If you’re like me, you like to track with people who are ahead of you in age and stage, and probably ahead of you in their level of ‘success’.
Chance are you do this in real life (I hope you have mentors) but you also do this online.
Thanks to social media, smart phones, tablets and access to anything anywhere all the time, almost everyone tracks with some ‘celebrity’ type leader.
Please hear me. This is a great way of learning and growing. I do it too.
But have you ever found yourself imitating others—in style, in content and in strategy?
Do that often enough and guess what happens?
You’ll kill something God given inside.
In fact, you’ll eventually stop innovating.
Ultimately, imitation kills innovation.
Is Imitation Always Bad? Well, No
Imitation isn’t all bad. There are instances when imitation is just wise and expedient. Here are a few:
When someone else has done something better than you could and you are free to use their material, strategy or approach.
When someone has figured out a smarter, faster way to get things done.
No one on your team has the creativity to create a better mouse trap.
But imitation as a habit can be a big mistake, not to mention soul-killing.
But Now the Shadow Side
Imitate long enough, and imitate hard enough, and there won’t be much innovation left in you or your organization. And for those of us who are Christians, there may not be much of God’s voice left in you either.
If you only listen to others, you will eventually stop listening to God.
And let’s take that a step further.
While this doesn’t always happen, just level with me. When you follow someone who is a better leader, better communicator or better writer than you, it stirs up some envy, doesn’t it?
If it doesn’t for you, as much as I hate to admit it, it does for me from time to time. And when that happens, I need to confess it and address it.
Envying someone else’s gifts will cause you to neglect your own.
3 Ways Imitation Kills Innovation
So what does constant imitation kill? More than you might think. Let’s look specifically at three ways innovation suffers at the hands of imitation.