I heard about the news of Clay Christensen’s passing away this morning.
A lot of people can write better about the legacy of Prof Clay and the impact he has had on the world when it comes pioneering things like the theory of Disruptive Innovation, Jobs To Be Done theory and other amazing theories he has pioneered.
While he was famous for his work on disruption, his work on his excellent book – “How will you measure your life” – made him one of my heroes.
This was my book of the year in 2017 and it remains one of the my favourite go-to-book when I feel like the wheels of life are coming off.
We have dedicated our last class at LORA Centre and called it How to Measure Your Life inspired by his powerful book.
In the book, one of the things he jokingly talks about, he says when he enters the gate of St Peters and get to be interviewed by God about his performance here on earth, he says, that he would like if God can measure his performance here on earth based how many lives he has touched for the better. He would like his criteria to enter heaven to be how many people have you left better than you found them.
I have no doubt that if God agrees and uses that criteria, Clay’s entrance interview into heaven has gone well.
Some key lessons from his book:
- “Don’t let life happen to you”
- “It’s easier to hold your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold them 98 percent of the time.”
- “Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.”
- “Intimate, loving, and enduring relationships with our family and close friends will be among the sources of the deepest joy in our lives.”
Over and above his smarts, impact and successes, one thing that stands out for me about Clay is his humility.
The biggest challenge about people who succeed is keeping their feet firmly on the ground.
Academics have a tendency to make others feel like they are not as smart and as accomplished as they are.
Clay had an amazing sense of humor, he cracked jokes, he had no air of self-importance about himself, he was human and he was humane, he was a gentle giant.
What a man, what a legacy.
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom so generously, Clay.
It made a difference.