Every year in December I review what I’ve read and pick my favorite book of the year. Then I order copies as Christmas gifts for a few close friends. In past years my choices have included Visioneering by Andy Stanley, Change or Die by Alan Deutshman, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath, and Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned from Editing My Life. For 2012 I picked How Will You Measure Your Life? by three authors from Harvard Business School: Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon.
Most chapters begin with summaries of significant business-related research, theories and case studies from corporations and individuals including the authors. From these the book draws insights on how to find career satisfaction, how to be sure that your personal relationships become sources of happiness, and how to avoid compromising you integrity and destroying your life. Here’s an example:
Senior author Clayton Christensen is a Harvard graduate and professor. He attended classes with very bright, highly motivated colleagues, many of whom became successful and wealthy heads of corporations, well published scholars, or prominent leaders. But some got derailed. They let their relationships slide, engaged in compromising business practices, and watched as their marriages failed and their careers unraveled. Unwise decisions and poor value choices ruined their lives and landed some in prison. The book (written for students, recent graduates, mid-career professionals and parents) describes ways to prevent these personal and career disasters from happening. Clearly I found the book to be helpful and insightful.
In the midst of writing the book Christensen suffered a major stroke that greatly impaired his writing and speaking ability. But he kept going, strengthened by a Christian commitment that he is not reticent to describe even in this secular business book. For me the most inspirational and informative message is the book’s three guidelines for finding a life purpose. These will be summarized in next week’s newsletter.
Have any of you read this book? Please comment.