Just Because You Have a Good Idea Doesn’t Mean You Came Up With It

Everything is a remix. Pop culture. Art. Technology. We’re all riffing on something else that was created in the past. We are a copy of a copy of a copy.

And there are many good ideas that never go out of style. Staying out of debt. Being kind to people who probably don’t deserve it. Avoiding herpes.

I have sympathy when people tell me that a boss (or a leader) stole a good idea; however, we all have good ideas that feel like OURS but just happen to belong to someone else, too.

I used to work in mergers & acquisitions. I am a quick study. I once suggested an acquisition strategy but it was pooh-poohed by a leader. Guess what? The acquisition eventually happened. Eff! I’m no Warren Buffet but my idea was really good. I felt like a genius who wasn’t recognized.

What I didn’t know is that it was a good idea that smarter people were considering long before I even mentioned it. They just didn’t feel the need to acknowledge my contribution. Thus, the pooh-poohing. I just happened to have visibility into a segment of an industry and the common sense to sniff out a good buy. And I didn’t get credit for being a good businesswoman. That was my job.

So the best thing you can do is to take your good ideas and do something with them. Don’t suggest them. Don’t verbalize them. Act on ‘em.

If you cannot implement your awesome ideas, get promoted so you have power and authority. Or own a business. Or leave and go work for people who give credit where credit is due.

Listen, people who steal ideas from other people — ideas that probably aren’t original in the first place — are a copy of a copy of an asshole. I have no tolerance for those jerks. And for every great idea they steal, they box themselves into a corner. What next? What next? They will never innovate because they have no purpose, other than themselves, and they don’t know how how to copy, emulate and improve.

That’s where you come in.

Get some power. Get promoted. Then get to work.

About the author

Laurie Ruettimann

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