10 Powerful Attributes of Successful Reinventors

Reinvention is something we are going to hear more and more as we go forward with breathtaking speed. Technology and information is exploding at a breathtaking speed and if we don’t align ourselves to the change we will be left behind. I recently read a book called Reinvention by Shane Cragun and Kate Sweetman. It is a wonderful book and they talk about 10 powerful attributes of successful reinventors. A lot of it is commonsense and we might already know them. Here they are with my take on each.
Reinventors are dissatisfied with status quo – This is the first step in any reinvention. If you are satisfied with status quo you will not take any steps to change. You have to be slightly discontented to effect any change. Irrespective of where you are it is good to have a healthy discomfort with status quo. Always be on the lookout for making things better.
Reinventors embrace change – Change is the only constant. We are moving at hyper speed and if we don’t keep up with change we will be left behind. Keep yourself on top of the latest trends in your field and never be complacent. Ram Charan the management guru says don't follow the current leaders because you don't know what skills are required for the future. Check out his article Tomorrow's leader shouldn't emulate today's. His book "The Attacker's Advantage" is a good one on what skills are needed for leaders of the future. He says leaders should develop perceptual acuity which is the ability to spot new trends and potential disruptions in advance.
Reinventors challenge outdated and distorted thinking patterns – You cannot be stuck in the past. You need to break your old thinking patterns and come up with new ways of doing things. This can be achieved by taking some time off to really think. Bill Gates used to have to think weeks where all he did was schedule uninterrupted thinking time and read to keep abreast of upcoming events. Sometimes reading something completely different from your area of expertise can spark great ideas. For example the biography of Einstein by Walter Isaacson can spark an idea of being a non-conformist.
Reinventors are proactive – This is a simple idea. Instead of letting things happen make things happen. Be disruptive or be disrupted. Proactive means taking action before change happens. It is also important to be prepared for change and take all the necessary actions to ensure it is used to your advantage.
Reinventors are visionary – Think of Steve Jobs who is the ultimate example of reinvention. You need to have a bold audacious vision which transcends your limiting beliefs. Think big and bold. Your ability to visualize a successful future will enable you to be a successful reinventor. Steve Jobs was fired from the company he started but reinvented himself and the rest is history. Here is my lessons learned from Steve Jobs 9 Timeless Lessons from Steve Jobs.
Reinventors engage their network – Always keep your antenna up by creating mastermind alliances with like-minded people. Also keep in touch with disruptors in your industry. Keep in touch regularly with leaders in your field. This is probably the greatest time to be alive with so many opportunities and the playing field is truly level. You have access to all the masters in your field.
Reinventors are Tech Savvy – Basic point is to not let any technology prevent you from moving forward. Be up to date on the latest technology. Build your team with techo-enthusiasts and ensure the team is diverse.
Reinventors implement Best Practices – Basic point is to identify the things that have worked for you and make them best practices. Checklists are great ways to achieve this.
Reinventors are resilient – Basic point is reinventors are always ready for the worst possible outcome. So many things can happen for which we are not prepared. However the mark of a true reinventor is they are always ready with alternative plans when things do change.
Reinventors hold themselves accountable – This is basically the old adage the buck stops with me. Only you can truly measure the progress you have made against the goals you set. "Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself." - Henry Ward Beecher 
There you have it the 10 powerful attributes of successful reinventors. I can’t recommend this book enough as it is wonderfully written with great information.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.


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