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How Will You Measure Your Life? [Hardcover]

Clayton Christensen , James Allworth , Karen Dillon
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 May 2012

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 Innovator’s 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 Innovator’s Dilemma – Clayton M. Christensen delivered a short but powerful speech to the Harvard Business School graduating class. 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 and is now a groundbreaking book, putting forth a series of questions and models for success that have long been applied in the world of business, but also can be used to find cogent answers to pressing life questions: How can I be sure that I’ll find satisfaction in my career? How can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse, my family and my close friends become enduring sources of happiness? 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. It’s a book sure to inspire and educate readers – companies and individuals, students of business, mid-career professionals, and even parents – the world over.

Frequently Bought Together

How Will You Measure Your Life? + Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) + The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators
Price For All Three: 38.35

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007449151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007449156
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description


“If you're ready to get deep, real quick, you need to read Clay Christensen's new book, How Will You Measure Your Life?, co-written with James Allworth, a consultant and Harvard MBA, and Karen Dillon, former editor of the Harvard Business Review. It mixes tested business theories and a heap of common sense. It's one of the more surprisingly powerful books of personal philosophy of the 21st century.”

“How Will You Measure Your Life? is an intriguing paradox. A self-help book that is not a self-help book, based on rigorous research but enlivened by anecdotes about the experiences of a man who is hailed as a model by his students. It neatly reverses the technique of those business bestsellers that use the lives and careers of great leaders – from Attila the Hun to General George Patton – to lay down timeless rules for corporate executives.”
Financial Times

“[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

Praise for The Innovator’s Dilemma:

"Addresses a tough problem that most successful companies will face eventually. It's lucid, analytical-and scary."
Dr. Andrew S. Grove, Chairman, Intel Corporation

"The Innovator's Dilemma is absolutely brilliant. Clayton Christensen provides an insightful analysis of changing technology and its importance to a company's future success. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in business or entrepreneurship."
Michael R. Bloomberg, CEO and Founder, Bloomberg Financial Markets

About the Author

Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. In addition to his most recent book, How Will You Measure Your Life, he is the author of seven critically-acclaimed books, including several New York Times bestsellers — The Innovator's Dilemma, The Innovator's Solution and most recently, Disrupting Class. Christensen is the co-founder of Innosight, a management consultancy; Rose Park Advisors, an investment firm; and the Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank. In 2011, he was named the world’s most influential business thinker 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 writes regularly for the Harvard Business Review. He has previously worked at Booz & Company, and Apple.

Karen Dillon was Editor of the Harvard Business Review until 2011. She previously served as deputy editor of Inc magazine and was editor and publisher of the critically-acclaimed American Lawyer magazine. 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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A professor of business studies applies his learning and knowledge to the question 'how should we lead our lives?. He is, incidentally, a deeply religious person (a Mormon) and so is very interested in that question anyway.

The book starts from the observation that many colleagues who should have led deeply fulfilling lives have failed to do so. And asks why? We start with some truths that are very elegantly expressed and illustrated that will remain in the memory. First there's the pursuit of money, when this is really a 'hygiene' factor rather than a goal worth pursuing in its own right. Then there's material on the balance to be struck between planned strategies and the opportunities that arise serendipitously - you need to plan, but to be open to experience. Then there's the vexed question of prioritisation and incentives - your prioritisation is shown through your behaviour (what goods do you sell for preference if you are a salesman? what time do you leave the office?) - and your prioritisation reflects your incentives (what does your company reward you to sell?)

The next section, based on the author's knowledge of disruptive innovation, I found the most revealing - you need to invest in new ideas at the right time (you need to invest in your children at the right time), and not throw cash in large measure at it too late. You need to ask yourself about products 'what job are they doing for you?' (and ask 'what job is school doing for your children?' If the answer is 'making them feel successful' realise what the other ways to do this are. Just as if you design a milkshake which people drink in their cars on their commute to the office realise that the rivals are doughnuts, bagels etc as well as other milkshakes).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars makes you think - a humane and fascinating book 16 Jun 2012
By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book - an intelligent, thought provoking read which takes the key theories of Harvard Business School, reviews them through brief but illuminating business case studies, and then goes on to apply them to the lessons of life outside of work and business as well.

