How Will You Measure Your Life

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Summary of HBS Professor Clay Christensen’s Address to The Harvard Business School Class of 2010

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How Will You Measure Your Life

  1. 1. Harvard Business School Professor Clay Christensen’s Address to Harvard Business School Class of 2010
  2. 2. <ul><li>I ask three questions to my students at the </li></ul><ul><li>end of the year. </li></ul><ul><li>You may ask these questions to yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>How can I be sure that I will be happy in my career ? </li></ul><ul><li>How can I be sure that my relationship with my spouse and family become enduring source of happiness ? </li></ul><ul><li>How can I be sure I will stay out of jail ? </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Powerful Motivator in our life is not money. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibility, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements, and be recognized for making difference to people. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>My Conclusion: </li></ul><ul><li>Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. </li></ul><ul><li>No other occupation offers as many way to help others, learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement and contribute to the success of a team. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Doing deals and achieve very good financials don’t yield the deep rewards and satisfaction that come from building up people. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>At the Harvard Business School, past student Re-unions, </li></ul><ul><li>I have seen more and more of them come to reunions unhappy, divorced and alienated from their children . </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>They didn’t keep the purpose of their lives front and center as they decided how to spend their time, talents, and energy . </li></ul><ul><li>They had given little thought to the purpose of their lives. </li></ul><ul><li>They thought in future they may find out some more time to do this. At Harvard they can focus on something else. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>But………. They were grossly mistaken. </li></ul><ul><li>If they think that they will have more time and energy to reflect later, they are nuts, because life only gets more demanding, over a period of time. </li></ul><ul><li>For me, having a clear purpose in my life has been essential. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>When I was young, studying at Oxford, I decided to spend an hour every night reading, thinking, and praying about why God put me on this earth and ultimately figured out the purpose of my life . Had I instead spent that hour each day learning the latest techniques for mastering the problems of autocorrelation in regression analysis, I would have badly misspent my life. Can you imagine how challenging it would have been to take out one full hour during that highly competitive and demanding environment !!!!. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>I apply my knowledge of the purpose of my life every day . It always remains in front of me. </li></ul><ul><li>My purpose grew out of my religious faith, but faith isn’t the only thing that gives people direction. But without a purpose, life can become hollow. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Your decisions about allocating your personal time, energy and talent ultimately shape your life’s strategy. </li></ul><ul><li>How much do you devote to which Pursuits, will tell about your priority. </li></ul><ul><li>Your priority will tell if ultimately you will become satisfied and happy OR not. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>People who are driven to overachieve have this unconscious propensity to under invest in their families and overinvest in their careers . </li></ul><ul><li>Such People allocate fewer and fewer resources to the things they would have once said mattered most. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Knowing what tools to wield to elicit the needed cooperation is a critical managerial skill. </li></ul><ul><li>Impatient Leaders very fast go for coercion . </li></ul><ul><li>But Great Leaders invest their efforts and wisdom much heavily on this. They would win this without coercion. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Culture defines the priority given to different issues in life and at work. </li></ul><ul><li>Families have cultures, just as companies do. </li></ul><ul><li>Those cultures can be built consciously or evolve inadvertently. </li></ul><ul><li>But nothing great is created by accident. Very conscious efforts and hard choices are required for developing Culture. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>This theory addresses the third question I discuss with my students – how to live a life of integrity (stay out of jail). </li></ul><ul><li>Justification for infidelity and dishonesty in all their manifestations lies in the marginal cost economics of “just this once’. </li></ul><ul><li>This temptation of ‘just once’ must be avoided at all cost. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>I had made a personal commitment to God at age 16 that I would never play ball on Sunday. For an important. </li></ul><ul><li>Basket Ball final, the coach and team members said “Can’t you break the rule just this one time ?” </li></ul><ul><li>Had I crossed the line that one time, I would have done it over and over in the years that followed. </li></ul><ul><li>You have got to define for yourself what you stand for, draw the line in a safe place, and stand by it. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>People with Humility: </li></ul><ul><li>Have a high level of self-esteem. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, you would never steal from someone, because you respect that person too much. You would never lie to someone either. </li></ul><ul><li>People with humility are not less effective, in fact they are more; but they do not make noise of this, which others make. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>If you have a humble eagerness to learn something from everybody, your learning opportunities will be unlimited. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, you can be humble only if you feel really good about yourself and you want to help those around you feel really good about themselves too. </li></ul><ul><li>You need not put someone else down to feel good about yourself. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>This past year I was diagnosed with Cancer and faced the possibility that my life would end sooner than I had planned. </li></ul><ul><li>It taught me that my enormous material achievement seemed very trivial to me. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>I have concluded that the metric by which God will assess my life is not dollars but the individual people whose lives I have touched. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not worry about the individual prominence you have achieved. </li></ul><ul><li>Worry about the individuals you have helped, become better people. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the metric by which your life will be judged, and make a resolution to live with values every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>At the end, it is time for us to ask following three questions to ourselves as an extension to this deliberations. </li></ul><ul><li>- If not now, When ? </li></ul><ul><li>- If not here, Where ? </li></ul><ul><li>- If not me, Who ? </li></ul>

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