Press & Reviews


The Graduation Advice We Wish We’d Been Given

Posted on May 21st, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. Comments Off

The Harvard Business Review has just posted The Graduation Advice We Wish We’d Been Given. It features some of HBR’s favorite writers, and includes both Karen Dillon and James Allworth. From the article:

Understand the way your mind works in relation to motivation. Money, a fancy title, a prestigious firm — these are what are known as extrinsic factors. Your friends and family can see them, you can put them on a resume, or discuss them in a job interview. But these visible, extrinsic factors are not a source of contentment. Rather, the research suggests they’re actually a source of discontentment — when they’re absent. In other words, having these extrinsic motivators in abundance won’t make you happy; instead, all that abundance will result in is an absence of dissatisfaction. That’s (obviously) not the same thing as being satisfied.

True motivation relies … Read More »


RadioNZ interviews James Allworth on HWYMYL

Posted on December 18th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

Radio New Zealand has just posted an interview on How Will You Measure Your Life? with James.

Head on over to their website to listen to the full interview.


WSJ: Twelve Months of Reading

Posted on December 18th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

The Wall Street Journal has asked 50 of its friends to share what books they enjoyed in 2012. We are deeply honored that the Secretary of Education, Mr Arne Duncan, had this to say about How Will You Measure Your Life?:

“Clayton Christensen is a provocative thinker, and I have been greatly influenced by his work on disruptive innovation and how it can transform education. In “How Will You Measure Your Life?” he discusses how to spend your most precious resource: your time. His thoughtfulness about the balance between work and family deeply resonated with me. Financial or career success means nothing if I haven’t built strong, long-term relationships and kept my focus on my family—that is what constitutes a meaningful and happy life.”

Head on over to the WSJ to see the full article.


Financial Times top books of 2012

Posted on December 4th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

The Financial Times has named its top books for 2012 — and we’re honored that How Will You Measure Your Life? has been included.

From the article:

One of Harvard Business School’s best-known management academics, Christensen traditionally ends his course by helping his students examine their lives and careers. Here he distils those lessons into a guide about how not to become “the kind of person you never wanted to be”.

Head over to the FT website to read the full article.


Fast Company’s Top Books for 2012

Posted on December 4th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

Fast Company have just awarded their top books for 2012. We’re very excited to be included in their list!

From the article:

Clay Christensen is one of the most esteemed minds in business. In How Will You Measure Your Life?, he and coauthors James Allworth and Karen Dillon investigate what it means to have a fulfilling career, and finds that it is both a focused and open process.

“I believe that we can, in a deliberate way, articulate the kind of people we want to become,” he says. “As the rest of life happens to you, you can utilize those things to help you become the kind of person you want to be.”

Head over to Fast Company to see the full list.


Harvard Gazette: “Best Practices Writ Large”

Posted on September 19th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

The Harvard Gazette is running a feature on How Will You Measure Your Life?:

The result is a deeply personal book that puts years of Christensen’s observations on human behavior to paper, a process he calls “one of the most worthwhile endeavors of my life.”

“How Will You Measure Your Life?” — co-written with his former student James Allworth, M.B.A. ’10, and former Harvard Business Review editor Karen Dillon — was a labor of love for Christensen, author of the seminal business text “The Innovator’s Dilemma.”

Far from offering self-help or ways-to-succeed platitudes, the book takes on life’s big questions — how to balance work and home life, how to maintain a marriage and raise children, how to adhere to ethical and moral standards — using the rigorous framework of the business models Christensen has developed over two decades.

Head over to the Gazette … Read More »


inDay Speaker Series: How Will You Measure Your Life?

