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David Allen, productivity guru deluxe, has put together a cool model for measuring one's self-management (see below). Actually, what is really important about how Allen views the model below is that it is not rigid- we all move in and out of each quadrant depending on the issue, our frame of mind and the people we work with. That being said, we do have a certain profile, patterns that represent us more than others. Allen views this from the perspective of Control and Perspective. Have a look. I adopted this exercise for use in my managers mastermind group and it generated lively dialogue, meaningful introspection and conversation that cut through the "looking good" stuff to some core perspectives…

Also, be sure to check out the David Allen: What Kind of Self-Manager Are You? feature on the BNET website where you can find a lot more information on the 4 quadrants of The Self-Management Matrix.

The matrix contains 4 quadrants constucted on the axes of Control and Perspective.



The 4 Quadrants

1 // The Victim/Responder

A person who has little control and little perspective. At the mercy of outside forces. Operates in crisis mode. Deals with the latest and the loudest. Tries to just keep the ship afloat.

2 // The Micromanager/ Implementer

A person who operates with a high control factor, but lacks perspective. Inordinate emphasis on structure, process, and system. Tendency to overorganize.

3 // The Crazy Maker/Visionary

A person who has a high level of perspective, but a low level of control. Too many ideas on proportion to the amount they can get done. Takes on too many commitments. Their systems and behaviors are not functioning to capture and contain all of their creative output.

4 // The Captain & Commander

Incorporates a balance of perspective and structure, where an internal rather than an external source directs your energy and focus. Committed to a course and prepared to make the slightest corrections that may be required.

I can tell you one thing, that without a good handle on how to manage one 'self life can be pretty messy. There is a real art to this. No doubt a part of art of living that we don't always pay enough attention to.

I know that many of the solopreneurs/entrepreneurs out there who will ever read this entry have asked themselves the following question more than once: "Is there really any intrinsic value for the world in what I do in my business?". This question surely beckons us to dig down into more philosophical existential issues and searches but in my book it can also lead us into a totally unexpected area- business! Let me ask you- what kind of business are you in? Is it a "soul-based business" or a "market- based business"? What's the difference anyway? Don't both need to make a good profit in order to live, expand and grow?

Yes, of course, a business without profit is like an automobile without gas- it goes nowhere and does nothing. But that is where the similarity ends. In a market-based business what one needs to do is find a niche and fill it. The calling is to make a better or different kind of widget, offer a new or unique buzz to a service, and make sure that people will be willing to pay for what you develop. Not to say that is especially easy but only that there is a different music that guides this whole operation.

In a soul-based business one must live, abide by and succeed at all the same stuff as the "market-based" venture only here the music is generated from a totally different center. It is here that the soul-business proprietor puts some serious stuff in front of him/her, questions like:

Does this business ignite my passion?

Am I providing a product/service that helps others, society and definitely does not damage others, society, the planet?

Who am I when I carry out my business, am I full of energy, wisdom with the urge to give (as well as compete….), or do I find myself totally immersed in the "mechanics" of business- buy low/sell high, presentations that hide information from would-be clients and investors, negotiating out of a position of "gain more by giving less"….

And if it is a soul-business you have then, congratulations, I think you will love what you do and do what you love. Just keep in mind that you will need to cultivate a "double agenda": how to keep the profit coming in as well as nurturing that soul in you and that soul in your business…

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

– Howard Thurman

You know how people always say, "He was an honest guy but, you know, business is business…", or " In order to succeed you need to cut costs and that means you need to make the most and pay out the least…inevitably you will be at odds with your workers…". And there are lots of other "classic sayings" which simply emphasize that a person of values has not business in being in business and a person of business will not have very strong values over time. Well, I have heard this stuff for tens of years and I am sure it is true in many cases…but not all! And the fact that it is NOT true in all is what gives us hope, a new vision, a new way of doing things.

I think the example of Grameen Bank is absolutely the best. Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a global leader in anti-poverty efforts, and has pioneered the use of "micro-loans" to provide credit to poor individuals without collateral. Dr. Yunus, an economist by training, founded the Grameen Bank in 1983 in his native Bangladesh to provide small, low-interest loans to the poor to help better their livelihood and communities. Despite its low interest rates and lending to poor individuals, Grameen Bank is sustainable and 98% percent of its loans are repaid – higher than other banking systems. It has spread its successful model throughout the world. Dr. Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work. It was basically a case of a smart and caring individual coming forth with a creative idea that combined good sense with "good values": poor people (mostly women), given a chance and a fair way of developing, can create wonderful opportunities and things in this world. In other words, instead of cheating and exploiting the poor we can invest in them and in their desire to improve themselves…and then see what happens!

And there are many more great things happening in the social business entrprepreneurship arena. It fills me with inspiration and excitement…how can we do more to bring these two worlds together towards making our world a better place to live in?

Annita Rodick, The Body Shop

The Skoll Foundation

The Schwabb Foundation

Ben and Jerry's