Are you creative?

What have you invented?

If you are asked what you created or invented, how would you reply?

When I received the Email, I chuckled.  Even though I had been asked before, I never had a choice of two answers.  The question was:

“What two innovations do you claim credit for during your 32 years at Chick-fil-A?”

My answer was in the same spirit that I always respond.


Even though people may claim credit for many inventions, innovations and originations, I don’t claim any.  My experience confirms the truth of the proverb:

   There is nothing new under the sun.

Rarely can anyone truly claim the discovery, invention or origination of anything.  Think about it.  Can you claim the invention of anything?  Do you know anyone who can?

Does it really matter?  Yes!

If you are focused on gaining recognition, you will lose.  You will lose the cooperation of your co-workers.  You will lose the support of those reporting to you.  You will lose the endorsement of your boss.

No one enjoys working with a glory seeker.

Here is the way I dealt with this issue.  It worked for me; I believe it will work for you.

Even though I am not an inventor, innovator or originator, I am an adaptor and adopter.  Often, I see, hear or learn something that stimulates my thinking along this line.

I see packaging for a product not related to food service that gives me an idea of how a similar process could be adapted for quick-service food.  I hear about the results of a demographic study that defines how a certain market segment makes purchase decisions that stimulate my thinking of an improved marketing approach for potential customers in that market segment.  I learn of a military training program that could be adopted by franchisees for training their restaurant supervisors.

Was I functioning as an inventor, innovator or originator?  No. I was an adaptor and adopter.

All of us adapt and adopt.  We all do it, but some do it better than others.  That is why I shared my observations, ideas and suggestions with people who might be able to help me.

When one person lights a spark, another adds tinder to start a flame, another lays on a little kindling, another adds a dry log, together they can build a great bon-fire.

Who built the fire?  Who was the innovator? Is it the one providing the spark, or is it the one providing the tinder, kindling or dry log?

To be a successful adaptor and adopter, you need this mind-set.

Share your ideas with others who can help you achieve your objective, but share it in such a way that it will become their objective.  In addition, you want them to know without question that you will take the blame for the consequences of failure.

Share the Credit, Accept the Blame

When you are willing to share the credit for success and accept the blame for failure, people will gladly join you in adapting and adopting.

If you will try this, you will find that it will work so well, you will attract creative people because the really good adaptors and adapters will recognize that working with you leads to success.

Think about it.

Share the Credit, Accept the Blame

If you are seeking success and satisfaction in your career, does it handicap you to share the results of adapting and adopting?

I found that it enhanced my career.

It will work for you too!

–Jimmy Collins

My latest book, Jimmy’s Stories is available on Amazon:

My first book, Creative Followership is also available on Amazon:

Signed and personalized books are available on

Creative Followership;

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