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How Will You Measure Your Life? Hardcover – May 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062102419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062102416
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (421 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“[A] highly engaging and intensely revealing work….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.” (Publishers Weekly)

“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)

“[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” (Financial Times)

“[W]ell researched and thought through material. (Forbes)

“…a gripping personal story with lessons from business mixed in.” (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

“…Clayton Christensen’s new book has the business world buzzing.” (Deseret News)

“Recommend the book to friends and family who have no connection to the business world. They will thank you for it.” (Harvard Business Review)

‘’A Business Student’s New Required Reading’’ (Huffington Post)

“[R]evealing and profound.” (Inc. Magazine)

“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.” (Small Business Labs)

From the Back Cover

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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Customer Reviews

This book is very well written.
gsosmiles
I wish I had this book 25 years ago and been able to re-read it every 3-5 years.
Dan M
This book will help you find purpose to life.
Aaron Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Christensen is one of the deepest thinkers and most thoughtful people I have had the pleasure to meet or hear present. Those traits of deep integrity, thought, consideration come through in this book. However, the title will be misleading as this is not another self help book, nor it is an attempt for Christensen to break into the Tuesday with Morrie crowd. Rather, Christensen turns his considerable intellect and experience to perhaps the most fundamental question of all -- why are we here and how do we know we are making a difference. The book is exceptional in its combination of deep feeling that is personal and experiential alongside deeper thought and business experience.

This is a business view of life, not in terms of profit or loss, but more in terms of ideals, ethics, integrity and brutal honesty about yourself, who you are and where you are going. Such deep moral subject matter could be dry and preachy, but Christensen and his co-authors are anything but. They explain their position in a series of theories -- simple ideas that you can use as tools to inspect and apply to your own experience. They avoid simple formulaic answers like you would find in some books and generic principles about success contained in others. This is a book that exposes the theory behind the issues below, the sources of conventional business and management wisdom and offers new ways of thinking about these important issues.
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281 of 304 people found the following review helpful By K. Evans on June 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How Will You Measure Your Life aims to be a fluff free piece on finding purpose and happiness in your life. To achieve this, Christensen examines how businesses thrive and fail, turning those examples as lessons for our personal lives. He breaks down the book into 3 parts:

1. FINDING HAPPINESS IN YOUR CAREER--Readers familiar with the book "Drive" by Daniel Pink or the two factor theory will find similar advice here. Most people think getting rewards for jobs (i.e. money, benefits, vacation) will increase happiness. Instead these factors merely reduce dissatisfaction. Whereas, Challenging work, recognition, and responsibility will increase our satisfaction in a job. Christensen urges us not to focus on the result of our career, but on the process (which is a running theme throughout the book). I felt this simple cliche was clouded in Academic language. When I state "Academic," - I merely mean using too many words or new jargon to describe simple concepts. For example, he states if you are currently unhappy in your job, try out new things on the side or use an "emergent strategy," while if you are happy in your career, use a "deliberate strategy" to get better. Despite using the words "emergent", "deliberate", and "strategy", I felt this was pretty common advice.

2. FINDING HAPPINESS IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS--this section is particularly useful if you are a parent, as much of part II is dedicated to raising better children. Instead of rewarding children for the result (i.e. getting an A), we should congratulate them on their work ethic. I found the point of treating ourselves and people in our lives as "jobs" a particularly fascinating way to look at life. For example, we "hire" school so children can feel successful and have friends.
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123 of 135 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on May 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book grew out of Christensen's address to the HBS Class of 2010. When they entered the school our economy was strong and their ambitions could be limitless. Then came an economic tailspin that we've named the 'Great Recession.' His address to the graduates, and the focus of this book, centered on how to apply his principles to their personal lives.

His first key point is that when people ask what he thinks they should do, he has learned to rarely directly answer their question. Instead, he runs the question through one of his models involving an industry quite different from their own. Then, more often than not, they'll say "I get it,' and answer their own question more insight fully than he believes he could have.

On the last day of class Christensen asks his students to apply the models he's presented during the course to themselves to answer three questions: 1)How can I be sure I'll be happy in my career? 2)How can I be certain my relationships with my family become an enduring source of happiness. 3)How can I be certain I'll stay out of jail. (Not a facetious question - Jeff Skilling was Christensen's classmate at HBS, and two of the 32 in his Rhodes scholar class spend time in jail.)

Addressing the first question, Christensen references Frederick Herzberg's assertion that money isn't the most powerful motivator in our lives - it's the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements. He also points out that if management is practiced well it helps others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized. Doing business deals doesn't provide the deep rewards that come from building up people.
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