Sunday, February 26, 2012

Some great quotes from Christensen's "How Will You Measure Your Life".

This is a great article based on a speech Christensen gave to the HBS 2010 graduating class, applying the theories he teaches to leading a meaningful life. Here are a few good quotes:
  • "Frederick Herzberg, asserts that 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."
  • "a company’s strategy is determined by the types of initiatives that management invests in"
  • "The choice and successful pursuit of a profession is but one tool for achieving your purpose. But without a purpose, life can become hollow."
  •  Your decisions about allocating your personal time, energy, and talent ultimately shape your life’s strategy."
  • "When people who have a high need for achievement—and that includes all Harvard Business School graduates—have an extra half hour of time or an extra ounce of energy, they’ll unconsciously allocate it to activities that yield the most tangible accomplishments. And our careers provide the most concrete evidence that we’re moving forward."
  • "Knowing what tools to wield to elicit the needed cooperation is a critical managerial skill."
  • "Ultimately, people don’t even think about whether their way of doing things yields success. They embrace priorities and follow procedures by instinct and assumption rather than by explicit decision—which means that they’ve created a culture. Culture, in compelling but unspoken ways, dictates the proven, acceptable methods by which members of the group address recurrent problems. And culture defines the priority given to different types of problems. It can be a powerful management tool."
  • "... it’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time. If you give in to “just this once,” based on a marginal cost analysis, as some of my former classmates have done, you’ll regret where you end up. You’ve got to define for yourself what you stand for and draw the line in a safe place."
  • "[humble people] had a high level of self-esteem. They knew who they were, and they felt good about who they were. We also decided that humility was defined not by self-deprecating behavior or attitudes but by the esteem with which you regard others. Good behavior flows naturally from that kind of humility."
  • "the vast majority of people you’ll interact with on a day-to-day basis may not be smarter than you. And 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."
  • "Generally, 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."
  • "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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