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You Can’t Have It, Either

You Can’t Have It, Either

When I was in fourth grade, we were informed one afternoon at gym period that the girls’ gym teacher was ill, so only the boys would be going. The girls threw a ballistic hissy-fit, and demanded that the boys not be allowed to go, either.

The teacher, in some mystical, arcane, deluded philosophy, decided that a lesson would somehow be taught by acceding to the girls’ demand, so that no one went to gym class, and we all had to study our history books. The only real history accomplished was a lasting enmity against the girls in a pre-raging-hormone year.

I find consultants today who don’t want to share their intellectual property through fear of theft! Invariably and ironically, these are NEVER highly successful consultants. They are people hoarding their ideas (which apparently aren’t all that hot, anyway) like money under a mattress, where neither the dollars nor the ideas serve as currency or gather interest.

The most successful thought leaders—Marshall Goldsmith, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, David Maister, Dan Pink, moi—generate ongoing IP and broadcast it at 100,000 watts: in books, audio, video, speeches, and so forth. That’s because the more you intrigue others with provocative and controversial ideas, the more others want to spend time with you and invest in their development with you.

So if you’re afraid that someone else may take your IP and make use of it without paying you, then by all means take the position that they can’t have it, and neither of you will be able to use it. Find one of those equally antiquated 50s air raid, back yard bunkers, and hide your IP in it.

But don’t expect to reach the fifth grade any time soon.

© Alan Weiss 2013

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Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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