How will you measure your life?
"Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team." - Clayton Christensen
Clayton Christensen, originator of the Innovator's Dilemma, passed away on 23 January, 2020 after a long battle with leukemia. In the wake of his passing, Harvard Business Review has shone a spotlight on his thinking. For anyone interested, I recommend the short article How Will You Measure Your Life. In it, Christensen uses business principles and concepts to make some very valuable points about the broader trajectory of our lives. He asks - and convincingly answers - three questions: First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career? Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness? Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?
If that doesn't whet your appetite, here's a snippet:
"People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness. If you study the root causes of business disasters, over and over you’ll find this predisposition toward endeavors that offer immediate gratification. If you look at personal lives through that lens, you’ll see the same stunning and sobering pattern: people allocating fewer and fewer resources to the things they would have once said mattered most."
To me, the best leaders and thinkers are always ones who are both authentic and humane. The most intellectually gripping theories and the hardest-won business targets pale in comparison to leaders who care about the deeper lives of people and act in their interests.
Archimedes once said, 'Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.' In hustle culture, I think it's worth remembering that work is a lever supported on the fulcrum of relationship. Both are necessary if you want to move the world.
Enough said. Now go read that article.