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Tips for Personal Growth

Risks can be their own rewards


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Susan Brennan, presently executive vice president and chief operating officer of Bloom Energy, a company that is predicated on providing what are hydrogen-powered electricity “servers, had had a significant career in automotive manufacturing (she launched the Nissan Leaf at the Smyrna Assembly Plant in 2010, for example) before she decided that she wanted to take a new challenge, which led her to Silicon Valley and Bloom.

Bloom Energy

(Image: Bloom Energy)


At the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars this week, Brennan posed some provocative questions that are worth considering as one considers life and profession:

  • Are you looking at the future as a whole or as individual pieces that might affect you?
  • How and where do tech companies and auto companies blend?
  • Are you a leader for the future, of did you miss the moment 15 years ago?
  • If you missed that moment, can you catch up?
  • Are you willing do disrupt yourself?

Brennan also had some recommendations:

  • If it doesn’t violate the laws of physics, get it done.
  • Look at data objectively and acquire new data sets.
  • Be mentored by people unlike you.
  • Take risks where you could potentially fail.

Brennan didn’t suggest that any of this is easy. But based on her career’s dynamic, it certainly could be fulfilling.

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