For the most part, leaders are poised to respond to challenges that confront them, but the problem lately has become how to deal with a moving target. While some prefer to wait for the dust to settle before adjusting their plans, others see today’s climate as being in a state of rapid, perpetual change. Considering the rate at which information, products and services are now disseminated, there’s a convincing argument to expect more change, not less. What is the process for navigating change? One solution, offered by virtuoso guitarist Billy McLaughlin is to learn the art of reinvention.
McLaughlin is an Emmy Award-winning musician, speaker and author of soon-to-be-released, “Road to Reinvention.” In his book, McLaughlin chronicles what could easily be described as a hero’s journey that took him from success in the highly competitive music industry to sudden failure and humiliation in front of thousands when he was stricken with focal dystonia, a little-known neuromuscular disorder that destroyed the use of his fret-playing hand. His astounding return to stage as a world-class speaker and musical icon resulted from his ability to reinvent himself by changing hands to reclaim his music. “None of us get to do any day over, so every choice we make steers the path toward our ultimate success or failure,” says McLaughlin. The lessons McLaughlin learned through his unprecedented musical comeback demanded that he make progress everyday, no matter how big or small. His overriding message: “Stop worrying about what is broken and start paying attention to what works.”
McLaughlin continues to live with focal dystonia, which is currently incurable and could destroy the use of his other hand just as quickly at any time. He has chosen to make the most of his musical capability each day, knowing that the process of reinvention that he has discovered through his experience will enable him to adapt and make the most of whatever situation may arise. Since his comeback, organizations from around the world have asked McLaughlin to share his story about overcoming seemingly impossible challenges. Through an innovative mix of music, storytelling and disarming humor, McLaughlin offers a new perspective on business and life. He inspires audiences to action as he demonstrates the ability to move forward even when dealing with extraordinary change.