Reinventing Yourself

There’s a high stakes legal battle brewing between Apple and Samsung around the patent protection that Apple’s iPad can claim.  Samsung asserts that many of the design concepts of the iPad were in the public domain before the release of the first iPad, such that Apple cannot claim inventor’s rights.

Fortunately, when it comes to your own personal development – and who has full rights to version X.0 of “” – you can copy, borrow or reinvent any behaviors and skills you think will serve you well.  You reap the benefits and no one will sue you.

I’ve been amazed at the career-related reinventions I’ve witnessed – sometimes done quickly and boldly, and sometimes gradually (but still courageously) in just one aspect of life.  Once on the other side of a successful reinvention, however, I think we are quick to forget how much value the changes yielded and what the effort involved.  So, we don’t retain useful lessons that would make future change easier.

If you slow down and step back, you can acknowledge any successful reinventions you’ve already navigated – including seemingly modest but important ones.  You’re probably not a rookie!  Next, think about what aspect of your professional life (or your life as parent, spouse or friend) you’d like to reinvent.  Choose something modest in scope and identify the beliefs you’ll need to shed and replace in order to move into that future self.  What actions can you take to push you into owning those new beliefs?  Here is a sampling of reinvention ideas to get the juices flowing:

  • Gain experience working with a new category of clients or in a new venue
  • Demonstrate to your staff that you really do want to give them autonomy and be less controlling
  • Stop behaving as if you hate networking and are bad at it
  • Be able to declare that you love your job – or at least enjoy 75% of what you do.

Choose just one dimension of reinvention and choose just one experiment to explore.  If you move from Self, version 2.0 to version 2.1, there may be a few bugs at first, but the net improvement is valuable, and just imagine what version 3.0 might hold!  For inspiration, look back at how much better your current self is than version 1.0.