A great little business book - it should be given that it is co authored by 3 people strongly connected with HBS - and a book which is guaranteed to make you think about how well you make the allocation of your resources - your skills, talents, money and time - align with what is truly important to you and the kind of person you would like to be though of as being.

The authors make clear why so many people who are very successful in their careers have not always created the same success in their personal lives. It certainly made me think, and I hope will stay with me as I try to learn and to apply the lessons.

This is not a sanctimonious or preachy book at all. It is smart, clear, practical and very readable with lots of valuable insights into life and business

Highly recommended
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice from a hero of mine 6 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Clay Christensen has taken some key learnings from the commercial world and related them to how we plan and live our lives, extremely successfully. His prose is always easy to read and digest; the messages he relates are extremely powerful ones. Some are obvious of course, though some are novel.

In reading this, I have one regret - I wish it had been around when I was younger as I can see tha there is some excellent advice for bringing children up that's a tad too late for me now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let modern life ruin your character 20 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If huge companies such as HMV and Blockbuster can fail, how can we ensure that our own projects in life don't fail as well? Management expert Clayton Christensen, helped by journalist Karen Dillon and former student James Allworth, is pretty sure that we can achieve huge success in our lives if we learn some simple principles - and their case is very convincing. For a start, many of the newspapers and other organisations which are failing today did not invest in their future and wrote the internet off as a game-changer. Their narrow-mindedness came back at them with a vengeance. If we are not to share that fate, we individuals need to be constantly testing our assumptions against reality and we would benefit from setting out our own mission statements and measuring ourselves against it. We should be careful about outsourcing the care of our children to child minders and other teachers and filling up their days with hours of classes. The most valuable lessons are the simple ones about problem-solving, being self-reliant and having the satisfaction of achieving things ourselves. We teach these things to our kids by spending time with them (and showing them how to mend their clothes or make a cake), rather than outsourcing their care through weekends full of horse-riding and swimming classes. I have read dozens of self-help books and this ranks right at the top.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Ben-G
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Highly recommended, this book is great on 2 levels:
1. It explains in very easy and concise ways the key theories that the author has developed himself or found to be the most relevant ones for key business topics.
2. It translates those in quite unique ways into your personal life and provides interesting views on what is important in life and how to find it for yourself, based on above theories - but as well based on the authors long, and successful life.
It doesn't provide quick fixes or solutions, instead it teaches you new ways on how to think about finding the right job, relationships and raising kids. At the same time any manager or business person can also use the theories described and apply them to his own job or company.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting....
Better and way more useful than a typical self-help book. Less up-itself than a typical business book. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Roderick Banner
5.0 out of 5 stars Remoned me of my faith in a different context
My family is religious. My father was a scientist and mother a nurse, and both were academics at certain points in their working lives. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dama James
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing Theories
It's not a big secret that professor Christensen is one of the most smartest people on Earth. At least in business world. Amazing book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andrius Biceika
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good reading!
Does lead you to reflect about your goals at your career and at your own life. Great insights, inteligent considerations, easy and pleasant reading.
Published 5 months ago by Marcio Atz
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Written for ambitious over-achievers who forget about what's really important in life... I'm the opposite but I still enjoyed reading it!
Published 5 months ago by Ali
3.0 out of 5 stars another book to read
This book provided some good, concise business insights, however I think the personal life side was a little weak. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kevin UK
3.0 out of 5 stars Half measure
I bought this book having had it on my wish list for some time and thought I was in for a real treat as I began reading the early pages. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Stephen Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
I thought this book was truly thought provoking, and although I didn't like the title (I'm a grumpy Brit) the book itself was full of good, useful comparisons of business... Read more
Published 8 months ago by julian ratcliff
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
I had high expectations from this book, but I felt I was let down.
I didn't like the patronizing tone, like Moses dictating the ten comandments, and the extensive use of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by GUY'S BOOKS
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book by Clayton
Clayton is one of my favourite authors. I have read most of his books since reading Innovator's Dilemma. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Shantanu Kumar
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