No matter how many times you save the world,” Mr. Incredible mused, “it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for … for 10 minutes?”
In the movies, it’s kind of fun to see mayhem befall The Incredibles or other superheroes — just to see how they get out of it.
In real life, it’s sometimes exhausting: crisis after crisis, one on top of another.
Just as the world is seeing significant progress toward the eventual end of the COVID-19 pandemic with the public rollout of a vaccine in the U.K., European auto suppliers warn that a chip shortage — projected to dent vehicle assembly in China in the first quarter — will last well into the new year. Broader global impacts can’t be ruled out.
We all know that even the most devastating global disease in a century never had the stage all to itself in this turbulent year. Civil unrest sparked by police killings. Wildfires along the West Coast. Divisive elections.
“Storms are always coming, right? We’ve been having them forever, and this pandemic is another storm,” Jack Hollis, senior vice president for automotive operations at Toyota Motor North America, told Automotive News this month.
The relentlessly upbeat sales and marketing executive revels in the notion that his company tends to do well in adversity. “We actually thrive in the stormy weather,” he said.
Indeed, Toyota has had so much success for so many decades, its leaders often have had to gin up a sense of crisis internally to motivate and focus the company’s formidable talents. When an actual crisis comes along, Toyota usually knows how to respond, because winning under pressure is central to the culture. It’s in the stories they pass on.