Sunday, July 1, 2012

How Will You Measure Your Life?How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Why can't we/they run this school/church/charity/organization/family more like a business?"

I was afraid this was the question which Christensen was pursuing in this book. That was wrong. It is related to that, because he points out here that good and successful businesses must run as caring and giving families. Ethical and purpose-driven business can also be a model for individuals and families. He takes business examples (many used in his other books), to illustrate how we can be successful spouses, parents and happy, purposeful individuals.

Many of these foundational principles come into sharper focus when we understand then in business terms. I do not know why that is, but it seemed to work for me. The story of the trader Nick Leeson who destroyed the 233 year old Barings bank is one example. when he made a trading mistake, instead of owning up to it, he hid his mistake and then continued to hide bigger and bigger trading losses, until he (and Barings)could not recover. Personally, our life's turning points hinge on these seemingly small events. 100% honesty is easier than being honest and ethical 98% of the time. For businesses and individuals, exceptions to the rules of ethics due to "Extenuating circumstances" can become painful turning points.

I highly recommend.

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