Tips for Personal Growth

Risks can be their own rewards

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.

Related Topics


  • GM Faces Lawsuit Over Faulty 8-Speed Transmission

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against General Motors Co. over claimed flaws in the company’s 8-speed automatic transmission used in 2015-2019 model rear-drive vehicles.

  • Nio Plant Venture Lands $1.5 Billion Investment

    Chinese electric-car startup Nio Inc. is forming a manufacturing joint venture with Beijing E-Town International Investment and Development Co., which is investing 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in the business.

  • 8 Rules for Getting Things Done Through People

    Effective management is a timeless skill—as demonstrated by this treasure of an article from the AutoBeat Group archive. Although the tools of the trade have changed and proliferated, the basics remain the same. Here are 8 old school (and just darn practical) rules for being an excellent manager.