The Monday Review: How Will You Measure Your Life?

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CreActivity Score: 67 out of 80, see below.

Read in: 5 minutes or listen in 6 minutes on Radio LEADX3M by clicking here

Title (Year): How Will You Measure Your Life: Finding fulfilment using lessons from some of the world's greatest businesses (2012)

Authors: Clayton Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon. The voice of the book is Christensen's throughout. 

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Happy Monday CreActive Leaders, I hope you've had a relaxing weekend with your family and friends. With your close ones in mind, in this book review, we focus on a business book with an important message for us professionals to emphasise more our relationships than our career progression in our pursuit of happiness, so let's learn more. 

How Will You Measure Your Life published in 2012 is in my view very different from Christensen's previous publications, as it resides on familiar business concepts, but focuses primarily on the golden triangle of professional and personal happiness while staying ethical and out of trouble no matter what. 

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As many of you know, Clayton Christensen is one of the most praised and debated innovation thought leaders, who is probably best known for his seminal book called "The Innovator's Dilemma". It's a book that has inspired many, and it was one of the few business books that Steve Jobs kept close when bringing Apple back to life. Both Christensen and Jobs are today in memoriam, while their vital contributions to innovation and humanity will keep giving for years to come. 

For me the book How Will You Measure Your Life is a highly personal reflection of Christensen's views, where he openly discusses his own and reflects over others' choices in life at work and in private. He argues that happiness derives from continuously balancing between a professional career, family, and everything else going on in life. At best we gain energy and encouragement from all corners of our lives, but it takes both time and effort to build and sustain a healthy balance. So we must invest in our relationships with a long term objective to remain happy. 


Thinking about CreActive Leadership, here is my scoreboard and three favourite questions in bold being addressed when reading the book, learn more about the framework by clicking here

    INFLUENCE: How can we have a positive influence on other people? (9/10)

+ AGILITY: How can we deal with complex realities under great uncertainty? (7/10)

+ RESILIENCE: How can we learn from action and enhance our creativity? (7/10)

+ EFFICIENCY: How can we enable growth and wellbeing through renewal? (9/10)

+ INNOVATION: How can we stimulate people to engage in innovation/transformation? (8/10)

+ COOPERATION: How can we share with others and gain in return? (8/10)

+ COMPLIANCE: How can we remain dutiful and sincere, while allowing creativity? (10/10)

+ DELIVERY: How can we aim for perfection for all stakeholders (9/10)

= Total score: 67/80

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Join me to learn more about these key insights:

1. INFLUENCE: How can we have a positive influence on other people? 

I feel that this book is more important than ever. During COVID-19 most of us have been blessed with spending significantly more time with our families, at least in a physical sense. However, with underlying stress and rounded virtual working hours, many of us have also become more isolated from our colleagues at work and ironically also our family members and people close to us in general. 

How is this possible? One significant factor is the relative ease of mentally slipping away from almost any interaction by entering our private quarters on social media or streaming services. In the past, we seemed to know better that happiness truly stems from interacting and having fun with family, friends, and colleagues. I.e. as we say here at Leadx3m, Together We Can.  

Fading away from social interaction into our work related overload or our newly established e-privacy are poor excuses not to socialize, so next time you are about to strand your spouse for your supervisor's Saturday request or the latest season of your favourite streaming series, remember that dedicating time to each other is an investment in your mutual long term happiness. As the book points out, increasingly we don't see this as obvious, because the alternatives often present an immediate award, whereas benefits from investing in relationships are more long term and harder to define as a point in time.

Christensen's lesson to us is that we cant compensate later for less family time now, which I full-heartedly agree with. During my crazy work travel years, my family was always there to support and cheer no matter what. However, looking back I realize the sacrifices we made and how often my mind was worn down by jetlag or work matters, which caused me to mentally wander somewhere else even when being surrounded by those closest to me. 

2. EFFICIENCY: How can we enable growth and wellbeing through renewal? 

As someone who often refers to Christensen's publications, I found it particularly amusing to consider my role and my family relationship like a "job", where I have a certain role and set of responsibilities to master. Accordingly, by using this famous Christensen customer problem analogy, we can become more efficient relationship builders. 

So next time, don't wait for your spouse, kids, parents or friends to ask for something, instead, act proactively as you would do to solve customer problems by asking yourself "what does he/she need from me the most?" to solve a problem or improve their wellbeing. 

This reversed thinking will make us understand better the lives of those closest to us, as we need to pay attention to be able to help them in a way that matters. So lets, aim to become super proactive and efficient in figuring out the needs of those around us, so we can help and show that we genuinely care. 

3. COMPLIANCE: How can we remain dutiful and sincere, while allowing creativity? 

At the end of the day, one of the most fundamental relationships we have is the one with ourselves. For me, social responsiveness, justice and following good practice are key factors of integrity and happiness in life. Since childhood, I have had a particularly strong aversion to injustice. 

When reading the book, I found it particularly eye-opening to learn about the many cases where Christensen had discovered people who lost their integrity for quick windfall gains. Even if some got away with it at least for a while, the more important question is, were they any happier as a result or not? Fundamentally, I agree that genuine happiness comes from doing the right thing even if it may not be as profitable in the short term.  


Consequently, as the book teaches us, we need to max our investments in continuous relationship building and boost our efforts especially when it feels like everything is working better than fine. That's the moment when you can best positively influence other people, and a strong relationship will also carry you through moments when things are not as well with one of you or in your relationship in itself. 

This book offers something for all of us to consider. I am very passionate about the work I get to do every week with seasoned executives and graduate learners alike. That said, in recent years, I have become even more aware of my role and responsibility in ensuring the wellbeing of close ones. 

This book gave me a lot of concrete ways to enhance and balance happiness across the board. I am sure you will enjoy the read. Please feel free to share this book review in your network, remember to like Leadx3m on Linkedin, and press the button below to add your email to our mailing list. 

More reviews and publications to come, enjoy your week Creactive Leaders.