ChapterTwo® Blog

What do you and a BMW have in common?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Some of you know that along with my love of cooking, wine and travel I am also a car guy.  My career began as an automotive engineer, and I appreciate the constant evolution of styling and engineering.

So I had to chuckle when reading a Car and Driver article about the 40th birthday of the BMW 3 Series.  It has won top car honors more than any other car, and built it’s reputation being agile, nimble and sporty.  Now, as they report: “The 3 series has put on weight over the years.  It’s gotten softer.  The creep of technology and features that have nothing to do with driving threatens to overwhelm the car, just as the pressures of family and finance leave us in a fog, wondering how, exactly, we arrived at this point in our lives.”

Too much introspection for a car magazine?  Perhaps.  Two things struck me.  One is the similarity between cars and us.  As we look in a mirror and reflect on our own lives, sometimes it feels like our best performance may have been in the rear view mirror.  That doesn’t mean that we will not continue to enjoy driving.  In fact, we are likely to set our GPS on new and exciting destinations.  And perhaps it becomes less about the speed, and more about the journey.

The big thing that struck me is what it means to have a legacy -- to stand for something.  Legacies are built on past performance, not on future promises.  They symbolize having delivered, on what is important.  The BMW 3 - series may get softer and slower, but it will always be iconic -- at least in our lifetime.  With everything else changing so rapidly it is nice to pause and realize that technology does not change legacies.  They are built brick by brick through consistent values and delivery.

What will your legacy be?  And when did you begin to build it?

– Jim Deupree

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