Clayton Christensen is a leading guru on innovation, a professor at Harvard Business School and the author of The Innovators Dilemma - one of the most influential business books ever written.
But his new book, How Will You Measure Your Life, is a big departure from his past work.
The book focuses on how to apply business tools to improve your life.
The inspiration for the book came from Christensen's HBS reunions, where he noticed a surprising number of his classmates had gone through "personal dissatisfaction, family failures, professional struggles, and even criminal behavior".
One of his classmates, for example, was Enron's Jeff Skilling, who he describes as "a good man" but that "something had clearly sent him off in the wrong direction."
The book contains Christensen's advice on how not to head off in the wrong direction, and consists of three sections:
- Finding Happiness in Your Career
- Finding Happiness in Your Relationships
- How to Stay Out of Jail
Each section discusses tools, cases and theory from business and business research. It then covers how to apply these to life situations with the goal of teaching people how to lead successful and ethical lives.
The reviews of this book have been mixed. Many feel it's too preachy or surgar coats today's ethical complexities. Others question the value of applying business tools and research to life.
My review is simpler. I wish this book was around when I started my carreer.
And after reading it myself, I bought copies for my kids and other young adults I know. $16 is not a lot to spend to get them thinking about their future and how to live responsible, ethical and successful lives.