In the blog I posted yesterday, I mentioned that lawyers I coach read books together and share their takeaways with each other. I know they find it a valuable experience because each reader sees something different.

One book the readers found very valuable was How Will You Measure Your Life? by Harvard Business School professor, Clay Christensen.

Tricia Deleon shared her thoughts on the last few chapters with her group and gave me permission to share them with you.

Here are my quick take-aways from the last chapters of our book. If you haven’t read the rest of this book yet, please do so. The authors make some deep, inspiring and important points.

Chapter 7: Sailing Your Kids on Theseus’s Ship

  1. We want to feel good as parents. We work hard to make more money so we can give our kids “more opportunities.” Children go to so many activities and camps that they don’t even have time to get part-time jobs. Very true…I started working when I was 15 and learned a lot of life lessons and the value of hard work from scrubbing the floors of Domino’s Pizza or serving ice-cream at Dairy Queen.
  2. Self-esteem comes from achieving something important when it’s hard to do.
  3. Don’t solve all of your kid’s problems. If she tells you at the 11th hour that she didn’t complete her science fair project, don’t stay up all night to do it for her. That teaches her that life can be about others bailing her out, or that it’s okay to take short-cuts or read the Cliff’s notes. Ouch. So true. Glad I am reading this now when my daughter is only 4 and we haven’t encountered this yet!

Chapter 8: The Schools of Experience

  1.  Don’t judge success (or a resume) by solely looking at the scoreboard of what the candidate has achieved. Look for what “courses in the school of life experience” the candidate may have had. Our firm is trying to do more behavioral-based questioning during job interviews. We hope to train our attorneys to interview by asking more interesting and probing questions about how the candidate has dealt with setbacks or stress in his life rather than just asking surface questions about law school.
  2. Author said he appreciated how some boys in Boy Scouts would personally plan a hiking trip versus having his parents plan it. True. I judged a local Girl Scout logo design recently. It was amazing how you could quickly tell which ones were submitted by parents versus the scout. I voted for the one the scout did!

Chapter 9: The Invisible Hand Inside Your Family

  1.  Create a culture for your company and family. You want your employees/family to make the right choices without requiring constant supervision.
  2. This inspired me to sit down with my husband so we could think about a “culture” we wanted to memorialize in writing for our family re: family values. It’s still a work in progress, but I appreciate this book causing me to think about it. I agree with the authors: you have to build, talk about and create the culture you want in your family. If I want the DeLeon’s to be known for kindness or generosity or compassion, we need to talk about it and model it for our daughter.

Chapter 10: Just This Once…

  1. Decide what you stand for and then stand for it all the time. Author decided he would take off Sundays as his Sabbath. He had a championship basketball game to play on a Sunday. He told the coach and team he couldn’t and they went crazy. He kept his commitment to God. His team won without him. Amen.
  2. Think about who you want to be/what you want your life to be like (likeness), then commit to it (commitment) and then decide what metrics you will measure your life by. Author decided, like I would, that God is the only one who can measure/create “success.” His measure of achievement is on an individual basis, meaning how many other people’s lives have I invested in via my time, resources and energy.
  3. This chapter and the epilogue inspired me to sit down this week to draft a personal motto or likeness and to pray about becoming committed to it.

Great book recommendation, Cordell. I enjoyed reading it and will probably re-read it every couple of years.