The Art of “The Steal”: Lessons from Three Historical Leaders

Jeff B. Cohen
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal . . .

—T.S. Eliot

I love that idea. If you are mediocre you can imitate. Monkey see, monkey do. But, if you are savvy, you can intellectually consume the greatness of those around you and those who came before, process that greatness, and make it your own. Build on it. Create something new. Elevate the material.

I’m a transactional entertainment attorney by trade, and I think that mature lawyers “steal” too. As a professional, I find inspiration and guidance from history, politics, and pop culture—basically everywhere. With that in mind, here are three figures whose perspectives I have found instructive as a dealmaker and as a lawyer.

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