Posted on August 11th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. Comments Off

Clay was recently invited to LinkedIn to speak on the topic of How Will You Measure Your Life. They have posted a blog and a full video of the speech:

Professor Clayton Christensen is well known for his best-selling publication, The Innovator’s Dilemma, and several successful follow-on books where he applies his influential theory of disruptive innovation to social issues like education and healthcare. Clay not only has an incredibly intelligent and visionary mind, but he’s also a caring, thoughtful, and witty individual. I was fortunate enough to get a seat in his popular class at Harvard Business School, and to get to know him on a more personal level as a family friend. After being inspired by his most recent book, How Will You Measure Your Life?, where he takes his impactful business teachings and applies them to an individual’s … Read More »


BusinessInsider: 15 Business Theories That Will Improve Your Life

Posted on August 11th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

BusinessInsider is running a feature on How Will You Measure Your Life, distilling down lessons taken from the book:

Many companies operate on the “principal agent,” or “incentive theory.” It’s based on research by economists Michael Jensen and William Meckling, who determined that people work as hard as you pay them. For example, it’s why shareholder values are aligned with executive compensation.
But incentives are not the same as motivation. Incentives are based on “hygiene factors,” including status and job security. Motivating factors include a broader sense of purpose.
If you choose a job based on motivating factors, you are much more likely to be rewarded with hygiene factors, because you will do your job well — you’re intrinsically motivated.
Hygiene factors only go so far, and operating on a principal agent theory will eventually lead to burnout.

Head over to BI to read the … Read More »


MIT Sloan features “How Will You Measure Your Life”

Posted on August 11th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

MIT Sloan Management Review has a feature on How Will You Measure Your Life. From the article:

That last topic, about how people falter, is one that Christensen is particularly passionate about these days. The New Yorker article, for instance, includes this passage:
He had seen many people tell themselves that they could divide their lives into stages, spending the first part pushing forward their careers, and imagining that at some future point they would spend time with their families – only to find that by then their families were gone.
Christensen has written a book on this topic, called How Will You Measure Your Life? (HarperBusiness, 2012).

Head over to MIT Sloan Management Review to read the full post.


Crossing the Arctic Ocean, and asking: How You Will Measure Your Life?

Posted on August 11th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

We just came across this blog by Collin West, who, along with three fellow students, is attempting to cross the Arctic Ocean to raise environmental awareness. He and his team have just encountered an arctic hurricane — otherwise known as an “arcticane” — which has given him a bit of time to reflect. From his latest blog post, up on BusinessWeek:

As a form of advice, I suggest everyone do some accounting on their personal support system, especially this business-focused reader base. It is all too easy to skip birthdays, dinners, and dates to stay late at work or pursue that next promotion. Ten years later you may look around and see no one at your side. It takes paying into the system by supporting others; building true, thoughtful friendships; and genuinely caring to have a strong support network. And when … Read More »


Inc: Success. You’re Measuring It Wrong.

Posted on July 27th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. Comments Off

Inc has just posted a review and discussion of How Will You Measure Your Life? and the concepts in the book:

“Typically, the way you calculate profitability, investments that pay off tomorrow go to the bottom line and are much more tangible than investments that pay off 10 years from now,” he says, before noting that this pursuit of short-term achievement distorts the lives of people as well as companies.

Head over to Inc to read the full post.


Skip Prichard interviews Clay, James and Karen

Posted on July 27th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. Comments Off

Skip Prichard, CEO of Ingram, has just interviewed the three authors on How Will You Measure Your Life?; from the interview:

And that’s the value of theory. Good, causal theory allows us to look out into the future with incredible acuity.

There’s an example I love to share of mankind’s first attempts to fly. When our early aviators looked at the world’s “best practice” fliers—birds—they saw two things almost all these had in common: wings and feathers. So, they strapped on wings and feathers, climbed to the top of cathedral spires, jumped off and flapped hard. It rarely worked out well.

You see, wings and feathers were correlated with flight. But they didn’t cause flight.

Head over to Skip’s blog to read the full interview.


