Peter Drucker’s timeless classic isn’t that old, considering his longevity (it was published in 1999). The introduction, in just two paragraphs, lets you know that this is one article to pay attention to and re-read every now and then (we’ve included the intro inside). There’s one emphasis we’d like to add: “hunger” – the day-to-day commitment to be/ become exceptional, perform exceptionally and not settle for anything less than that.
The introduction to the enhanced HBR edition, all two paragraphs of it:
“We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: If you’ve got ambition and smarts, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession, regardless of where you started out.
But with opportunity comes responsibility. Companies today aren’t managing their employees’ careers; knowledge workers must, effectively, be their own chief executive officers. It’s up to you to carve out your place, to know when to change course, and to keep yourself engaged and productive during a work life that may span some 50 years. To do those things well, you’ll need to cultivate a deep understanding of yourself – not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence.”