I have had the honor of getting to know and interacting with Professor--or
Brother-Clayton Christensen--on multiple occasions as a student in Boston. While
truly his professional accomplishments are remarkable, I believe that he is one
of those marked men and women who will be better known in time for the character
of charity that they emanate, even beyond secular accomplishments. This Harvard
Business Review publication is such evidence. It is not a simple 'one-off', but
rather one outward manifestation of a how this gentle giant has humbly unified
his professional life and self-identity with the fundamentals of his faith,
namely the worship and discipleship of Jesus Christ. In this way, Brother
Christensen's example has left a memorable impression in my own life. He would
be the first to submit that en lieu of idealizing him or other such real world
heroes, we would all do well to learn from Him from whom he has learned, and
seek to act in the manner of the Redeemer he seeks to serve.
Thanks for some worthwhile news. I just went and read the article and really
enjoyed it. A very smart and sincere man. Why can't people like this be in
politics?I also noticed how different the comments were compared to
a regular Dnews board. Maybe thats because its on Harvard Business Review or
maybe its because the topic isn't as controversial but I wish that people would
treat each other with more respect.I loved his comments on humility
and put downs. Every poster should be required to read it before making a
I agree. Great article. Great comments after the article.It was
nice to read positive and constructive comments after a great article.
What a surprise! Another Mormon of high worldly station telling others to not
worry about station.I'd be much more interested in Christensen's
thoughts were he to undergo a Job experience and lose it all - position, money,
reputation, friends - all gone.Then I would want to know what he's
learned about himself and life.But more wisdom from Harvard? No
thank you. America is already suffering plenty from that. I'd rather listen to
an uneducated but heaven-taught Central American branch president.
texlds - Lots of venom eh? Maybe those who know what the top looks like are
well suited to let you know it isn't that great.I think he almost
lost his life to cancer, that is some suffering from what I have seen and heard.
He didn't loose it all but I think he has seen trials.Then again, I
do agree with his philosophy on life so I recognize I am biased.
Dude grew up in Rose Park - not exactly top tier texlds.
Venom? Not hardly. Sadness? Yes. Disgust? When I'm weak. I hope we're not
caught praising the rich and famous Mormons while the poor pass us by and we
notice them not. There are some among us that have cancer and nothing else.
I'm sure Brother Christensen would agree that he is pretty lucky in that regard
- he has a lot else.
I too met this good man years ago in Boston. Talented, humble, and
smarter-than-you-can-believe.Just make sure that his membership in
the church doesn't go viral because then people will disregard his advice
out-of-hand.It's okay to be just about anything these days except a
Mormon, especially an accomplished and smart one.
I've known Clayton most of my life, almost 50 years. The family never had a
lot. One of eight kids in a west side family barely getting by. He's managed
severe diabetes since his early thirties, had a major heart attack 2 years ago,
and recently recovered from a stroke. I don't know of many West High grads who
have had to deal with many bigger challenges. There is no sheltered life story
I've known Clayton for most of my life (50 years). He grew up in a west side
family of 8 kids whose parents where locally well known but barely got by. He
has dealt with severe diabetes since his early 30's, had a major heart attack
two years ago, and overcome a stroke. Don't know too many of our fellow West
High grads who have many bigger challenges.
Wow, tex, jealous much? So what you're saying is that we should ignore the
successful people around us, and only look to people who have not been? As for
your "uneducated but heaven-taught" comment, why do you feel that's an
either/or? Last time I checked, our Church is being led by 15 very
well-educated, successful men who are also heaven-taught. It's possible to be
both.This article was shared with me last week by a family member in
Boston who knows Brother Christensen personally. My reaction: I thought it was
great life advice, something we could all learn from. I'd suggest you read it
again without the "Harvard-educated" bias, and just see what kind of spirit you
can feel in his counsel.
texlds: I think despite the station in life, if you have a life threatening
situation that you begin to reevaluate your priorities. I think this is what he
is getting at.
Thanks for the background info GWK. It makes texlds coments even more ironic.
texlds did you read his article??? It seems like you are so focused on where
the message comes from that you are missing the message!Certainly
rich successful people may act like they have the corner on the knowledge
market. That obviously isn't true, but that doesn't mean we should ignore them.
I like to learn from whoever I can regardless of whether they are rich or
poor.In this case we have a poor boy who became a rich man giving
his counsels for life and you reject it because of his current social
standing.Who is the prideful one between you two??
I have known Clay for a number of years in Boston in various church callings,
basketball games, and as a student at the Harvard Business School.I
admire and respect his intelligence, wit, grace, and kindness as much as any man
I've ever met on earth. And while I'm not longer active in the church, Clay is
one of a few people that always reminds me that there are incredibly Christ-like
people serving in the LDS Church. He has been immensely
successful in his career, but you won't meet a more humble man. Even if he was
not wealthy, he still personifies so many great qualities. Having
nearly lost his life to cancer, he has known of hard times. I'm very, very
grateful that he will live to see another say.
Texlds, Read the article, man. It's awesome! I wouldn't go judging
"rich" people because they've worked hard all their lives (luck has nothing to
do with it) and pass on some wisdom to help others see what's more important.
I'm not bashing you at all. I"m just trying to say that I would take advice from
anyone if I could learn from it and become better, from the richest man or the
poorest as long as it struck true to the right principles. Just a thought.(Side note: the attitude that you display in your comments reflect a
closed-mind and prideful heart if you ask me. Since you didn't ask me, feel
free to disregard my side note and have a nice day.)
I'm sure being six foot ten makes it easy to stick out; I've heard tall people
can keep a job longer because they are perceived as leaders, or maybe what I
heard is that super tall people don't go unemployed as much. We all struggle
with being spiritual and ambitious in a telestial world. Anyone who attends a
top-tier school, receives a Ph.d, or writes a popular book is going to need to
be humbled------and we don't like to admit it, but in some ways we can not
humble ourselves---- we have to be humble by things over which we have little
control. It will happen to us all, so I am not pointing my finger at anyone.
Once while at HBS, on a singles weekend get a way for LDS, in a workshop, we
asked Richard Bushman how can we be successful and rich in this life (marriotts
and huntsman) and receive top reward in the next life, and his answer astounded
me: your career isn't as important as you think it is.
Sound advise that the business community could learn from as well as the
Congress and White House. Google the original article and read it.
My family and I had the joy of being in The Christensen Familys church ward for
the last couple of years (until recently moving out of state.) I cannot tell you
how much love I have for Clayton and his wife, Christine. They are absolutely
the sweetest, most genuine people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. They
made us feel so welcome and loved, with no gain of their own. It makes me so sad
to read comments such as those left by "texlds". No matter what station in life,
Clayton (and his family) are not the type to take a single breath in life for
granted. He is an amazing, wonderful man.