The Blaze interviews James on How Will You Measure Your Life

Posted on July 9th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

The Blaze has just posted an interview with James on the topic of the book. From the interview:

In a recent interview with Allworth, the book’s co-author, The Blaze had the opportunity to ask a multitude of questions about what all of this really means. Allworth, a former student of Christensen’s at Harvard Business School, reiterated the fact that the book meshes together tested business theory with practical life results. The overwhelming premise, of course, is to address the problems that busy and successful individuals face.

Head on over to the Blaze website to see the full article.


Daily Herald posts review of HWYMYL

Posted on July 1st, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

The Daily Herald has just posted a review of How Will You Measure Your Life?. From the article:

This book, however, seems different. Part of the reason is Christensen’s measured, conversational tone. It is as though one were in the company of a trusted friend or counselor suggesting that the “theory of capabilities” means your children will prosper if given challenges and hard problems to solve, or that outsourcing too many of your family’s activities and too much of their instruction to others may impoverish the “company.”

Head over to the Daily Herald to read the full review.


The Financial Times includes How Will You Measure Your Life in its top books of 2012

Posted on June 30th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

The Financial Times has just posted its top book picks for 2012 — and they’ve included How Will You Measure Your Life:

Christensen has turned a legendary 2010 address to Harvard Business School students – and decades of experience as one of the world’s best-known management professors – into an engaging book that applies his customary rigour to career and life dilemmas. It is self-help (despite the authors’ protestations to the contrary) but with a strong pedigree, a big heart and a lofty goal: to give businesspeople the tools to stay happy, fulfilled – and out of jail.

Head on over to the FT website to see the review and read the FT’s full list.


Amazon lists HWYMYL in best books of the year

Posted on June 26th, by James in Press & Reviews. Comments Off

Amazon has just released a list of the best books of the year. And How Will You Measure Your Life? is listed!

The Examiner has the full story, including links through to the Amazon listings.


Money Life interviews James

Posted on June 18th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. Comments Off

Chuck Jaffe Interviews James AllworthChuck Jaffe, senior columnist for MoneyWatch, just interviewed James for his MoneyLife show. Interested in listening? It’s available right here.


The Guardian on How Will You measure Your Life?

Posted on June 9th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

The Guardian has a post on How Will You Measure Your Life?, and it looks like it has been written by someone who is generally quite skeptical of the business genre. From the article:

You might – like me – be distrustful of the modern trend for seeking life guidance from business experts. (I note that the co-founder of LinkedIn, the social networking service that pesters me to join it daily, has written a book on “the Silicon Valley approach to building a life” – but if I wanted his advice, I’d send him six unsolicited emails a week requesting it.) Yet to read Christensen’s new book, How Will You Measure Your Life?, is to be struck by the solidity of his wisdom. That basketball tale, it turns out, illustrates a powerful principle that really does apply in business and life.

Head … Read More »


The Economic Times on HWYMYL

Posted on June 8th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

The Economic Times has posted a Q&A entitled “Questions critical in business, also critical to lives”:

Just as there is no onesize-fits-all solution for the strategy that a company should use, there isn’t one for our lives, either. But what we can do is apply theory – statements about how the world works based on causality – to understand and predict what the result of our actions will be.

Head on over to the Economic Times to read the full article.


“The Business of Life”

Posted on June 5th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

HBS Working Knowledge has posted an interview and includes a run down of some key concepts from How Will You Measure Your Life:

“You know, it’s a travesty that somehow our society has gotten to a point where people have the view that science and academia are inconsistent with a spiritual life, and the belief that there we’ve been put here for a purpose,” he says. “The reality is that the only reason you’re interested in either of these things is that you’re interested in finding the truth. We spend most of our waking hours in our professions, but if we can’t allow success in our professions to benefit from truth that we have learned in the other parts of our lives, we just deprive ourselves of a very important input.”

Head over to HBS Working Knowledge to read the full article.


Forbes interviews Clay on HWYMYL

Posted on June 5th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

Forbes is running an interview on How Will You Measure Your Life? with Clay. From the article:

Why are some over-achievers never happy and content with their lives and what can they do to change that?

