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And you laughed at the Segway!

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Profiles in Leadership Kamen, inventor of the portable insulin pump, the wheelchair that climbs stairs and the Segway electric scooter, has three operating principles that have propelled him into leadership in his field:
  • Success is only a matter of time. If something doesn’t happen to work now, Kamen stows it away with plans to haul it out again later. He never throws out a project.

  • Only the biggest dragons are worth fighting. Kamen says he chooses “the big and really hard problems.” That way, if you have to let them go, it’s not so hard on your ego. You’re putting aside something so tough that nobody else has figured it out, either.

  • Who cares what naysayers naysay? The critics who said the Segway would never work (urban police officers and tour goups all over the country now use it) are also bad-mouthing Kamen’s more recent projects, which aim to supply clean water and electricity to the hinterlands.

    “You can’t run your life by what someone else thinks,” Kamen says.
Bottom line: Kamen’s inventions have won prizes, including the National Medal of Technology. But most important to him, each invention solves problems. He is currently working on solar power inventions.
—Adapted from “Give Him The Hard Problems,” Brian Deagon, Investor’s Business Daily. Photo by Jared C. Benedict; courtesy Wikimedia Commons images.

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