We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity. If we have ambition and drive, we can rise to the top of our chosen profession or business, regardless of where we started out.

But with opportunity comes responsibility. Companies today are not going to manage our career.

We must each be our own chief executive officer.

Simply put, it’s up to us to carve out our place in the work world. We must know when to change course. We need to keep engaged and productive during a work-life that may span 50 years.

To do this well, we need to cultivate a deep understanding of ourselves.

What are our most valuable strengths and most vulnerable weaknesses? Equally important is, how do we learn and work with others? What are our most deeply held values? And in what type of work environment can we make the most valuable contribution?

The implication is clear: only when we manage ourselves and operate from a combination of our strengths and self-knowledge can we achieve true and lasting excellence.

Source: Managing Oneself, Peter F. Drucker