Well, one of the things we identify in the book is what’s known as the resource allocation problem. I haven’t met too many people that don’t intend to have a fulfilling life. High-achievers, however, end up allocating their resources in a way that seriously undermines their intended strategy.

This stems from the fact that many of them are wired with a high need for achievement, and they get a pretty big “hit” every time they achieve something: ship a product, get a bonus or a raise, are offered a promotion. It feels good to them; they can see and feel like they’re succeeding. So they ask themselves: … Read More »


Inc Magazine reviews How Will You Measure Your Life?

Posted on June 4th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

Inc Magazine has just posted a review of How Will You Measure Your Life:

The business of life
Applying management concepts to one’s personal life may sound contrived, but the associations made by Christensen and his co-authors are revealing and profound. The book explains how companies and individuals must test assumptions before making big decisions. They must also identify which job they have been “hired” to perform, whether for their customers or their families.

If you read nothing else
Entrepreneurs will appreciate Chapter Three, which is about weighing deliberate plans against emerging opportunities. Chapter Seven draws a neat comparison between companies that make the mistake of outsourcing their core competencies and families that shortchange their children by protecting them from formative experiences.

Jump over to Inc to read the full review.


350 Third reviews How Will You Measure Your Life?

Posted on May 28th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

350 Third has just posted an audio review and discussion of How Will You Measure Your Life?:

Scott and Anders discuss How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, Karen Dillon and James Allworth. Turning the lens from his popular business books toward the planning of our lives, Christensen and his fellow authors dissect the decision making processes that impact us in the most fundamental ways.

To listen to the full thing, jump on over to their site.


Excerpt on CNBC: “Building a Strategy for your Career”

Posted on May 24th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

CNBC is hosting an excerpt from How Will You Measure Your Life. Pulling from the third chapter, on strategy, it’s focusing about shaping a strategy for your career:

I’m always struck by how many of my students and the other young people I’ve worked with think they’re supposed to have their careers planned out, step by step, for the next five years.

High-achievers, and aspiring high-achievers, too often put pressure on themselves to do exactly this. Starting as early as high school, they think that to be successful they need to have a concrete vision of exactly what it is they want to do with their lives.

Underlying this belief is the implicit assumption that they should risk deviating from their vision only if things go horribly wrong.

But having such a focused plan really only makes sense in certain circumstances.

Jump over to CNBC … Read More »


Hugh Hewitt speaks to Clay about How Will You Measure Your Life?

Posted on May 23rd, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

Renowned radio presenter Hugh Hewitt has spoken to Clay about How Will You Measure Your Life. An excerpt from the interview:

I originally called a couple of months back to see if he would be available to talk about health care, and found out a new book of his was coming out, which he has co-authored with James Allworth and Karen Dillon, which is titled How Will You Measure Your Life. And I got it, and I read it, and it’s terrific. Every freshman seminar in America ought to read this, and I am going to make my law students read it next year.

I want to begin right in the middle with what I think is probably the most important of many important chapters. It’s on what we pursue. You write, “Many of us are wired with a need for achievement.” … Read More »


Fast Company on HWYMYL

Posted on May 18th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Fast Company is running an in-depth interview with Clay. From the article:

You draw strong parallels in the book between growing a career, a company, cultivating one’s personal or interior life, and building a family life. What is consistent across these four spheres?
The world is a nested space, and so we have our brain as a person, and people are members of teams, and teams are part of business units, and business units are parts of corporations, and corporations are part of industries, which are part of economies. And what we’ve been trying to figure out is, are there fundamental statements of causality that are the same across all of these units? And we really have concluded that there are. They each have their own vocabulary, but the fundamental causal mechanism is very much the same. I would say that one … Read More »


Huffington Post interview with Clay

Posted on May 18th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

The Huffington Post is running a Q&A with Clay on HWYMYL:

Figuring out your purpose in life isn’t what many people go to business school for, but perhaps it should be, according to Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen. In fact, it’s something he believes in so strongly that he’s even created a guide in his latest book How Will You Measure Life? Regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth, when Christensen was confronted with the same type of cancer that had killed his father, he reflected on what meant the most to him during his life. It wasn’t that he had helped companies make billions of dollars, in fact those things meant very little to him. He realized that it was the impact he had on individual people that mattered most.

Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma was … Read More »


Business Insider Q&A with Clay

Posted on May 17th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Business Insider has just run a Q&A with Clay:

On how to be successful
If you don’t have any idea of what kind of person you want to become, it’s all pointless. You really need to figure out, “What’s the purpose of my life? What kind of person does God want me to become? How do I need to invest my time and energy?” Without that you’re in a boat without a rudder.

And not go to jail like his former HBS classmate Jeffrey Skilling
Just hoping that you’ll become a certain kind of person isn’t enough. Hold to your standards all of the time. Every time you have an opportunity where you can depart — even “just this once under this circumstance”— well, your life is just an unending stream of “extenuating circumstances.” Everyone decides “just this once.”

To become the kind of person … Read More »


HWYMYL News Release

Posted on May 15th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

Contact: Joanna Pinsker
Phone: 212-207-7620
Joanna.Pinsker@harpercollins.com

“[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

HOW WILL YOU MEASURE YOUR LIFE?
By Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth & Karen Dillon

In his illuminating new book How Will You Measure Your Life? (HarperBusiness, an imprint of HarperCollins; ISBN 9780062102416; on-sale 5/15/2012; $25.99), Clayton M. Christensen along with co-authors James Allworth and Karen Dillon provide readers with answers to life’s most pressing 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 … Read More »


Business guru’s tips for living

Posted on May 15th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

Boston.com has run an article on Clay and HWYMYL. From the article:

Over the years, Christensen also noticed something disturbing about people who were once his classmates at Harvard and Oxford. More were living unhappy lives, and he often saw bad personal or professional choices as the root of their problems.

Those observations led Christensen to shape a last lecture for departing students in his class, urging them to think about the things that would give their lives meaning. Students encouraged him to deliver the lecture to the entire graduating business class and eventually it became a book, “How Will You Measure Your Life?,’’ which goes on sale Tuesday.

Students, says Christensen, aren’t focused on “how they will manage their lives in a way that improves the probability they’ll end up with a life they’re happy with, as opposed to a life they … Read More »


Instilling the Value of Integrity in Your Heart

Posted on May 15th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Knowledge@Wharton has just posted a wide-ranging interview with Clay on the topic of HWYMYL. They entitled it “Instilling the value of integrity in your heart”. From the article:

Knowledge@Wharton: Why is it important for managers and leaders to use the processes you describe?

Christensen: The core problem is that for whatever reason, when God created the world, he oriented us to always be looking into the future. He only made data available about the past. If we emerge into our careers as managers with a belief that we need to be data-driven and fact-based in our decision making, we’ll never be able to take action when it’s salient and always be reacting to things after the game is over. You need to be able to learn how to see into the future without data and evidence. The only way you can do … Read More »


Online interview with Clay, James and Karen

Posted on May 15th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Real Recognition Radio has just posted an in-depth, hour-long interview with Clay, James and Karen on HWYMYL?:

Can high-achievers have it all? On the next episode of Rideau’s Real Recognition Radio, Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown speak with Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon, the authors of How Will You Measure Your Life? Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the author of seven critically-acclaimed books. A native of Australia, James Allworth writes for the Harvard Business Review, and has previously worked at Booz & Company, and Apple, Inc. Karen Dillon was Editor of the Harvard Business Review and previously served as deputy editor of Inc magazine, and was editor and publisher of the critically-acclaimed American Lawyer magazine. How do you stay grounded in purpose while being … Read More »


Charlie Rose interviews Clay

Posted on May 14th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Charlie Rose has just posted the interview he has completed with Clayton Christensen on How Will You Measure Your Life?

It’s up over at the Charlie Rose Show.


