How Will You Measure Your Life?Submitted by Michael Nystrom on Wed, 12/04/2013 - 13:40
2013 is drawing to a close, and a new year is fast approaching. This is a time that I like to take stock of what has happened over the past year, and to imagine what I would like to accomplish in the new one. Evaluate, contemplate, consider, plan and move forward. Out with the old, in with the new!
One of the books that had a impact on me this year, was Clay Christensen's How will you measure your life?
Christensen is a Harvard Business School professor who's primary claim to fame is the idea of "disruptive innovation," which he articulated in his earlier book The Innovator's Dilemma. The dilemma is that successful companies can fail precisely because of their success. They can be so focused on what they're doing that they miss what's coming.
InHow Will You Measure Your Life Christensen applies what he learned in business to life.
What are your goals? What do you want to achieve? What strategies are you using to get where you want to go?
At his five year business school reunion, he noticed most people seemed to be doing great! They married spouses who were better looking than them; they had great jobs and were making a lot of money.
But as the reunions kept coming, 10 years, 15, 20, 25, things weren't working out for many of them. People were getting divorced; they were estranged from their kids who were being raised on the other side of the country by strangers; some even ended up in jail!
Business metrics are relatively straightforward. You aggregate revenue, subtract out costs and the result is a number called profit. This is the ultimate measurement of a company's success. All of a company's activities can be reduced to a single number.
The same is not true for a human life.
These are the things not taught in business school.
One thing always to keep in mind: How will you measure your life?