The American auto industry has been told by the U.S. government that, in order to receive financial assistance, they must prove they can “reinvent themselves”. This is easier said than done.

Here’s the elephant in the office: There’s abundant research proving that as most people expand their careers, their ability to try new methods and expand their knowledge grinds to a halt. They begin to rely on the tired skills and behaviors that brought them early successes – even when those skills and behaviors won’t deliver successes tomorrow.

This creates a dark future with one of two things happening: 1) The death of a career, or 2) The need to make dramatic “inventions” just to survive.

It doesn’t have to be this difficult.


Some of the finest, most effective leaders we know work for auto companies. Yet, the overall culture of an organization will always dwarf the efforts of those in the minority. Thus, the consensus – or at least perception – persists: The US auto companies didn’t change as fast as the marketplace.

What can we learn from this? Answer: The most effective leaders and organizations reinvent themselves every day.

Most organizations fall short when reinventing themselves because:

  1. They focus on their failures, which creates a culture of blame and defensiveness, which means they’re unable to generate the creative solutions needed. And,
  2. They see reinventing themselves as an event, which means it won’t happen often enough to ensure success.

Use this proven formula to ensure that “reinvention” becomes a process, a way of life:

  1. Focus on what’s working.
  2. Consistently ask, “What can we do even better, more of, or differently to create greater results?”
  3. Celebrate even the small advances.

This formula will deliver your most important invention: a “you” that succeeds.

Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?

Activate Your Greatness.

Activate Your Greatness.

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