‘Tis the season for local elections and primary races.  In our city, there are several yard signs touting “Hancock for Supervisor” or similarly generic slogans for other candidates.  I think they could all be mass produced with an “Insert Name Here” format.

Not so in Texas. 

Driving through one of the Fort Worth suburbs, I saw that they have taken the city council election to a whole new level.  Signs were four-color with photos and even mini-biographies on them.  One is a doctor; another candidate is a CPA, while still others are “experienced”, “capable” and even “caring”.

I wonder who the candidate was that started all this.  Surely someone was first to deviate from the traditional small sign to come forward with a large sign and pictures.  That candidate raised the bar for everyone.  It elevated the stakes (and cost), but also heightened awareness about the election and hopefully created some voter interest.

Whoever went first probably thought they would really stand out, but now they are indistinguishable in the sea of similar signs.  It reminded me of when my younger sisters would annoy me by copying my actions.  At those times, my mother always said:  “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.”  

When your competitors copy the great idea you had, be flattered that they stole it, then spend your energy on coming up with yet another new thought rather than lamenting how they have copied you.  

beth triplett


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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