Sometimes it’s hard to let go of what we do. What I mean is that it can be hard sharing everything that you know, and teach other people what your job entails. The natural reaction is to hang on to that knowledge, be the expert, the guru that can do it all.
However, are you getting any real new chances, or does everyone believe that because you’re too valuable doing what you’re doing that they don’t send opportunities in your direction? Holding on too tight to what you know can be detrimental to learning and growing. Sometimes it’ll keep you from being able to try new things.
Hand it over
In order to gain real traction to take advantage of new opportunities, you need to start offloading what you’ve been doing. It’s time to stretch yourself, challenge your skills with something outside your comfort zone. To do that, you’re going to need to have more time to focus and learn. You can’t do that holding onto what you do today. It’s time to start mentoring those that want your job.
To get started, you’ll need to create an environment for this change. You have new habits to learn, and you should talk with your manager so they know what your plans are. Odds are your company already has much of this in place, it’s your job to step in and let them know that you’re interested in something new. By letting your managers know that you’re interested, and by doing things like sharing knowledge and cross training staff you show that your serious about it too.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of work, and it takes time to get it done. However, it’s very rewarding to see people perk up at the opportunity to learn something new. They’ll be more receptive to your ideas and you’ll find interactions with co-workers be less stressful if you’re sharing.
This is true of nearly every successful person. Sharing knowledge and enabling others to achieve their goals makes you a valuable person. More so than if you hang onto that guru-level knowledge, keeping it for yourself in a vain attempt to make you indispensable. Sharing makes you more valuable because it demonstrates your ability to learn new things and convey them to others – teaching. Over time, you also learn the art of delegation, how to distribute workload to associates tasked with assisting you. This allows you to focus on more forward looking work – the fun stuff.
So letting go of the control over the knowledge you’ve accumulated for your job can be beneficial. There are many variations and taking some leadership, organizational, interpersonal, and project management skills classes is a must to facilitate the change you’re looking for. Just don’t be afraid of sharing that hard-won knowledge. The rewards you reap for stepping out and taking the lead will be greater than staying where you were.
Photo credit: Radvixen