Our Personal Hero: Clayton Christensen

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

We started our Saturday by seeing the 6:00 am sunrise on Saturday from the Verazzano Bridge.  We were traveling by bus to Albany for a youth conference for 16-18 year old kids from the entire New England area.  About 800 people were there, 30 of which were our dear kids from Brooklyn.  The experience we had there was unforgettable.  We were able to listen to a keynote talk given by one of our personal heroes & mentors, Clayton Christiansen, one of the kindest, most insightful and accomplished individuals we’ve ever known.  (The commencement address he gave at Harvard Business School can give you an idea of what this man is like.)  Danny had the privilege of working with him closely in Boston on some church & community endeavors and Clayton later played a sweet part in our Love Story as he was one of the first people to know that Danny & I were dating.  🙂 🙂  He was so very happy for us then & later attended our wedding.  It was purely delightful, inspiring, and even life changing to be around him again and to hear him speak, especially since he recently had a stroke and has had to retrain himself to speak.  As we listened to Clayton speak about dedicating your life to a greater good, I just practically sobbed.  This man has done that so fully & completely despite a million opportunities to do otherwise, including worldwide work demands, cancer, heart attacks, and a stroke.  He truly is an example of everything that I would aspire to be. 

Do you have any heroes?  I’d love to hear who!  If you don’t have one, I highly recommend choosing one!  🙂  It’s truly amazing what influence another person can have on your life….

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  1. Lena April 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    My personal heroes: My parents for raising children in a healthy and loving environment despite the way they grew up, my husband for beating the odds and all he has overcome and achieved, my friends and loved ones. All my personal heroes are people I know personally. They are human and stumble but find a way to rise above their challenges. There are inspiring people all around us!

  2. Anonymous April 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    This may sound common or whatever but my hero has to be my husband. In 2009 he was hurt really bad in Afganhistan. He has to over come new things every day, things that were once daily and common. The strength he has to have his life back to " normal " really inspires me. I was recently diagnosed at 27 with stage IIA breast cancer and he has been a huge help. Between the infertility treatments and a daughter later … He's truly been my hero. – Kimberly

    • Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 5:43 am - Reply

      You both are amazing warriors…!

    • Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 6:37 am - Reply

      Sorry, I-phone having issues!

    • Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 9:11 am - Reply

      Thank you!!

  3. Nora April 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    I LOVED this!! Clayton came to BYU a few weeks ago for the McKay School of Ed Cluff Lecture series and the room was PACKED. He is truly an amazing example. My heroes are my sisters and my parents. They are all so honest, sincere, and kind. I feel so honored to be a part of their lives.

  4. Anonymous April 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Br. Christensen is actually one of my newest heroes. I heard him speak a few months ago and have since read everything I can about him. I'd love to have a friend and mentor like this.

  5. sara b. April 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this post! I'm graduating from business school in two weeks, and loved reading Christensen's commencement address to HBS students. Such a powerful reminder.

  6. anna April 17, 2012 at 1:59 am - Reply

    My husband grew up with the Christensens and yes, he is amazing. For anyone seeking any type of schooling and profession, his example of serving the Lord first and carving out time for his family is truly inspiring. And don't forget his lovely and supportive wife Christine, without whom I don't think Clayton would be the same man. They have a lovely marriage.

    My heroes: my dad. He came from an alcoholic home, found the gospel, put himself through school, married my mom in the temple and raised awesome kids :). He is the best example of forgiveness, faith, service and love I know besides The Best Example, our Savior.

  7. kh April 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    He is remarkable! I was able to hear him speak last time I was in Boston, and I'd heard him a couple other times as well. So sincere. So genuine. Loved every minute.

  8. Danielle April 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara,
    I'm a blog reader who happens to work at HarperCollins Publishers, the company that will publish Clayton's upcoming book, How Will You Measure Your Life. It's rooted in the things Clay spoke about in the Harvard Business School address, so I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I'd love to send you a copy. Email me your address if you're interested!

    • mara April 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      Danielle – So happy to have you reading. 🙂 It turns out that just this morning Clayton's personal assistant wrote us and the book is already on it's way. We are so excited to read it. Thank you so very much reaching out.

  9. Susan Siravo April 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Mara, great post! I read Clayton's commencement address and found it very moving. He sure gives us a lot to ponder over. Can't wait for his book. I really appreciate the uplifting content you have on your blog. I get a burst of positive energy when I read it!

  10. ellen April 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Clayton is one of my friends (I live in the next town/ward from them) and he is legendary.

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