How Will You Measure Your Life?

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Overview

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.

The speech was memorable not only because it was deeply revealing but also because it came at a time...

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Overview

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.

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: How can I be sure that I'll find satisfaction in my career? How can I be sure that my personalrelationships become enduring sources of happiness? How can I avoid compromising my integrity—and stay out of jail? Using lessons from some of the world's greatest businesses, he provides incredible insights into these challenging questions.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Based on a 2010 speech to the Harvard Business School graduating class, innovation expert and HBS professor Christensen (The Innovator’s Dilemma) tackles the question of how to live a happy, meaningful, purpose-filled life. Even before his stroke and cancer diagnosis, Christensen routinely questioned his students not just about their career ambitions but about what they hoped for their lives. He extends that conversation in this highly engaging and intensely revealing work, distilling lessons learned from studying businesses over the course of a multidecade academic career and spinning them into deeply personal wisdom. He draws on examples from companies like Intel, Disney, and Iridium to illustrate how we can align our actions, time, and resources with our priorities, manage relationships, and even improve parenting. He interweaves personal stories into these lessons, including his early, never realized desire to be the editor of the Wall Street Journal, being fired from a CEO job, his passion for teaching, and his own parenting experiences. Spiritual without being preachy, this work is especially relevant for young people embarking on their career, but also useful for anyone who wants to live a more meaningful life in accordance with their values. Agent: Danny Stern, Stern Associates. (May)
Bloomberg Businessweek
“The book encapsulates Christensen’s best advice to keep high achievers from being disrupted in their own lives....[P]rovocative but reassuring: Peter Drucker meets Mitch Albom.”
Bloomberg BusinessWeek
“…a gripping personal story with lessons from business mixed in.”
Forbes
“[W]ell researched and thought through material.
Deseret News
“…Clayton Christensen’s new book has the business world buzzing.”
Harvard Business Review
“Recommend the book to friends and family who have no connection to the business world. They will thank you for it.”
Huffington Post
‘’A Business Student’s New Required Reading’’
Inc. Magazine
“[R]evealing and profound.”
Small Business Labs
“I wish this book was around when I started my carreer. I bought copies for my kids and other young adults I know. $16 is not a lot to spend to get them thinking about their future and how to live responsible, ethical and successful lives.”
Financial Times
“[M]ore genuinely a self-help book than the genre it disparages. Instead of force-feeding readers with orders on how to improve, it aims to give them the tools to set their own course”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062102416
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 38,893
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

CLAYTON M. CHRISTENSEN is the Kim B. Clark Professor at Harvard Business School, the author of seven 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 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 was editor of the Harvard Business Review until 2011. 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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Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 Just Because You Have Feathers... 9

Section I Finding Happiness in Your Career 19

2 What Makes Us Tick 25

3 The Balance of Calculation and Serendipity 42

4 Your Strategy Is Not What You Say It Is 62

Section II Finding Happiness in Your Relationships 77

5 The Ticking Clock 84

6 What Job Did You Hire That Milkshake For? 99

7 Sailing Your Kids on Theseus's Ship 120

8 The Schools of Experience 140

9 The Invisible Hand Inside Your Family 158

Section III Staying Out of Jail 175

10 Just This Once... 178

Epilogue 193

Acknowledgments 207

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

4 Star

(5)

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 2, 2012

    Read this book 3 times from 3 perspectives

    I heard Clayton on the radio talking about the book. FIRST book - They were talking about product / service positioning around the 'job that needs to be done'. That tweaked my interest because it was phrased in a way that I had not heard before. I thought it might help me position myself more clearly to potential clients. And reading the book, ideas have been popping up all over the place.

    SECOND book - it talks about the 'job that needs to be done' in parenting (or in my case, grandparenting:). I know what my kids are getting for their next present. They HAVE to read this book.

    THIRD, there were thoughts on how to live my life.

    Each of the stories in the book can be read from any of these 3 perspectives. I read it this time from the business perspective. I need to go back and read it /think about each part from the children and my life perspectives. Enjoy it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Stopped reading after the 5th page

    This book.shoild have been titled "An ode to ME." Oy vey!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    In a time characterized by instant meals, instant messages and i

    In a time characterized by instant meals, instant messages and instant gratification, it might seem odd to ask if you’re making instant choices you could come to regret. Yet that’s what innovative business experts Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon want you to explore. Their sobering, enlightening analysis applies causal business theory not just to improve your the prospects for a business, but also your personal and professional life. They explain why causation matters more than correlation, and they deftly show how to use the “if-then” principle in work and life. Christensen concludes this extraordinary book – quite a departure from his seminal writing on innovation – with a personal account of his challenges in practicing its principles. getAbstract warmly recommends this tightly-written, thoughtful guide to making better life choices.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    This is the type of book that should be read and re-read. Chris

    This is the type of book that should be read and re-read. Christensen uses an interesting approach to apply business concepts to personal life and decisions. There are many pearls of wisdom to apply to your career, family, children, and your personal integrity. This is not your "vanilla" life evaluation book. I read this on an airplane and had a great introspective flight - will reference many times as a parent and professional. We all need to think about how we will measure our lives - I want to do this now and not when I am on my deathbed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    Thi You lost me...

    While there are some great lessons buried in this book, the author seems to lose focus. At first he seems to address recent graduates and young professionals, then switches to his tune entirely to provide advice on parenting.

    Might be worth skimming the sections that appeal to you, but it seems unlikely that the entire book will resonate with any given audience

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    My Review Of How Will You Measure Your Life?

    This is the first self-help book that I have read in years. I don’t normally read too many books of this genre, but this one did sound good to me. Though it was a good book and made sense in many areas it took me a very long time to get through it as it references more to business, at least that is how I read it. I do believe this book would be great for people who have a career or just starting out in the corporate world. Business, careers, corporate life is really not my forte as far as reading material goes. I did not get into the book as I thought I would, and as many others did or will. I do appreciate the fact that the second part of the book was supposed to be about family and relationships that are outside of business, I did not read that, that was the case. Christensen still gave examples from the business prespective. Family life examples would have been more appropriate for me. I did take away from the book the fact that my family and any of my relationships come before career and money. Actually for me God comes first, then my family, friends, co-workers etc. Disclaimer: I received this book free for an honest un-biased review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    great!

    great!

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    Posted June 15, 2012

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