Career and Money Advice At The Intersection Of Business And Technology

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How do you measure your life?

June 25th, 2012 · No Comments

One thing I learned in management is if you measure something, you see results.

I have defined a set of metrics to run our team and our business. Every Tuesday we have a weekly metric meetings to review results. The weekly metric meeting is our single most important tool to run our business.

You might ask why metrics driven management work well. From my own experience I feel there are three reasons.

First, a well defined set of metrics provides clarity in term of goals and objectives. What really matters to you? What are you trying to accomplish? Having a clear set of metrics provides a set of well defined goals.

Second, metrics provides a mechanism to measure progress. Numbers do not lie. Each week when you look at your metrics, you can compare it against your baseline, compare again last week’s performance, and compare against last year’s performance. It allows you to quantitatively measure your progress.

Third, metrics enforces accountability. When you establish the habit of using metrics every week, you know that you’ll be asked to explain why this week’s metrics are up or down. The clarity and quantitative nature of metrics enforces accountability.

Now, let’s move into managing our career and personal life.

A few weeks I finished reading Clay Christian’s brilliant How Will You Measure Your Life? This is one of the most thought provoking career books I have ever read. By the way, Clay Christian is the real deal. A good friend of mine attended Harvard Business School, and got to know Professor Christian. He is one of the most humble, intelligent and caring individuals you could ever meet. If you read the book, I’m pretty sure you will feel the same way.

Before I read this book, I have already started thinking about how to measure my life. As I’m progressing in my career, a big question I start asking myself is “am I going to continue to do what I’m doing until I retire?” – I have to say that thought scares me.

Like many mid-career professionals, I’m super busy every single days, joggling work and family. Time flies by. It’s very easy to just go with the flow. But, I’m afraid that one day I’ll wake up and feel that I have wasted my life away.

No, I’m not depressed or having a mid-life crisis. I’m in general happy and feel good about where I’m. But, the bigger question is “what is the meaning of my life and what I’m doing”. Without having this question answered, no matter how much money I make or how “successful” my career is in the worldly sense, I will not be happy.

Lately I have been doing some reading on philosophy. My high school American History teacher once told us that we should all take at least one class in philosophy in college because it helped us to figure out what we want in life. I didn’t take any philosophy class in college, but I’m catching up. Hope it’s not too late. 🙂

Okay, enough digression, the point I want to make is the importance of gaining clarity in term of what is the meaning of your life – and determine the metrics you want to use to measure your life.

Each of us should take some time to figure this out. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your life away.

Tags: Career Transition · Learning and Growing · Management

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