A thinking man’s version of Covey and Collins that is deeper and profound — not a fluff book at all!,
Clayton Christensen is one of the deepest thinkers and most thoughtful people I have had the pleasure to meet or hear present. Those traits of deep integrity, thought, consideration come through in this book. However, the title will be misleading as this is not another self help book, nor it is an attempt for Christensen to break into the Tuesday with Morrie crowd. Rather, Christensen turns his considerable intellect and experience to perhaps the most fundamental question of all — why are we here and how do we know we are making a difference. The book is exceptional in its combination of deep feeling that is personal and experiential alongside deeper thought and business experience.
This is a business view of life, not in terms of profit or loss, but more in terms of ideals, ethics, integrity and brutal honesty about yourself, who you are and where you are going. Such deep moral subject matter could be dry and preachy, but Christensen and his co-authors are anything but. They explain their position in a series of theories — simple ideas that you can use as tools to inspect and apply to your own experience. They avoid simple formulaic answers like you would find in some books and generic principles about success contained in others. This is a book that exposes the theory behind the issues below, the sources of conventional business and management wisdom and offers new ways of thinking about these important issues.
The book is organized into parts with a particular focus on core questions
Part 1 — Finding happiness in your career, discusses the true basis of motivation and reward
Part 2 — Finding happiness in your relationships, concentrates on spending time consistent with your priorities, patience and how they apply
Part 3 — Staying out of Jail, about living with integrity and the pitfalls of marginal versus full thinking.
The chapters are short, well written and feature some of the material Christensen’s prior talks — for example the question of what is the job of a milkshake. The book is pure Christensen and that says its focused, educational and equips rather than preaches to the the audience.
This is not a self help book, but it is a book for people wanting to think about how to help themselves. The difference is subtle but important as after all is said and done, we all have to measure our own lives, and change based on what we see and believe using the tools we have. This book is chocked full of such tools.