Proper Attribution Please Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue No. 23

This week’s reflection point: It was only a few years ago as my daughter, Sharon, while preparing for her ordination as a Rabbi, attended the service and sermon given by another classmate. To her amazement the entire sermon sounded eerily familiar and Sharon immediately realized she had written and presented it the previous year. She was listening to a plagiarized version of her own sermon! Sharon was never given any credit for her intellectual property.

I’ve come to realize that as we strengthen our own thought leadership and the more successful we become, the more people will copy our work. I’ve seen this happen with individuals who completely copy our web designs, our ideas, our content and that of our clients. There is a fine line between the need to legally protect our intellectual property and encouraging others to follow in our footsteps.

I am always flattered and appreciative when individuals contact me for the permission to use one of my ideas or even my content. I gladly do so as long as they either change it to uniquely reflect their brand, or hopefully even improve on the idea. The proper attribution to where the idea came from is what I pay most attention to.

It was amazing to listen to Marshall Goldsmith several years ago during Alan Weiss’s Thought Leadership Symposium. I was especially impressed by Marshall’s sharing of how impactful Peter Drucker was on his career. “I used to even carry his briefcase” he said.

In my recent video, 9 Tips On How To Leverage Your Content To Increase Your Success, notice I incorporate the proper accreditation into my words when discussing the concept of crowd sourcing.

I’m always appreciative and grateful when others use and share my ideas and intellectual property and it is a trademark of an individual with integrity who always gives proper credit where credit is due. They never feel threatened by openly admitting that they are sharing an idea that is not originally theirs. From my perspective, that is the ultimate difference between thought leadership or lack there of.

This week’s tip: Don’t be intimidated to share others’ ideas and thoughts with your audience and give the owner credit. It puts you in the company of greatness.

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