Wednesday, September 17, 2014 4:00pm - 5:00pm
The High Achiever’s Paradox: How Will You Measure Your Life?
- Karen Dillon, Contributing Editor, Harvard Business Review
Why do so many high achievers end up unhappy in their careers – and their lives? That's a question Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen set out to answer. One of the world’s most respected academics and thought leaders, he helps aspiring MBAs and CEOs alike apply management and innovation theories to build stronger companies (his “Innovator's Dilemma” was the only business book Steve Jobs kept on his bookshelf). But during the final lecture of every semester, Christensen focuses on a surprisingly non-business issue: how will his students ensure not only a successful career – but a happy life? That 'last class' had become so coveted among Christensen’s students that Karen Dillon, then-editor of Harvard Business Review, was inspired to turn it into a story for the magazine. Since then, “How Will You Measure Your Life?” has become so much more than a lecture, an article and a book, which Dillon co-wrote with Christensen.
The experience was life-changing for Dillon, who walked away from the top job of one of the world's most influential magazines. What can a business school professor say that is powerful enough to trigger such response – in Dillon and the hundreds of thousands of people affected by Christensen’s thinking? Dillon shares her first-hand perspective and offers an answer to why high achievers are hardwired to make the very choices that can lead to personal and professional dissatisfaction. While there are no easy answers to life’s many demands, there is a way to find meaning and happiness in work and in life.