I have spent my entire career involved in “R” and” “D” with respect to my occupation as a sales consultant or strategist. This term has been used for decades and most industries understand this as “research and development.”

As defined: research and de·vel·op·ment

Noun: research and development

1. (In industry) work directed toward the innovation, introduction and improvement of products and processes.

This is the backbone for growth in so many business models. Without it, how can they stay competitive or keep up with current trends? In addition, what will a company’s future look like and what new areas can it explore to stay ahead of what is offered to its customers.

I see this as a whole different concept. My fellow trainers will notice the same analogy and have used the process in similar ways. A contemporary of mine who is a corporate trainer was the one that introduced me to their definition of “R” and “D.”

They call it: rip off and duplicate.

Perfect description with the few words that says it all.

Let’s explain this as simply as I can. There is nothing new.

That’s the truth. There is nothing new in sales, sales management, customer service or leadership. if you want to even count that one.

All the books have been written in the early and mid-1900s by some of the greatest thinkers in history. Forget Plato, Aristotle, Socretes, Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, or even Confucius. More current ones are Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Og Mandino, Norman Vincent Peale, Stephen Covey or Zig Zigler.

The above people have said it all. Nothing is new, but technology. Everything has already been said, and if not, it is just “ripped off or duplicated.”

Almost every sales book tells salespeople to ask questions and not to talk. Customer service books explain why being nice is so important. Books on negotiating tell you how to listen, come prepared and try to keep your emotions out of a meeting. The critical thinkers in leadership all have taught more about being the leader than doing.

To keep it real and let you know that there is no magic bullet or one book for you to read or model after. It is always a journey to be the best at anything and constant improvement with discipline and focus. As I wrote this column, I made a list of books to reread.

The key is to become a student. Always keep learning and not just by reading one book, going to one class or a single seminar. The more you do, the more you learn, remember and hopefully improve.

If it has all been said “R” and “D” is just rip off and duplication, you might see how so many authors, trainers or seminar leaders package their thought process and deliver similar information in their style.

We all learn from people we like, the way the material is presented, the time frame and mood we are in to finally absorb the information and become ready for implementation.

Now, go find your favorites in history and prepare to be amazed.


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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