Charles Kettering embraced problems and insisted on action.
He believed in the potential of humans to overcome challenges and find solutions. As a result, he was responsible for 186 patents. The results of his life and business continue to impact lives every day.
He was a very successful businessman and engineer. But, though he enjoyed a lot of success in his life, it was clear that he was not afraid to fail. In fact, his words indicate that he believed failure was necessary for success.
There is a reason that every proven problem-solving method is described as a repeatable cycle. Innovation and improvement require trial and error. Improvement requires trying something new. Innovation occurs when curiosity and knowledge combine with motivation.
He led a lot of change. As a result, we had the first electric car starter in 1912. Refrigeration, medical treatment, automobile lighting, and remote power storage also felt the influence of this great problem solver.
His ability to repeatedly identify problems, understand the opportunity those problems represented, and find solutions is amazing.
As a manager or business owner, your own work or the work of your business can benefit from his example and legacy. Beliefs like "if you have always done it that way, it's probably wrong," and "one fails forward to success," can serve as motivation to goal-directed leaders.
Charles Kettering's life and work can serve as an inspiration. Identify the problem, put together the team, push for action, recognize failure as a step toward success, don't give up, and his legacy can live on in your business.