How Will You Measure Your Life? Book Summary - How Will You Measure Your Life? Book explained in key points
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How Will You Measure Your Life? summary

Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon

Finding Fulfillment Using Lessons From Some of the World's Greatest Businesses

4.1 (270 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon shares insightful advice from a Harvard Business School professor on how to lead a fulfilling life by focusing on what truly matters and making smart choices every day.

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    How Will You Measure Your Life?
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Motivation trumps money when it comes to job satisfaction.

    What do you think would make you happier at work? Perhaps a little more pay might be nice, or maybe some more admiration from fellow colleagues.

    Such assumptions are fairly common. In fact, the tangible aspects of your job, such as money and prestige, are not actually the things that will make you happy. If you think otherwise, go to a business school reunion where you’ll see just how often professional success is often tainted with personal dissatisfaction, family failures, professional struggles and even criminal behavior.

    Despite this, an unhealthy approach to the use of incentives in the workplace still prevails. Popularised by economist Michael Jensen and management theorist William Meckling, the incentive theory makes the straightforward statement that the more you are paid, the better you perform.

    In light of our business school reunion example, this theory seems too simplistic. What’s more, studies have shown that the hardest-working people are in fact those employed in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – people who do world-changing work, but earn very little.

    In fact, it turns out that professional satisfaction and motivation are derived from work that matches your needs and interests. Psychologist Frederick Herzberg proposed that our needs and interests can be divided into two different categories – hygiene factors and motivation factors. This forms the basis of his hygiene-motivation theory.

    Hygiene factors cover issues such as general conditions at work, company policies, supervisory practices and job security. If these issues are not satisfactory or are lacking, it’s a case of bad hygiene that then causes job dissatisfaction. However, would a job with great working conditions but no room for promotion or reward be satisfying? Probably not.

    Job satisfaction instead is achieved by combining hygiene factors with motivation factors. Motivation factors concern recognition, responsibility, challenges and personal growth.

    Consider a job that was intellectually stimulating but burdened with terrible management – would this give you satisfaction? Definitely not. It’s clear that the confluence of hygiene and motivation is crucial, and the next blink presents two strategies to attain this balance.

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    What is How Will You Measure Your Life? about?

    As a leading business expert and cancer survivor, Clayton M. Christensen provides you with his unique insight on how to lead a life that brings both professional success and genuine happiness. In How Will You Measure Your Life?, Christensen touches on diverse topics such as motivation and how you can harness it, what career strategy is the best for you, how to strengthen relationships with loved ones, and how to build a strong family culture.

    How Will You Measure Your Life? Review

    How Will You Measure Your Life? (2012) provides valuable insight into leading a fulfilled and purposeful life. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers practical and actionable advice on navigating personal and professional challenges, helping readers make meaningful choices that align with their values.
    • Combining business theories, case studies, and the author's personal experiences, the book presents a unique perspective on finding happiness and success.
    • With its thought-provoking questions and reflective exercises, the book encourages deep self-reflection and sparks meaningful discussions about life's purpose.

    Best quote from How Will You Measure Your Life?

    As youre living your life from day to day, how do you make sure youre heading in the right direction?

    —Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon
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    Who should read How Will You Measure Your Life??

    • Anyone struggling to create a balance between work and life demands
    • Anyone curious about how to achieve long-term happiness and meaning in life
    • Fans of Christensen’s critically acclaimed book, The Innovator’s Dilemma

    About the Author

    Clayton M. Christensen is a critically acclaimed author of several books and the Kim B. Clark Professor at the Harvard Business School.

    James Allworth is a graduate and Baker Scholar at the Harvard Business School.

    Karen Dillon is an American investigative journalist and former editor of the Harvard Business Review. She was named one of the world’s most influential and inspiring women in 2011.

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    How Will You Measure Your Life? FAQs 

    What is the main message of How Will You Measure Your Life??

    The main message of How Will You Measure Your Life? is to prioritize what truly matters and make choices that align with your values.

    How long does it take to read How Will You Measure Your Life??

    The reading time for How Will You Measure Your Life? varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in about 15 minutes.

    Is How Will You Measure Your Life? a good book? Is it worth reading?

    How Will You Measure Your Life? is worth reading as it provides insightful perspectives and practical advice on finding happiness and fulfillment.

    Who is the author of How Will You Measure Your Life??

    The authors of How Will You Measure Your Life? are Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon.

    What to read after How Will You Measure Your Life??

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