Life advice from BYU grad, Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen an online hit

by | Aug. 12, 2010

Mormons We Know

The wisdom of acclaimed Harvard business professor and best-selling author Clayton M. Christensen has gone viral.

A BYU grad and Salt Lake City native who grew up in Rose Park, Christensen pondered his own mortality last year during a confrontation with cancer. The article he wrote as a result appeared in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review and is an Internet hit.

The best yardstick for measuring his life, he surmised, is found in how his life impacts other people.

"I've concluded that the metric by which God will assess my life isn't dollars, but the individual people whose lives I've touched," wrote Christensen, who served an LDS mission to South Korea before becoming a Rhodes scholar. "I think that's the way it will work for us all. Don't worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people."

New York Times columnist David Brooks spent half of a recent column talking about Christensen's approach to life. Eric Hellweg, editorial managing editor of Harvard Business Review Online, credits the Brooks piece and social networks like Twitter and Facebook for the widespread dissemination of Christensen's clarion call to recognize the meaning inherent in helping others.

Read the rest of this story at
Comments and feedback can be sent to