Expertise as power
It may be tempting to learn a skill and keep that skill to ourselves.
To become the best at doing something, because we perceive experts are in short supply.
The theory is, if we are the only ones that can do something, we can charge more for what we do, we’ll be in high demand, and we’ll never be out of work.
There are a few problems with the theory.
When you’re the highest paid, you are automatically evaluated when times get lean. Do we really need that level of expertise? Can we get by with someone a little less skilled for less money?
Also, the value of an expert that is the “only one” is limited to one.
Sharing power creates exponential value
But what if we can be experts that are multipliers? Experts that create more value and generate more savings, opportunities, or revenue than the amount of our paycheck?
Now we have a winning formula.
Power hoarding provides short-term gain. By focusing on keeping our power, we are contracting. Whether overtly or not, we close ourselves off from others.
Sharing our power opens us up. We expand, focusing outward. We are more likely to build strong relationships, invite assistance and growth, all by having a willingness to give.
Power shared, is power multiplied. Someone that has a skill AND can make others better, suddenly has more power than an individual that only has their own power to tap into.
Helping others creates a network of power. Who are we more likely to help? Those that have helped us. Have taken the time to show us the ropes, make the complicated seem easy, or inspired us to get started. And those we help are more likely to help others, expanding the network, and value creation, exponentially.
There are endless ways to share our power and build up those around us:
- Offer assistance to another team
- Mentor someone with less experience
- Teach a class to help others get started or get better
- Write down what we know…blog, book or napkin
- Speak at an industry event
Don’t let fear stand in the way
We may fear that sharing our knowledge with others will diminish us in some way. Offering advice, teaching a class, or speaking at an event will not suddenly take all that we know and put it into the heads of others.
What we share is just information. It does not become knowledge or experience without practical application. Others still need to do the work, put in the time, and develop themselves to get to where we are. To do what we can do.
I never aspired to make the most money. Instead, I aspired to three things that ultimately resulted in a lucrative career:
- Be the best version of me that I can as a leader, peer, and employee
- Share what I do to help others
- Create more value than it costs to keep me employed
At no time have I lost my job or opportunities to someone I’ve helped. I’ve never shared my knowledge and suddenly become irrelevant.
Instead, it creates a perception that I create and build. Talent. Advocacy. A sharing culture.
Hoarding power creates and builds an individual. Sharing it builds whatever we can dream of.
A friend of mine recently asked why I give away my knowledge, both at work and online. “If it were easy, everyone would do it. It costs me nothing, but what I get in return is priceless.”
Our friendship is one of those priceless gifts.
Sharing our power can create unexpected benefits. How have you benefited from sharing what you know with others?
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