Stand by your personal line, always

Posted on May 14th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Forbes India, as part of a third anniversary special, is running an excerpt from HWYMYL.

The Hypothesis
Companies are biased to leverage what they have put in place to succeed in the past, instead of guiding them to create the capabilities they’ll need in the future. If we knew the future would be exactly the same as the past, that approach would be fine. But if the future’s different—and it almost always is—then it’s the wrong thing to do.

So What?
Every time an executive in an established company needs to make an investment decision, there are two alternatives on the menu. The first is the full cost of making something completely new. The second is to leverage what already exists. Almost always, the marginal-cost argument overwhelms the full-cost. When there is competition, established companies continue to use what they … Read More »


Message to Managers: Your Strategy Is Not What You Say It Is

Posted on May 14th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Bloomberg Businessweek is running an excerpt from HWYMYL on resource allocation:

Here is a way to frame the investments we make in the strategy that becomes our lives: We have resources—which include personal time, energy, talent, and wealth—and we are using them to try to expand several “businesses” in our personal lives. These include having a rewarding relationship with our spouse or significant other; succeeding in our careers; and so on. Unfortunately, our resources are limited, and these “businesses” are competing for them.

It’s exactly the same problem that a corporation has. Your resources are not decided and deployed in a single meeting; instead, the process is continuous, and you have, in your brain, a filter for making choices about what to prioritize.

But it’s also a messy process. People ask for your time and energy every day and even if you are … Read More »


Forbes follow-up review on HWYMYL

Posted on May 14th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

Elmira Bayrasli, writing for Forbes, has posted a review of HWYMYL. From the review:

How Will You Measure Your Life provides concrete examples from experiences incurred by big brands such as Dell, Netflix, Honda and IKEA. This helps anchor the book at the practical intersection of life and work. While morality and conscious dominate in this book, it avoids earnest idealism. In many ways, though it never explicitly says so, it argues against it.

What it argues for is hard work, which is harder than you may think. Today’s world provides too many scapegoats and shortcuts. That’s what How Will You Measure Your Life is trying to stop. Or else Christensen says you’ll be “set off in the wrong direction.” He uses his former HBS classmate Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling as an example. “When his entire career unraveled with his conviction on … Read More »


800-CEO-READ recommends HWYMYL

Posted on May 13th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

800-CEO-READ has just finished HWYMYL — and they’ve added it to their recommended reading list. From the review:

This book is a commingling of Christensen’s passions, but always returns back to the theories he has spent so many years studying and teaching in business courses.

How Will You Measure Your Life is populated with personal anecdotes—the fates of famous classmates, the progress of Christensen’s career, his motivations as a family man, his numerous health challenges—that lead back to business theory as a way to guide others to better decision-making. Treat your life, Christensen says, to the same careful planning you would your business in order to avoid some of the catastrophic events that can happen to companies when they don’t develop a deliberate, yet agile, strategy.

It’s May, and all around us our children, our friends’ children, our nephews and nieces, our grandchildren … Read More »


“Life beyond the bottom line” — Deseret News

Posted on May 13th, by James in Press & Reviews. 1 Comment

The Deseret News has a feature article on How Will You Measure Your Life? and Clay Christensen. From the article:

The book began as a topic in Christensen’s classes at Harvard. As Christensen tells it, at the end of every class he talked with his students about the purpose of life. He asked his students to consider three questions: “How can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career? How can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness? How can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?”

The message resonated with students. Using common sense and the conclusions of his own business research, he offered advice for finding “meaning and happiness.”

Students asked him to address the same subject to the entire Harvard class in May 2010. The talks … Read More »


The Financial Times reviews HWYMYL

Posted on May 11th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

The Financial Times has just posted a review of How Will You Measure Your Life?, entitled “Life Lessons for the Office”. From the article:

The interrogative title, three short sections on careers, relationships and ethics, and no index – to its comfortable, chatty tone, it will appeal to readers avid for that type of advice.

