How Will You Measure Your Life? | Clayton M. Christensen

Summary of: How Will You Measure Your Life?
By: Clayton M. Christensen

Introduction

Embark on a journey of self-discovery with ‘How Will You Measure Your Life?’ by Clayton M. Christensen, as he uncovers the true source of satisfaction at work and in personal life. The book delves into the impact of hygiene and motivation factors on job satisfaction, the difference between deliberate and emergent career strategies, and the importance of allocating personal resources effectively. Furthermore, it explores the significance of cultivating deep relationships, empathy, and intuition, as well as the critical role parents play in shaping their children’s character and values. Finally, the book emphasizes living a life of integrity and the potential pitfalls of marginal thinking in both personal and professional spheres.

Reconsidering the Incentive Theory

The tangible aspects of your job do not equate to happiness. This summary explores the hygiene-motivation theory, which posits that job satisfaction is achieved by combining hygiene factors with motivation factors. While hygiene factors cover general work conditions and policies, motivation factors concern recognition, responsibility, challenges, and personal growth. Finding a balance between the two is crucial.

Balancing Deliberate and Emergent Strategies

Most people have a career plan, but few know how to achieve their goals. Henry Mintzberg, an academic and renowned author, explains that there are two types of strategies: deliberate and emergent. Deliberate strategies rely on anticipated opportunities, while emergent ones utilize unanticipated ones that arise during the implementation process of deliberate strategies. Honda’s two-phase strategy of launching its motorbikes in the US market shows how deliberate strategies can fail, and emergent ones can save the day. Creating a balance between deliberate and emergent strategies can help you achieve your goals and make use of any opportunity.

Maximizing Personal Resources

In this summary, we are introduced to the concept of personal resources. While most people understand resources in a business context, personal time, energy, skills, and wealth can also be considered as resources. Managing personal resources requires prioritizing different aspects of our lives, including family bonds, rewarding friendships, and physical health.

Investing all resources into one area, such as a career, is a common mistake. Instead, we must evaluate whether the investment aligns with our personal values, goals, and priorities. Long-term goals, such as raising children well, provide lifelong and valuable rewards that exceed the satisfaction of immediate rewards such as a promotion or bonus.

To make the right personal resource allocation decisions, it is essential to reconceptualize the criteria used to allocate your time. As such, professionals should avoid prioritizing immediate rewards over long-term gains. By avoiding this common error and taking control of personal resource allocation, we benefit from a well-rounded and fulfilled life.

The Importance of Consistent Investment in Family Life

High achievers often prioritize their careers over their families, but neglecting relationships can lead to long-term damage. This summary highlights the importance of consistent attention and care towards loved ones, as underinvestment will prevent them from flourishing. It also emphasizes the paradoxical nature of relationships, which require dedication even when it appears unnecessary. Neglecting family in early stages of development will lead to problems later on. In the end, not only do families need us, but we also depend on them, and neglecting them now can lead to losing vital support in the future.

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