Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Will You Measure Your Life? WineTalent Book Review

What a great question, "How Will You Measure Your Life?"  Earlier this year I read some information written by Clayton Christensen and decided to read his recent book, that James Allworth and Karen Dillon contributed on.  The premise of the book is that Dr. Christensen, Professor at Harvard Business School, witnessed in his own life highly successful business people who seemed to lack a winning strategy for their personal lives.  Using business case studies and personal anecdotes, the authors examine business and personal challenges and outcomes.

Being somewhat of a management book junkie, I couldn't pass up a book written by the Harvard Business School's Professor, a HBS alum and the former editor of the Harvard Business Review.  This book outlines business successes and failures, and relates them to personal decisions and dynamics.  How Honda miscalculated the US motorcycle market and unwittingly brought the sport of motocross to us might not seem like a personal life lesson--but Christensen relates this example to his own life decisions.  What do highly technical, pocket-sized ultrasound machines have to do with personal time management?  I hadn't really connected the dots until reading this book.

The authors do a great job of dissecting business world situations and determining the root cause.  They also use similar methods to view personal situations and determine potentially successful strategies.  Yes, while Apple computer or IBM should look at some business case studies to realign their own businesses, so could many people look at their own decisions and determine what is working and what isn't--and make intelligent changes.  The idea of the book is to have an overriding strategy--perhaps a book of rules--for how to live your life.  By keeping these commandments true during your work life and your personal life you can stay true to yourself, your family and your community.  It was refreshing to read insights from highly successful business people that involved ethics, morality and personal happiness.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy gleaning insights about how companies work, but who also like to be introspective and perhaps create their own way of managing their personal life.  If you are only looking at a self-help book that tells you how to do it, the business case studies may get in the way.

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