Clay Christensen

My friends from Innosight recently reminded me of Clay Christensen’s article How Will You Measure Your Life?  After a great weekend with my wife and friends, I reread it waiting for a flight. Here’s 10 quotes that made me stop and think.

On mission: “having a clear purpose in my life has been essential. But it was something I had to think long and hard about before I understood it. When I was a Rhodes scholar…I decided to spend an hour every night reading, thinking, and praying about why God put me on this earth.”

On learning: “if your attitude is that only smarter people have something to teach you, your learning opportunities will be very limited. But if you have a humble eagerness to learn something from everybody, your learning opportunities will be unlimited

On humility: “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.”

On impact:  “Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.”

On motivation: “the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements.”

On leadership: 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.”

On time: “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.”

On family: “If you want your kids to have strong self-esteem and confidence that they can solve hard problems…You have to design them into your family’s culture—and you have to think about this very early on. Like employees, children build self-esteem by doing things that are hard and learning what works.”

On principal: “it’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time…You’ve got to define for yourself what you stand for and draw the line in a safe place.”

On measurement: Think about the metric by which your life will be judged, and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success.

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