founder of naked leader

Just please, don’t tell The Police!

Just please, don’t tell The Police!

policelightTime to Read: 1 minute 5 seconds

Just please, don’t tell The Police

That I, and we in Naked Leader, steal – regularly And, worse, we actively encourage, support and tell other people, teams and organisations to do the same.

I have even confessed to it in public.

At a company conference, I was challenged by the wonderful Alan Maloney, Sales Development Director Ford Retail about our Formula for Guaranteed Success.

FGS_no_title_TMAlan, rather bravely I thought, raised his hand the moment he saw this – in front of so many of his peers, friends and colleague.

‘WOW’, I thought, ‘I’m in trouble now.’

He said: “I am not very happy with your formula David…I think you have stolen it from the GROW model.

I was aghast, offended and lost for words.

Well, for a few seconds – our private conversation (in front of over 300 people) proceeded:

Me “Thank you Alan although I have to say I am deeply upset that you should think that.”

Alan “I am very sorry David, I am not calling you a thief or anything like that.”

Me “No, you misunderstand me, I am upset because we didn’t just copy the FGS from the GROW model, we copied it from every single success model out there, over 250 of them.”

The fastest way to be successful?

Find someone who has achieved what you want to achieve, and do what they did – copy them.

Or, as we did, we gathered together all of the success models, and stripped them down to their common denominator.

As Richard Kirkman, Technical Director of Veolia UK, said recently “clever copy cats.”

Of course, once you have copied someone you will add your own personality, character and ideas.

Still, at the base of it all is this – steal with pride.

Confess all below.

With my love and best wishes

David X

15 Responses to Just please, don’t tell The Police!

  1. I love this story. Too many personal development teachers claim exclusivity or authorship of models, when in reality, ‘everything is derivative’, (that’s someone else’s quote, not mine 🙂 ). You could argue that the GROW model has its origins in Socratic dialogue, but I would guess that whoever first put it together (? Sir John Whitmore) did so by picking the brains of successful people. Having said that, what I most admire about Richard and his colleagues at Veolia is that they are very innovative… transforming a waste management company into an energy supplier and a manufacturer.

  2. I decided to steal off a friend. An idea. It proved a costly mistake but perhaps not as costly as the most famous attempted steals, that of facebook, as I believe there was controversy there with the original concept and whose Idea it was.
    Nothing wrong with stealing and even better when you get found out and you can admit it with pride.

  3. Don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t model yourself on someone.
    Stephen Mulhearn is a typical example, all the mannerisms of Ricky Gervais.
    Obviously models himself on Gervais and why not? It works!

  4. Hi David,

    This is great. Thank you.

    ‘Plagiarism’ is ripping off one person’s ideas and presenting them as your own

    ‘Research’ is ripping off lots of people’s ideas.

    We all learn and can never be quite sure where we have learned certain things over the years. I for one would be honoured if someone used one of my ideas. We all put into the pot and we all take out.

    Take care of yourself.

    Warm regards,


  5. Copying has been done since school. It always happens and we should try and get ahead when we can.

  6. “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” (Isaac Newton, channelling St Bernard of Clairvaux).


  7. #Spreadshite occurs at all levels…we are taught young that it is ‘wrong’ to copy. Only last week I attended a research project where it was discussed as to who actually ‘owns’ the GROW model and therefore other coaching models re IP, copyright and usage. Such narrow thinking at an extreme is closed and controlling and locks people, organisations and societies from the capacity to empower themselves.

    However, ‘some’ are now discovering the subtleties of a modern master/ apprentice concept, with education and experience as equal partners of value in learning, grasping the interdependency of copy, imitate, master, evolve…then set it free.

    After all we would not have luxury of reading comments here, without the blatant copying and sharing of ideas, that led to the creation and evolution of the internet.

    Long live FGS

    …and The Grateful Dead

  8. Even in school we used to copy each other’s answers.
    Also, teachers used to tell us all the time, follow me!
    So it’s a ntaural ingrained reflex action in many ways!

  9. Wonderful as ever David, I eally enjoy your blogs, they are so insightful.
    Although not always easy to read within your allotted timescale.
    Regards Michael

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