Ever had that moment when you finish a project or deliver something at work, and someone looks at it with wide eyes, wondering how you were able to do it so well, or so completely, or so successfully?
From your perspective, you simply went about your job, and it just happened to knock someone’s socks off.
To some, what you do looks a little bit like magic. Even though from your point of view, you were just applying yourself and doing good work. Arthur C. Clarke famously said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and in these kinds of situations the “advanced technology” is you.
Your knowledge and experience is what allows great work to happen. It’s you, and what you know, that makes the difference.
It’s tempting to guard that knowledge like you’re guarding the secret of how the woman gets sawn in half. Reveal your secret, show people how the trick works, and everybody will be doing it. The magic is gone. You’ll no longer be special. You’ll no longer be seen as the expert. You’ll no longer be held in such high esteem.
But here’s the thing. Hoarding knowledge serves nobody, least of all yourself.
Knowledge isn’t there to be accumulated and stored like a collection of porcelain frogs in a display cabinet.
All the time you’re keeping your knowledge and experience close to you, behind a closed gate or a high wall, they’ll never know how you can help them and you’ll never get to help them.
Sharing what you know brings people with you. It’s an open invitation to come with you and it connects you to people on a whole new level.
Giving away what you know doesn’t diminish you, it elevates you.
It elevates everyone.
It makes you a better leader. It makes you more successful. And it makes you a really fucking nice person.