But what makes the title valuable for a wider audience is that it is more 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.

Prof Christensen picks these tools from businesses that he has studied. Honda’s breakthrough into the US motorcycle market – based on the accidental success of its smaller bikes – becomes a lesson in how to balance a career plan with an openness … Read More »


Excerpt: The Dangers of Marginal Thinking

Posted on May 9th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge is running an excerpt of How Will You Measure Your Life? — pulling from the chapter on the dangers of marginal thinking:

Blockbuster’s mistake? To follow a principle that is taught in every fundamental course in finance and economics. That is, in evaluating alternative investments, we should ignore sunk and fixed costs, and instead base decisions on the marginal costs and revenues that each alternative entails. But it’s a dangerous way of thinking. Almost always, such analysis shows that the marginal costs are lower, and marginal profits are higher, than the full cost.

This doctrine biases companies to leverage what they have put in place to succeed in the past, instead of guiding them to create the capabilities they’ll need in the future. If we knew the future would be exactly the same as the past,that approach … Read More »


Forbes digs deep into HWYMYL

Posted on May 9th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

“The Most Important Decision of Your Life You Make Every Day” — that’s the title of the article Forbes is running on How Will You Measure Your Life?. Quoting from the article:

The road to hell (and business failure) is paved with extenuating circumstances. In business this appears as the trap of marginal thinking. Companies fail because they apply their rules only most of the time and misprice the risk of doing so. People do the same thing–break the law, cheat on a spouse, backstab a client, take just one drink, fudge the numbers, obfuscate the truth–because the risk appears manageable at first. But nothing maintains a steady state. If you can justify going against your principles even once, what’s to stop you from doing it over and over?

If you’re ready to get deep, real quick, you need to read Clay … Read More »


New Yorker chat on HWYMYL and Clay

Posted on May 7th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

Following on from the earlier profile piece, Larissa MacFarquhar of the New Yorker hosted a live chat on Clay Christensen and How Will You Measure Your Life, that just ran in their magazine. The chat took place here on Wednesday May 9th at 3pm ET.

A full transcript follows:

Larissa MacFarquhar on Clayton Christensen

The New Yorker:
Larissa MacFarquhar will be joining us in just a few minutes. For now, please submit your questions.

3:03
Larissa MacFarquhar:
Hello All, I’m here for the next hour to answer questions about my article on Clayton Christensen. Please feel free to send questions.

3:02
Comment From Mike Cena
Hi. Have you had a chance to read the new book that is referenced in the article? What did you think of it?
3:04

Larissa MacFarquhar:
Hi Mike, I did read Christensen’s new book, and I thought it was terrific. There’s much more in it than … Read More »


The New Yorker profiles Clay and HWYMYL

Posted on May 7th, by James in Press & Reviews. 2 comments

The New Yorker magazine has just posted an in-depth profile of Professor Clayton Christensen, and his forthcoming book How Will You Measure Your Life?. From the article:

Christensen had seen dozens of companies falter by going for immediate payoffs rather than long-term growth, and he saw people do the same thing. In three hours at work, you could get something substantial accomplished, and if you failed to accomplish it you felt the pain right away. If you spent three hours at home with your family, it felt like you hadn’t done a thing, and if you skipped it nothing happened. So you spent more and more time at the office, on high-margin, quick-yield tasks, and you even believed that you were staying away from home for the sake of your family. He had seen many people tell themselves that they could … Read More »


Bloomberg Businessweek profiles HWYMYL and Clay Christensen

Posted on May 4th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

Bloomberg Businessweek has just published an in-depth profile of Clay Christensen and How Will You Measure Your Life?. The piece weaves together a narrative of Clay’s life and the book:

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.”

Businessweek reflects on the book itself, too:

More accessible than Steven Covey’s perennial The … Read More »


HWYMYL receives an Amazon Editor’s Pick

Posted on May 4th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

How Will You Measure Your Life? has just been selected for an Editor’s Pick by Amazon.

