Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Ethics and the Fox

July 28, 2009 in News | Comments (0)

red fox

I created a neighborhood controversy last week when I reported seeing a small red fox in my yard face-to-face with a neighborhood cat. Yes, the fox was in my front yard! I opened the door and the fox immediately took off for the woods. Feeling it was my civic duty, I posted a note on the neighborhood web group area telling people what I saw and urging them to keep their pets safe. I have chosen to make my two cats completely indoor cats for the time being. I didn’t realize that my simple posting would create such troublesome behaviors.

Within an hour, Animal Control was at my front door (not at my request). These very nice, professional people told me about the habits of foxes and Animal Control’s role in the community. If I said the animal was rabid (it wasn’t), they would be forced to catch and kill it. If I said the fox had threatened me, Animal Control would take action. My neighbors went into an uproar demanding me to report the fox as vicious, threatening and a nuisance.

I thought the fox was fine where he was. He wasn’t causing any trouble. He (or maybe it was a she, I really don’t know) lives somewhere in the woods behind our houses and was out for a stroll. People, the developers did cut down 38 acres of trees behind us in the past couple years to build more houses. Where is a fox supposed to live?

Ethical behavior and value-based choices are important to me. Lie about the situation to get a specific outcome? What about my neighbors’ feelings? When it came down to it, I couldn’t lie. I said if the fox (and the foxes’ family which is out there somewhere) becomes that big a problem, we need to contribute money to get the fox family safely relocated. It’s not always about the result — sometimes it’s about the journey. I think lying to get something done is still lying. Do you think it’s OK to lie to get a specific result? In the process of defining ourselves (and the ReInvention Station), it’s important to know your values and make ethical personal and business decisions.

Advice from Yoda

July 15, 2009 in News | Comments (0)


Any Star Wars fans out there? Do you believe that Yoda is the ultimate philospher and coach? Even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan, you still can learn from Yoda as I did when reading today’s blog posting on the Positivity Blog. Following are my excerpts or Click Here to read the entire, original post.
Words of wisdom from Yoda:
"1. Don’t try. Do.
“Do or do not… there is no try.”
When you tell yourself and/or someone else that you will try you are in my experience more likely to give up or just stop when the first obstacle shows up. When you say that you will do something there is more determination and power behind that decision. When the inevitable obstacles that always show up start to block your path you are determined. You will do this. So you find ways over, under, around and through the obstacles. And that’s what you have to do most of the time to actually get things done. Smooth sailing with no problems at all is pretty rare. By making clear choices to do or not do something – and putting power behind those choices – you are more likely to actually get things done and succeed.
2. Overcome your fears.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”
Overcoming your fears is one of the most important things to improve yourself and grow. If you don’t you will just get stuck. But how do you do it? Well, first, as Yoda says, you have to stop avoiding your fear. You have think about it and see what is you really fear.
3. Your world is a reflection of you.
“You will find only what you bring in.”
That’s what Luke is told in “The Empire Strikes Back” before he goes into the cave on Yoda’s home planet. Inside the cave Luke battles his demons – more specifically an illusion of Darth Vader – and are confronted with his own inner darkness. The darkness he brought into the cave and that could pull him over to the dark side if he allowed it to.
By observing the world around you, you can gain insights into yourself and what you may need to improve. Because even though there is a big, big world out there with many possibilities and people in the end, big change in your life comes down to you changing yourself. It’s very easy to get stuck in thinking that your perspective, the lens through which you view reality is reality itself. But you can’t really see reality. You can only see it filtered through the lens. And the lens is you.
Truth is life will never be as in your dreams if you don’t change and correct yourself. No one is coming to save you. No book or personal development guru, not your parents, no knight/lady in white armor. Yes, people around you can of course be a big help. But as an adult in this world it is time to grow up and save yourself. It is time to do things. To face your fears. Not just because those things are the right things to do. But also because these things are what actually work.”
Well said, Henrik. Now, why don’t we do … something … today. Face our fears and make the world a better place by making ourselves better.
(The Positivity Blog is focused on positivity and opening up new possibilities through motivating and practical articles on how to improve your life. It is written by Henrik Edberg of Sweden.)


Full Steam Ahead

July 7, 2009 in News | Comments (0)

 Steam Engine

A couple weeks ago, Curt mentioned several books he had read. I’m a fan of the local library, so I went and selected the books. While there, other books jumped off the shelf and into my bag (what can I say, it happens … and I have a big bag). One book was Full Steam Ahead by Ken Blanchard and Jesse Stoner. It’s an easy, quick read like most of Ken Blanchard’s books. The subtitle – Unleash the Power of Vision in Your Company and Your Life – caught my eye. That’s what Curt and I have been talking about. We have a vision for the ReInvention Station; it just needs more meat and more understanding around it – and improved words for communicating it.


had my first a-ha moment on page 27. Jim and Ellie were talking about full steam ahead. From the book: “Full steam ahead intrigued me. That night I did some research to see what I could find out about steam engines. I learned that the steam engine was without doubt one of the most influential inventions in the development of industry and civilization. In fact, the development of the steam engine made modern industry possible. Until then, people had to rely on their own muscles, the wind, or animals such as horses for power. One steam engine could do the work of hundreds of horses. It could supply all the power needed to run the machines in a factory. A steam locomotive could haul thousands of tons of freight. Steamships provided fast, dependable transportation. Full steam ahead certainly did describe the transformative power unleashed by vision!”


