The more things change, the more things stay the same. Often this statement is one that is “sad but true.” I remember back about 15 years ago. A client had given me a gift for helping him reach his goals. It was a rectangular long and thin wood-backed print graphic. From one end to the other it was covered with about 16 depictions of Dalmatians, all in black in white, in various sizes and different degrees of repose. All accept the Dalmatian in the middle of the graphic. He sat tall. He was depicted in color instead of black and white. And his spots instead of black white were all multi-coloured polka dots. And the caption read:
“In a world full of copycats, BE AN ORIGINAL.”
It sat hung on my wall for some years. All who witnessed it would say, “Yep, that’s you.” I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into that back then. But since, it has struck me just how true that slogan rings. So much imitation out there, so little creativity and originality. Why is that?
I fast forward to this summer when I met for lunch with a colleague who was in town and we got to talking about the industry and the “McFashion” and “McSameness” of it all. He was expressing how long I’ve lasted in an industry that is usually so fickle and short lived in terms of longevity. The fact that most clients average a five year stay with me as their coach was not lost on him. We discussed what may be different about what I bring to the coaching table. It took me some years to recognize these attributes but I think I finally have a grasp on it.
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