See the list over at Amazon.


Horace Dediu interviews Clay Christensen about HWYMYL?

Posted on May 3rd, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

Horace Dediu, the creator of Asymco, has just posted an in-depth interview with Clay Christensen. The interview delves into detail on How Will You Measure Your Life?.

It’s available to listen to here:

Horace interviews his teacher Clay Christensen to discuss his new book, How Will You Measure Your Life. We discuss some of the concepts of learning, jobs to be done and approaches to self-disruption. We also cover what Clay is working on next in his writing and research.


DesignMom Starts on How Will You Measure Your Life?

Posted on March 23rd, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

A few of the early copies are getting in the hands of reviewers and opinion shapers. Gabrielle Blair of DesignMom has captured some of her early thoughts on How Will You Measure Your Life?:

I’m only a short way into this one, but it already has me thinking hard. This is an advance copy (the book comes out in May), and it arrived the same day as Laura Munson’s book. I mention the arrival because I feel like these two books are very different but have similar themes: that you can choose a happy life!

It’s a great message, and I’ll take it!

Click on over to DesignMom to read Grabrielle’s thoughts and see her other reading recommendations>>>


Publisher’s Weekly Review

Posted on March 15th, by James in Press & Reviews. 1 Comment

The Publisher’s Weekly has just posted a review of How Will You Measure Your Life?:

Based on a 2010 speech to the Harvard Business School graduating class, innovation expert and HBS professor Christensen (The Innovator’s Dilemma) tackles the question of how to live a happy, meaningful, purpose-filled life. Even before his stroke and cancer diagnosis, Christensen routinely questioned his students not just about their career ambitions but about what they hoped for their lives.

He extends that conversation in this highly engaging and intensely revealing work, distilling lessons learned from studying businesses over the course of a multidecade academic career and spinning them into deeply personal wisdom. He draws on examples from companies like Intel, Disney, and Iridium to illustrate how we can align our actions, time, and resources with our priorities, manage relationships, and even improve parenting. He interweaves personal stories … Read More »


Christensen “World’s Most Influential Management Thinker”

Posted on March 15th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

The Thinker’s 50 Awards, a bi-annual award recognizing the most influential management thinkers in the world, has awarded Clay Christensen the title of the World’s Most Influential Management Thinker.

The Thinkers 50 have posted a video of Clay’s acceptance speech. Visit their site to watch Clay receive the award from the Thinkers 50.


CNBC’s 12 Most Anticipated Books of 2012

Posted on March 15th, by James in Press & Reviews. No Comments

How Will You Measure Your Life? has been profiled by CNBC as one of its 12 most anticipated books of 2012. From the article:

In “How Will You Measure Your Life,” Christensen takes his readers on a journey to make the case that the path to one’s professional and personal success starts with this profound question: “How do you lead a fulfilling life?”

Through a series of questions and models that have been used successfully in the world of business, Christensen reveals how to find happiness in your life, in your relationships, and in your career through the moral decisions you make.

Much in the same vein as Steve Jobs’ epic address at Stanford’s 2005 commencement and Randy Pausch’s “ The Last Lecture ”, this book (which as it happens, is based on a 2010 speech Christensen gave to Harvard Business School graduates after … Read More »


David Brooks: The Summoned Self

Posted on March 15th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

David Brooks of the New York Times has posted an article, The Summoned Self, exploring the ways to think about your life. He references the original How Will You Measure Your Life? article posted in the Harvard Business Review. From the article:

Christensen advised the students to invest a lot of time when they are young in finding a clear purpose for their lives. “When I was a Rhodes scholar,” he recalls, “I was in a very demanding academic program, trying to cram an extra year’s worth of work into my time at Oxford. I decided to spend an hour every night reading, thinking, and praying about why God put me on this earth.

“That was a very challenging commitment to keep, because every hour I spent doing that, I wasn’t studying applied econometrics. I was conflicted about whether I could really … Read More »