CareerSherpas: Climbing the Mountain

When you’re on the way, it helps to share the load

Knowledge is Power Only When Shared

“Knowledge is power.” – attributed to Sir Francis Bacon

This week I got pretty animated sharing process patterns of the industry I work in. It’s not the most exciting topic, but it’s the baseline of what we do.

Frankly, if you aren’t working in the area it’s one of the most boring topics imaginable.

That being said, if you don’t realize that there are natural patterns to it you’re at a disadvantage. Knowing the basic building blocks gives context to make all the other work make sense. Without it you have to reinvent the wheel if you want to get anything done.

This experience got me thinking about how people use knowledge. The only way to increase knowledge is to share it or have it shared. The more knowledge is shared, the more tools people have. The more tools people have, the more open we all are to new ideas and new opportunities are easier to find.

On the other hand, hoarding knowledge prevents it being useful.

I’m sure you’ve met the “wizards” of the workplace. The person or small group of people whose vast knowledge of some critical business activity makes them¬†indispensable. Other people line up to ask questions and come away with the tidbit that they were looking for, only to come back later for the next pointer. Nothing functions when they go on vacation. Everything in their domain of understanding comes to a grinding halt when they are absent.

Have you watched their reaction when change comes knocking?

Change is scary to a lot of people, but to the “great Oz” it’s terrifying. Change means their power, their security, their perceived value to the organization shrinks. They are usually the most vocal proponents of why something new won’t work and the fastest to latch on to any fumbles as signs that a change spells doom.

Don’t get stuck as a “wizard”. The knowledge of the way things are done prevents you from seeing the benefits of a change and, more importantly for your career, even prevents your growth. If nobody else knows what you know, how can anyone step up and take your place? If nobody can take your place, how can you possibly take on other, more interesting roles?

Who can you share knowledge with today?

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of and is currently working on his first book, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.

One Response to “Knowledge is Power Only When Shared”

  1. Kamberley Says:

    We coudv’le done with that insight early on.

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