ReInvention Station. A steam engine at the station. Powerful. Fast, Dependable. Transformative. Influential. That’s what we want to be. 


Although I found the book a little too sappy for my taste and the ‘friendship’ between the president and a new, lower-level employee and the surrounding ‘relationship’ put me off, the true message of the book was good.


It’s full steam ahead for the ReInvention Station. Have you read any good books lately? Can you see the ReInvention Station vision? What ideas can you add to the vision? Let us know.

Candy – a book with numerous chapters

June 29, 2009 in News | Comments (0)

So who is Candy? Candy is the planner and doer. Give me a vision and the corresponding box and boundaries I must work in, and I’ll make it happen. I’ve been accused of not always seeing the big picture … my criticizer’s are somewhat correct. But tell me the big picture and the dream and I can translate that into next steps … and then make it a reality.

I spent 21 years with General Motors, about 11 in Spring Hill, Tennessee, at Saturn. Much of that time was in a corporate communications role. I also did some leadership coaching, change management and organizational development work. At some point (same as Curt), the work wasn’t as much fun anymore, and I moved on. I’m in the final stages of writing my first book (you’ll probably hear about that another time) and am working on the nonfiction book proposal to agents/publishers.

Personally, I’m married, have three stepsons and one daughter and son-in-law who are pregnant with my first grandbaby. I’m a NASCAR and Tennessee Titans fan and usually doing some kind of craft (crocheting baby booties) while watching these sports.

On our ReInvention Station journey, you’ll see Curt’s dreams and Candy’s focus on making them a reality. Candy contemplates jumping ...

Who are Curt and Candy?

June 25, 2009 in News | Comments (0)

Curt Gibbs


A strategist and visionary. A dreamer. A forward and big picture thinker. AND A tactician. A next steps doer. An impatient results focused planner.

All of our co-workers and friends know exactly whose name attaches to which description. It doesn’t really matter. Together, it’s a tremendous partnership.

OK. So Curt is the visionary, the dreamer. His past includes 30 years at General Motors, 17 of those in Spring Hill, Tennessee at Saturn Corporation (where we met). His assignments included development of Saturn’s just-in-time logistics and production system, plant manager, new product launch director and director of e-commerce. At some point, the work wasn’t as much fun anymore, so Curt moved on. He’s followed (or blazed) several different paths including a stint in the private equity world as vice president of Indian Motorcycle, as well as his real estate ventures focused around adaptive reuse of commercial properties. An interesting intersection of his exposure to industrial facilities as manufacturing assets now turned to alternate uses in an environmentally responsible utilization of existing buildings.

One of his current projects is The Mill at Lebanon. His dream is for the Mill to be preserved and transformed into a mixed use space including, of course, the ReInvention Station. Curt brings an especially unique and broad perspective to the ReInvention Station. His experience in the manufacturing environment combined with his technical education at Kettering University, his business education at Harvard Business School, and his multiple entrepreneurial ventures provide the perfect blend of expertise to guide this endeavor.

On the personal side, Curt is married and enjoys his two great sons. His hobbies include historic preservation of residential houses and restoration of antique and classic cars (come check out Hot Rod Alley, a museum at The Mill at Lebanon which features several of his own cars).

Who is Candy? Find out in another blog … coming soon.


What’s in a name?

June 23, 2009 in News | Comments (0)

Curt and I have been talking about this ‘reinvention’ idea for quite a while. Early on, we Googled reinvention and read what others are saying and doing regarding it. Then comes the day, June 8, 2009, when Curt and I decide to take the next step. We again Google ‘reinvention’ and what do we find on page one but Hmmm. It hadn’t been there before when we looked. Us two former GMers didn’t expect to see GM thinking in the same words as we were thinking. But we agree, whether you are an individual or an organization, for profit, non-profit, entrepreneur, whatever — there is a need for reinvention.

ReInvention Station … what’s in a name? There is meaning within our name. Reinvent yourself, your organization, your business, your spirit. It’s about change. It’s about evolving and reemerging and becoming new and better. It’s energizing and enriching.

Sure, our initial thought was the ReInvention Center. That’s easy. That’s being used (many times over) and the url was already taken. Thank goodness. That meant we had to think about what we really wanted to become.
We started with our brand. We are part of The Mill at Lebanon – a historic, former textile mill with a train station our front. A-ha! Station. Stations in life or business. Railroad crossings. Crossings. Various paths. Difficult decisions. History meets today — and tomorrow. It’s graphic and descriptive. It fits the brand (and the url was available).
So here we are — ReInvention Station.
We welcome you on our journey. What would you like to learn at the ReInvention Station? What needs reinventing in your life?

What is the ReInvention Station

June 22, 2009 in News | Comments (0)