Christensen and his co-authors, James Allworth and Karen Dillon, apply business management theories to specific companies such as Blockbuster and Dell in a clear compelling fashion. So at this point, the book is a good refresher of business school coursework. But where the book shines and is clearly different from others is in the next step; the co-authors take each theory and apply it to our lives, to us as individuals. This makes the theory so much more accessible, understandable and relevant.
Here's a quick example from my summary of Chapter 8: The Schools of Experience:
McCall's theory of leadership posits not that there is "the right stuff" innately but that leaders abilities are developed and shaped by experiences in life. All these experiences are "courses" in the school of experience. The skills that leaders have or don't have at any point in time depends on which courses they have taken along the way.
- What courses in the school of experience to you need to take to get where you want to go?
- What are all the experiences and problems that you have to master so that you become capable of becoming what you want to become?
The authors cover a wide range of topics from Herzberg's two-factor theory of motivation to how considering full vs marginal costs affect personal decisions you make. He includes three chapters primarily devoted to strategic questions related to raising children.
How Will You Measure Your Life is a great question and an awesome book and I really recommend that you read it. If you'd like a copy of my chapter summary and discussion guide, just send me an e-mail to the address in my blog profile and I'll send it to you.