This has to be my book of the year 2017 without a doubt.

This book is like that last lecture class of the year before your final exams before you graduation where the Professor is giving you life lessons beyond your degree.

“Okay now that you know how to calculate ROI, Beta and risk models, here is what you need to know about life.”

Professor Christensen, famous for his theory on disruptive innovations, is an amazing human being. Very humble, smart, and funny.

I have never read a book that combines business lessons and applies the same lessons to our personal lives. In this book, Prof Christensen does an amazing job of combining business and life lessons in each chapter of the book.

The storytelling in this book is remarkable. This book has changed my life and how view a number of things and challenges in my life.

If books were to come with warning labels, this book’s warning label would be “WARNING: Reading this book will change your life.”

In this book, Prof Clayton Christensen reflected on the lessons learnt in his career from business to academia and how the same lessons from company culture, motivation factors in hiring people and business ethics learnt can be translated to family life.

Written together with two co-authors, James Allworth & Karen Dillon, the book introduced how our careers whether as an entrepreneur or corporate leader can provide us a mirror in how we view our family life.

This book combination of business and family wisdom.

Some of the chapters in the include:

  • What makes us tick
  • Your strategy is now what you say it is
  • Sailing your kids on Theseus’s ship
  • The invisible hand inside your family
  • The ticking clock



I love this book. Yeah I know, I’m saying it for the second time.

I personally admire the way how real-life stories of successes and failures found their place in this book and how these stories are interconnected.

This is the book that I will read few more times for sure and that I will recommend to my close friends as well.

It feels like a short-book, while you are still enjoying it, it ends. This is what happens with great books, you don’t want them to end. Prof Christensen leaves you want more of his wisdom.

I recommend this book, especially for entrepreneurs who have started their families with kids or currently studying in a business school (likely a MBA or EMBA) and contemplating their next career moves or starting their own business.

What I enjoyed about the book is the sense of perspective that he has placed on how one should balance their career and family and integrate work with happiness.

In the end, all of us will go back to the same question that Christensen sought to address, “How will you measure your life?” Christensen has provided his perspective, how about the rest of us then?

Quotes that stood out for me

  • “If you defer investing your time and energy until you see that you need to, chances are it will already be too late.”
  • “Instead of telling him what to think, I taught him how to think.” [Page 11]
  • “Fast-paced careers, family responsibilities, and tangible rewards of success tend to swallow up time and perspective.”
  • “You can talk all you want about having a clear purpose and strategy for your life, but ultimately this means nothing if you are not investing the resources you have in a way that is consistent with your strategy. In the end, a strategy is nothing but good intentions unless it’s effectively implemented.”
  • “What we can learn from how companies develop strategy is that although it is hard to get it right at first, success doesn’t rely on this. Instead, it hinges on continuing to experiment until you do find an approach that works.”
  • “But there is much more to life than your career. The person you are at work and the amount of time you spend there will impact the person you are outside of work with your family and close friends.”
  • “In your life, there are going to be constant demands for your time and attention. How are you going to decide which of those demands gets resources? The trap many people fall into is to allocate their time to whoever screams loudest, and their talent to whatever offers them the fastest reward. That’s a dangerous way to build a strategy.”
  • “It’s easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. The boundary, your personal moral line, is powerful because you don’t cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there’s nothing to stop you doing it again.”
  • “All parents aspire to raise the kind of children that they know will make the right choices – even when they themselves are not there to supervise. One of the most effective ways to do that is to build the right family culture.”
  • “Intimate, loving, and enduring relationships with our family and close friends will be among the sources of the deepest joy in our lives.”
  • “I had thought the destination was what was important, but it turned out it was the journey.”
  • “the only metrics that will truly matter to my life are the individuals whom I have been able to help, one by one, to become better people.”
  • “Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.”
  • “People often think that the best way to predict the future is by collecting as much data as possible before making a decision. But this is like driving a car looking only at the rearview mirror, because data is only available about the past.” [page 14]
  • “Good theory helps people steer to good decisions, not just in business, but in life, too.” [page 17]


2 thoughts on “Book Review: How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen

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