Why do people with remarkable professional achievements feel unhappy, end up with failed relationships and/or get embroiled in scandals or crime? How can we live our life fully and know we’re on the right track? Clayton M. Christensen is known for his work on business strategy and innovation. In this book, he shows how proven business theories can be applied to achieve greater fulfillment in all aspects of life. In this summary of How Will you Measure your Life, we’ll outline how you can (i) ensure you’re successful and happy in your career, (ii) ensure you enjoy happy and lasting relationships with your family and close friends, and (iii) live with integrity.
There are many similarities between what it takes to build and sustain a successful enterprise and what it takes to live a fulfilling life. The tips in this book are built on various business theories which have been personally tested by Christensen and his students in their own lives. Such theories are powerful because they apply across different scenarios to explain why things happen. They predict what’ll happen if we make certain decisions or take certain actions. This book isn’t about shortcuts or easy answers. It doesn’t tell you what to think, but equips you with tools to improve how you think.
Part 1: Building a Fulfilling Career
We spend most of our waking hours working. A fulfilling career greatly improves your overall happiness and quality of life. A strategy defines your desired outcomes and how you’ll achieve them. You can use the strategy process to find career fulfillment by (i) having clear priorities, (ii) responding to unanticipated threats and opportunities and (iii) allocating your resources optimally.
• The two-factor theory (or motivation theory) explains the importance of both hygiene factors and motivation factors at work. In the the book / our complete summary, we explain the difference between the two sets of factors, why motivators are more important, and know the right questions to ask yourself when looking for the right job/career path.
• Businesses that succeed don’t start out with the perfect strategy; they succeed because they manage to evolve their strategy to address new threats and opportunities that surface. Likewise, you’ll need to shift between deliberate strategies and emergent strategies in your search for the right career path. In our full book summary, we explain the difference between the 2 strategies, what strategy switching entails and why it’s vital for you to test your assumptions before committing to a specific career choice.
• Your strategy is not based on what you say it is, but how you actually spend your resources. In business, it’s common to find a misalignment between company/employee priorities, or for managers to over-emphasize short-term initiatives over long-term ones. In our complete 12-page summary, we explain why such mis-allocations occur and what it means to allocate your personal resources in line with your career strategy.
Part 2: Nurturing Happy, Lasting Relationships
Deep, lasting and loving relationships are vital for happiness and can only be built with consistent, long-term investments.
• Many businesses fail because they focus on what they want to sell rather than what customers truly need. We also tend to focus on what we want in our relationships rather than what the other party needs. The best way to make your loved ones happy is to understand the job they most need you to do, and actually do it. In the the book / our full summary bundle, we’ll share more examples on what it means to understand the job you’re “hired” to do (as a spouse, a friend or a parent) and why sacrificing for your loved ones is actually a vital part of relationship-building and satisfaction.
• A company’s capabilities define what it can and can’t do. Such capabilities can be broken down into resources, processes and priorities (RPP). Likewise, our personal capabilities are also made up of our bundle of RPPs. In our complete book summary, we explain the 3 components of RPP, how the wrong choices can cripple your long-term capabilities, the role of organizational/family culture in decision-making and how to apply all of these insights to optimize your investment in your children’s future.
Part 3: Living a Life of Integrity
Even the best businesses can fall from greatness while high-achievers can end up in jail or embroiled in scandals that destroy their future. In the the book and full summary, we explain the danger of marginal thinking and what it takes to live a life of integrity so you won’t get derailed.
Other Details in “How Will You Measure Your Life?”
Do get a copy of the book where Christensen shares many other examples and personal observations on how the theories can be found in business and in life. You can also get our complete summary bundle for a detailed overview of the key ideas and examples, or visit www.measureyourlife.com for more information.
Learn how to apply powerful business theories to shape your life!