Share Your Knowledge: The More They Know, the More You Grow

Chapter 4 Pg’s 110-112   Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarnecki

In order to be a great teacher, a leader must first know how to share. Sharing means being willing to give up exclusive knowledge to associates. For many leaders, knowledge is power. By not sharing with their associates, they figure, they protect their own position and assure continued job security. However, as a leader you are the key to the organization’s ability to replicate itself. You hold the detailed knowledge about the organization.

Your work unit is, by my definition, where the work gets out. It is where the parts are made, the assembly is completed, the research is accomplished, and the breakthrough in new products occurs. Someday you may move on, but if your unit does not have a leader, it will fail the enterprise’s core mission.

 Indeed, the inevitable result of successful development is that the mentee will no longer need the mentor. Do your job well and you will not be needed. Your entire concept of leadership must include the willingness—indeed the commitment—to train your associates to eventually become leaders. This transfer of leadership is essential for an organization’s survival.

 Your ability to transfer knowledge to your associates is the true measure of your ability to lead. When they have learned and can function without you, you have liberated them and yourself. You will be free to focus on your own success. However, if you continue to guard your knowledge jealously, you will thwart your own development. This is because only when your organization can succeed without you can you expect to move on to your next assignment.

 If you do your job well, you will be growing leaders, not followers. This means as you develop your associates, you are developing your organization’s future management. Many leaders fail to develop staff to replace them. The two tragedies of that are (1) we never have anybody to replace us as we look toward our next promotion; (2) they never have the staff to grow their existing responsibilities. A leader who is threatened by followers who become leaders is not a leader for the future. Always be prepared to groom not only your successor but also your boss’s successor. Hire and develop people who are better than you think you are. What happens is remarkable. They will bloom, and you will get even better. That is a win-win-win situation. They win, you win, and the organization wins!

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