This evening I asked a new gal pal of mine for her opinion about something pertaining to business. We exchanged a few tweets on the subject and ended up talking on the phone for a more in-depth conversation.
As we discussed a smattering of ideas, I was impressed with her approach to sharing information and experiences. We even talked about that specifically. Her philosophy, she told me, was simple, "My mission is to share and connect." Although I possess that same attitude toward helping colleagues and peers, I've never expressed it that way. I thought that was spectacular!
It is so refreshing when you meet people who realize that we are all better as a community when we are real with one another. Not all of us are experts on everything. We have our areas of expertise, but we also have our areas of weakness. It's alright not to know something. There is no shame in asking people whom you admire or respect for a little old-fashioned advice. And you are not diminishing your value by sharing what you know.
When times get tough, many people tend to be stingy with information. We think to ourselves: "If I know this and Joe Shmoe doesn't, I'm more likely to keep my job, get that promotion, or snag that client." However, never underestimate the value of being a team player, mentoring someone deserving, or establishing a reputation as someone who always makes the time to provide professional guidance. It's about paying it forward, but more than that it's about being human.
There's a wonderful quote that I use frequently and I think it sums up my feelings on the subject perfectly. I'll leave you to ponder (and hopefully embrace!) these words from Gandhi, a great thought leader: "Be the change you want to see in the world."
Now, go tackle the day and be great!