first article, Peter Drucker’s “Managing Yourself,” serves as an excellent introduction to the other nine in which their authors also address issues that remain compelling relevant to those who are struggling to manage themselves effectively. For example, “How Resilience Works” (Diane L. Coutu), “Overloaded Circuits” (Edward M. Hallowell), and “What to Ask the Person in the Mirror” (Robert S. Kaplan). I also appreciate the editors’ skillful use of two reader-friendly devices, “Idea in Brief” and “Idea in Practice,” both of which facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key points later.

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