Each one of us is unique, of course. It’s just that some are, well, a little more unique than others. Niccolo Paganini, George Patton, and Tommy Caldwell fit that category as does Carlos Ghosn. Ghosn, whose name rhymes with “phone,” isn’t a violin virtuoso or a flamboyant military commander. Neither has he free-climbed El Capitan’s Dawn Wall. In a way, he’s even more unique. There have been other talented musicians, military leaders and mountain climbers but what Carlos does, nobody has done before. What is more, I doubt we’ll ever see it done again. He is a business professional in the automobile industry.
There have been many legendary leaders in the car business. Executives like Alfred Sloan, Lee Iacocca, and Bob Lutz; have each led a car company to success. But Ghosn heads and runs three car companies simultaneously; Renault in France, Nissan in Japan, and a third that builds the Lada in Russia. He brought them all to profitability far more quickly than analysts thought possible. Each year he travels about 300,000 miles, which is the equivalent of going around the world more than ten times. Together, his three car companies sell about $140 billion worth of cars, more than 10% of the global car market.
Carlos was born in 1954 and, I’m happy to tell you, is not talking about retiring. However, when he does choose to switch to a less demanding career, I confidently predict that he will be replaced by at least two people, maybe three. Remember you heard this first here! Now, in order to discover what we can learn from how Ghosn does it, we must examine these five verses:
And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before me…I will destroy them… Make an ark…’
And the Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, and your family, and your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.’
And the Lord appeared to him [Isaac] and said, ‘Don’t go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you.’
And, behold, the Lord stood above it [the ladder] and said, ‘I am the Lord God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed.’
And when the Lord saw that he [Moses] turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, ‘Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.’
These are the very first times that God spoke to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses respectively. Each of these instances heralded a major change in the life of the individual involved. Each occasion propelled each person onto a powerful new plateau of being.
Most of us yearn to move to new levels in one or more areas of our lives. Some seek added success in finances, while others wish for progress in family and friendships. Whenever we seek transformation in our lives, God’s help can make all the difference. What sort of behavior characterized these five Biblical personalities?
Noah remained uninfluenced by the mistaken ideas of the evil people around him. (Genesis 6:5-9)
Abraham didn’t delay; he instantly started his journey. (Genesis 12:1-4)
By claiming his wife was his sister (Genesis 26:7) just as Abraham had done (Genesis 12:13), and by re-digging his father’s wells (Genesis 26:18) Isaac reasserted that he was Abraham’s heir and would further his father’s mission (Genesis 18:19) by dedicating himself to doing the things he alone as the heir to Abraham’s blessing could do.
Jacob single-mindedly seized the opportunity to purchase the birthright when his brother fortuitously asked him for his lunch. (Genesis 25:30-31) Later he single-mindedly pursued Rachael, working for seven years to win her (Genesis 29:18-20)
At the Burning Bush, Moses committed to bringing Israel out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. In so doing, Moses accepted a mission that was to absorb all his effort for each and every day of the next forty years (Deuteronomy 29:4)
Above all, they all took their lives and their missions seriously. Transformation arrives from treating one’s life seriously enough to adopt these five practices.
I’m not claiming that Carlos Ghosn is Noah or Jacob or even that he learned his management from our five Biblical mentors. Yet, in interviews and speeches he does describe these five ways he implements them in his own professional life.
1. Ignoring outmoded industry ideas he tenaciously fights complacency, never settling for the status quo. (Noah)
2. Never postponing decisions, he makes them quickly and expects his associates to execute them promptly. (Abraham)
3. He dedicates himself to tasks that only he can do. (Isaac)
4. He never multi-tasks but rigidly focuses on only one thing at a time. When he’s in Japan, he’s making decisions for Nissan. When he’s in Paris, he’s making decisions for Renault. And when he’s in Russia, he’s making decisions for AvtoVaz. (Jacob)
5. He rigorously schedules out what he will do each day and when in the day he will do it—up to a year ahead. (Moses)
God made us each unique but we can continue His work by constantly adding to our own uniqueness. This we do by advancing the work each of us was put here to accomplish and that is best done by emulating the principles of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. They can be learned from Carlos Ghosn, but they are more easily assimilated from ancient Jewish wisdom and what’s more, learning them this way helps welcome the Lord into collaboration with us.
Our Income Abundance Set is available now at a special start-of-the-year price. If you or someone you care about is serious about generating more revenue during 2015, this is the resource needed. We’re already half way through January so the time to change behavior in order to change outcome is right now.