Practical Advice from ‘How Will You Measure Your Life?’ by Clayton M. Christensen (An Actionable Books summary)

“I know for sure that none of these people graduated with a deliberate strategy to get divorced or lose touch with their children—much less to end up in jail. Yet this is the exact strategy that too many ended up implementing.”

How Will You Measure Your Life?, page 4

How Will You Measure Your Life extrapolates business and life lessons by combining these principles:

  • what gets measured improves
  • hindsight is easier but foresight is better
  • business and life often run parallel

The advice throughout the book focuses not on the minutiae but the big picture, teaching business lessons and applying them to life choices. The result is forceful in its clarity and simplicity.

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘How Will You Measure Your Life?’ by Clayton M. Christensen (An Actionable Books summary)”

Practical Advice from ‘How We Decide’ by Jonah Lehrer (An Actionable Books summary)

“The first step to making better decisions is to . . . honestly assess our flaws and talents, our strengths and shortcomings.”

How We Decide, page 259

We’d all love to think that logic and reason are the foundation of our choices. Gotta keep those emotions in check when we’re making life’s big choices. After all, when we’re buying a house or car, choosing a life partner, deciding what to eat or whether or not to have children, we want to make the best choice possible. Pure logic, we assume, leads to the best choices.

We’re wrong.

How We Decide uses the latest scientific research to explain brand new understanding about how our brain works. This information is vital to better decision making.

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘How We Decide’ by Jonah Lehrer (An Actionable Books summary)”

Why Doing the Right Thing is Hard

My column on why I’m losing weight struck an unpleasant chord with some folks when I first published it. It’s common to hear stories of people trying unsuccessfully, sometimes for years, to lose weight.

Another angle on the same issue: When your income gets an unexpected and temporary boost, through a bonus at work or a project you hadn’t expected, do you bank the money, or reward yourself with a new toy or dinner out?

We experience it every single day of our lives: even though we know what’s good for us, day after day we do what’s fun, what’s easy, instead of what’s healthy and rational and good for our future self.

Do you ever stop to wonder why?

red thoughts
… more … “Why Doing the Right Thing is Hard”

When You’re All at Sea is No Time to Remember the Anchor

The first characteristic of an excellent company, according to Tom Peters and Bob Waterman (In Search of Excellence) is a bias for action. Those companies which lean toward doing something were in better shape than those which gave the appearance they were afraid of action unless it was guaranteed safe.

That’s not to say that a bias for action can’t be married to careful planning.
… more … “When You’re All at Sea is No Time to Remember the Anchor”

The Balancing Act in Your Brain

Your brain is a battlefield. Two warring forces wage a constant struggle for dominance.

Okay, they’re more like a couple teenagers fighting over who gets the window seat on a long drive. Chances are, you keep giving the same kid the window seat.

And putting the other kid in the trunk.

balancing act
… more … “The Balancing Act in Your Brain”

A Second Chance for First Impressions

We all know the cliché: “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Opinions formed during the first moments of a relationship are usually long-lasting. This leads to all sorts of social manipulation to make a good impression: dressing your best, smiling a lot, leaning forward in your chair, all that stuff the job-hunting websites write about.

Recent science teaches us that’s less effective than the advice your mom always used to give you: “Just relax and be yourself!”

Why do first impressions matter? Do we have any control over them?

surprise: not the best first impression
… more … “A Second Chance for First Impressions”