Book summaries

I found the books below useful. But most of them are roughly the content of a 15-page article, stretched out so that they can sell it as a book. These notes are to remind me of the useful parts.

I figure I might as well make my thoughts public. If you find them useful, tell me; if you disagree, tell me. Either way, it's good.

How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen (of Innovator's Dilemma), James Allworth, Karen Dillon

Money is a "hygiene factor": you need it but it's not a reward/"motivator". Have a strategy for your life, including priorities. "Deliberate" strategies you start with, but sometimes learn more and then it's an "emergent" strategy, which often is better. Spend time on what's important to you in your strategy, like relationships. Don't "sequence" life investments, e.g. "I'll spend time with the kids after my career is in better shape." Your friends and family will support you in your career for a long time, but eventually you'll find that those relationships are weak and won't support you when you have a crisis. Invest in them early and always. Raising children: plan your family's/children's "culture"; living consistent with it 100% of the time is easier than 98% of the time, and avoids a slow slip. It's good to allow your kids to fail sometimes, to learn lessons and learn how to deal with setbacks.

Give and Take, by Adam Grant

On the giving/taking spectrum, there are:

Givers: Care about and invest in others. They often lose to takers early, but eventually the goodwill/friends put many of them ahead.

Matchers: Give but expect to get back

Takers: Mostly focused on what they can get. Often win early, but once people learn about them, they harden against them.

Social networks have expanded the ability for givers to get ahead and for people to discover takers.

One way that givers can avoid being "doormats", for example to get ahead in negotiations, is to negotiate on behalf of others (their family etc.).

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Typically, men think of action and women think of feelings. When women talk to men, they want to be heard; the men think the women want the men to do something to fix it. When men talk to women, they want something done, and the women just say "I hear you." Learn to speak the others' language. (Obviously some men/women switch the roles, but the insights are still useful.)