Thursday, January 6, 2011

Beginning of the Year Reflections

I had the opportunity to read an article by Clay Christensen in the Harvard Business Review entitled, “How Will You Measure Your Life?” Within several hours of reading the article I was flipping through the channels on TV and on PBS Christensen was giving an interview about this very same article. This double exposure helped me to decide to share the thinking behind the article. During the interview Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, commented that he had recently had a stroke and was also diagnosed with cancer. He went on to say that both of these experiences had caused him to think again about how his life will be measured when it comes to an end. It was apparent in listening to Christensen and in reading the article that he is a deeply religious man, but as it says in the Editor’s note: “we believe that these are strategies anyone can use.”

Both the article and the interview ended with Christensen’s conclusion that the metric by which his life will be assessed will be the lives of the people whose lives he has touched in a positive way. Personalizing that point of view, the judgment of my life and how I have used my talents and gifts, will be in the number of people that I have helped reach their full potential. I believe that this is exactly the goal of after-school programs—to create a high quality program that provides youth an opportunity to make the unique contribution to the world that only they can make. For Consult 4 Kids, we believe that the best way for after-school programs to make this impact on youth, it to provide a comprehensive staff development program that ensures that staff will conceptually experience exactly what you want youth to experience when they are with your frontline staff. In other words, it is the creation of a parallel structure that works with staff and students as well. What a perfect stage after-school provides for us to do our work!

Christensen states that we must each create a strategy for our lives and suggests that this can be done by answering three questions:

“How can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career?
How can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and family become an enduring source of happiness?
How can I live my life with integrity?”

I recommend that you consider your answers to these three questions as you move toward setting your course for 2011. 

[1] Christensen, Clay. How Will You Measure Your Life? Harvard Business Review. July-August, 2010.

[1] Ibid.

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