Professor Clayton Christensen asks, 'How will you measure your life?'

It might just be possible that one of the world’s leading management thinkers, Professor Clayton Christensen, author of the ‘Innovator’s Dilemma‘ and other extraordinary books will be remembered principally, not for his contribution to innovation and management thinking which is immense, but for the ideas he shares in his latest book, ‘How will you measure your life?

It does contain lots of great ideas about management, but more importantly, some brilliant ideas about managing and thinking about your own life and what is really important.

“Over the years, he also noticed that many of his former classmates at Harvard and University of Oxford, where Christensen was a Rhodes Scholar, had ended up deeply unhappy. “Something had gone wrong for some of them along the way: their personal relationships had begun to deteriorate, even as their professional prospects blossomed,” he writes in the prologue of his new book, How Will You Measure Your Life? Many of these folks stopped attending reunions, and Christensen sensed that they “felt embarrassed to explain to their friends the contrast in the trajectories of their personal and professional lives.” Bloomberg Businessweek

How will you measure your life? is less about business, more about, well, life…

“When people who have a high need for achievement—and that includes all Harvard Business School graduates—have an extra half hour of time or an extra ounce of energy, they’ll unconsciously allocate it to activities that yield the most tangible accomplishments. And our careers provide the most concrete evidence that we’re moving forward. You ship a product, finish a design, complete a presentation, close a sale, teach a class, publish a paper, get paid, get promoted. In contrast, investing time and energy in your relationship with your spouse and children typically doesn’t offer that same immediate sense of achievement. Kids misbehave every day. It’s really not until 20 years down the road that you can put your hands on your hips and say, “I raised a good son or a good daughter.” You can neglect your relationship with your spouse, and on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t seem as if things are deteriorating. People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.” Clayton Christensen.

Learn how great SaaS & software companies are run

We produce exceptional conferences & content that will help you build better products & companies.

Join our friendly list for event updates, ideas & inspiration.

Unsubscribe any time. We will never sell your email address. It is yours.

Find out more about BoS

Get details about our next conference, subscribe to our newsletter, and watch more of the great BoS Talks you hear so much about.