HOW WILL YOU MEASURE YOUR LIFEClayton M Christensen , James Allworth , Karen Dillon
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A Provocative Look At The Meaning Of success. It’s More Than Just Hard Work. It’s Also About Finding Meaning, Maintaining Healthy Relationships, And Being Happy
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From the world’s leading thinker on innovation and New York Times bestselling author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen, comes an unconventional book of inspiration and wisdom for achieving a fulfilling life.
Clayton M. Christensen provides you with his unique insight on how to lead a life that brings both professional success and genuine happiness. In How Will You Measure Your Life?, Christensen touches on diverse topics such as motivation and how you can harness it, what career strategy is the best for you, how to strengthen relationships with loved ones, and how to build a strong family culture.
☞ How do you lead a fulfilling life ?
That profound question animates this book of inspiration and insight from world-class business strategist and bestselling author of The Innovators Dilemma, Clayton Christensen.
After beating a heart attack, advanced-stage cancer and a stroke in three successive years, the world-renowned innovation expert and author of one of the best selling and most influential business books of all time “The Innovators Dilemma” Clayton M. Christensen delivered a short but powerful speech to the Harvard Business School graduating class.
Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, notably the only business book that Apple’s Steve Jobs said “deeply influenced” him, is widely recognized as one of the most significant business books ever published. Now, in the tradition of Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture and Anna Quindlen’s A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Christensen’s How Will You Measure Your Life is with a book of lucid observations and penetrating insights designed to help any reader—student or teacher, mid-career professional or retiree, parent or child—forge their own paths to fulfillment.
It is a provocative look at the meaning of success. The book starts off with an examination of various ways to measure our lives but then turns into a discussion about how we can find true happiness that doesn’t depend on material wealth or status. It concludes by examining what it means for people in different stages of their lives to have successful lives.
In 2010 world-renowned innovation expert Clayton M. Christensen gave a powerful speech to the Harvard Business School’s graduating class. Drawing upon his business research, he offered a series of guidelines for finding meaning and happiness in life. He used examples from his own experiences to explain how high achievers can all too often fall into traps that lead to unhappiness.
He presented a set of personal guidelines that have helped him find meaning and happiness in his life a challenge even the brightest and most motivated of students find daunting.Akin to The Last Lecture in its revelatory perspective following life-altering events, that speech subsequently became a hugely popular article in the Harvard Business Review
The speech was memorable not only because it was deeply revealing but also because it came at a time of intense personal reflection: Christensen had just overcome the same type of cancer that had taken his father’s life. As Christensen struggled with the disease, the question “How do you measure your life?” became more urgent and poignant, and he began to share his insights more widely with family, friends, and students.
In this groundbreaking book, Christensen puts forth a series of questions :
1. How can I be sure that I’ll find satisfaction in my career?
2. How can I be sure that my personal relationships become enduring sources of happiness?
3. How can I avoid compromising my integrity-and stay out of jail?
“How Will You Measure Your Life ?” is a highly original, surprising book from a singular business figure. Its a book sure to inspire and educate readers companies and individuals, students of business, mid-career professionals, and even parents the world over.
Using lessons from some of the world’s greatest businesses, he provides incredible insights into these challenging questions. It shows you how to sustain motivation at work and in life to spend your time on earth happily and fulfilled, by focusing not just on money and your career, but your family, relationships and personal well-being.
Referencing his own life experiences as a form of case study, Christensen provides seven strategies that apply the best business thinking and insights to guide personal life decisions:
◆ Know the Powerful Motivators: Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory finds the opportunity to grow, greater responsibility, interesting work, contributing to others, and recognition for achievements are more powerful motivators than money. “Doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people.” (48)
◆ Create a Strategy for Your Life: Keep the purpose of your life front-and-center when deciding how to spend your time, talents, and energy. Reflect deeply on the purpose of your life—it gives direction.
◆ Allocate Your Resources: How you allocate you time, talents and energy forms your life’s strategy. People driven to excel often overinvest in their careers and underinvest in their relationships (family, friends, and colleagues). When allocating your resources, remember what matters most
◆ Create a Culture: The simplest tools are power tools–coercion, punishment, threats, etc. Creating respectful family and personal cultures are the result of consciously applying tools that render cooperation and respect, “doing things that are hard and learning what works.” (50)
◆ Avoid the “Marginal Costs” Mistake: The ‘marginal cost’ doctrine creates a bias to leverage what what worked in the past rather than focus on capabilities for the future. Know what you stand for and where you draw your line. Yielding to a “just this once” decision based on a marginal cost analysis often results in trouble and regret. The goal is to stay out of jail!
◆ Remember the Importance of Humility: Humility is the regard and esteem you hold toward others and yourself; it’s not self-deprecating attitudes or behaviors. Maintain a “humble eagerness to learn something from everybody.”
◆ Choose the Right Yardstick: What is the metric by which you gauge your life’s success? Whether it’s a company or an individual, what you measure is who you are. For Christensen, “I’ve concluded that the metric by which God will assess my life isn’t dollars but the individual people whose lives I’ve touched.”
In a nutshell, management theories can help us find the right balance between our careers, families and personal priorities. Think of your career and personal life as a resource allocation problem. You have limited time, energy, wealth and talent to grow several “businesses”, like your work, relationships with your family and your community. Unless you manage your priorities mindfully, your time and energy will be consumed in firefighting the most urgent priorities.
As we read this book by Clayton Christenson and will break down Christensen’s top strategies for how to navigate all these competing priorities and come out ahead with a more fulfilling, balanced, and purpose-driven life. “How Will You Measure Your Life?” is full of inspiration and wisdom, and will help students, midcareer professionals, and parents alike forge their own paths to fulfillment.
About the Authors:
CLAYTON M. CHRISTENSEN (1952–2020) was the Kim B. Clark Professor at Harvard Business School, the author of nine books, a five-time recipient of the McKinsey Award for Harvard Business Review’s best article, and the cofounder of four companies, including the innovation consulting firm Innosight. In 2011 and 2013 he was named the world’s most influential business thinker in a biennial ranking conducted by Thinkers50.
A native of Australia, JAMES ALLWORTH is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar, and the Australian National University. He previously worked at Booz & Company and Apple.
KAREN DILLON is the former editor of the Harvard Business Review and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller How Will You Measure Your Life? She is a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In 2011 she was named by Ashoka as one of the world’s most influential and inspiring women.
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