The inventors and innovators of the world are some pretty incredible people. Where would we be without the automobile, indoor plumbing, cell phones, and the other amazing inventions out there. I’m typing this on a Mac. Where would I be without a Mac? I don’t even want to think about it. All of these inventions came from an innovator. But then, we have to see the flip side of the coin. This is the copier. The copiers simply wait for an innovator to come up with an idea, then they use it. Leaders have to be innovators. They cannot, and I truly mean cannot, be copiers. They must be innovators. Let’s take a look at some of the differences.

Motivation

Innovators innovate because there is a need. They invent because there is something missing. They create and push forward because they understand “the way we’ve always done it” is not the best way anymore. Henry Ford is quoted as saying “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Innovators get past what the people say they want and create what works.

Copiers copy because they see that the innovation worked. There’s no drive. There’s a benefit, sure, but there’s no push forward. They simply see that the innovative church grew. They see that the innovative company made money. There is no reason for them to innovate because they feel that they are secure in simply taking the ideas of others and rehashing them. This is incredibly dangerous because of the next reason.

Strategy

Innovators have a strategy. When an innovator creates, designs, and implements new ideas, there is always a clear-cut reason and a clear-cut follow-through. This is because the innovator knows that there is no point to something new unless there is a purpose. The follow-through is every bit as important as the idea, and the innovator understands that. A successful idea and a successful follow-through leads to success.

Copiers have no strategy. The dangerous part is that they think they have a strategy. They have a mindset of “if we build it, they will come.” They believe that the idea stands on its own and there is no reason to dig deeper. There’s really no reason for them to have a strategy because they think the shallowest of strategies is more than enough. A successful idea (or copy of an idea) and a poor follow-through is failure.

Lifespan

Innovators are forever. If a company keeps innovating, eventually it will be the most successful. Look at Pixar and Apple. They kept innovating and eventually became far more successful than anyone thought they would. There is always a need for innovation, so innovators are always in demand. However, when we stop innovating, we start dying.

That’s because copiers die quickly. A copier rests their hopes on a new idea that they can copy with little to no strategy. Eventually, people realize that the innovators are who they should be following. They want strategy. They want to see the reasoning behind the ideas. They want motivation and drive. They don’t want a copy and paste methodology.

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