It’s Smart to Give Away Your Knowledge

There’s an old saying, “Knowledge is power.”  People who subscribe to this point of view closely guard their knowledge. They don’t share it, under the assumption that knowing more than their colleagues will put them one step ahead in the career sweepstakes.  I don’t subscribe to this theory — and neither should you.  Knowledge is meant to be shared — and that’s what successful people do.

This article focuses on Tony Hsieh and Jeff Bezos and how they have openly shared the knowledge that has made Zappos and Amazon the great companies they are today.

I’m glad that Tony Hsieh wrote a book about the Zappos way.  It’s an inspirational guide for folks who want to start up a new company.  However, I want to focus on how sharing your knowledge can help you grow and flourish in your career.

I always encourage my career mentoring clients to hang around with positive people.  I also tell them that the best way to build a network of positive people is to be a positive person yourself.  Positive people are generous.  They give of themselves.  They share their knowledge in the hopes that the can help the people around them to grow and flourish.  When you share your knowledge you brand yourself as a positive, helpful person.  And that’s a good brand to have.

This is not all about altruism either.  There will come a time when you will need to learn something that someone else already knows.  He or she will be much more willing to share that knowledge with you if you have the reputation as someone who willingly shares your knowledge.

This is win-win behavior in action.  And it goes to the point I made in a chapter I wrote in a book called 42 Rules for Creating WE.  In that chapter I suggested that there is no quid pro quo in we.  I said that while it’s nice to pay back someone who has done you a favor, it’s even nicer to go first and do a favor for someone who has done nothing for you.  In this way, you’re setting a positive example.  You’re creating a win-win climate in your organization.  You’ll be recognized in a positive way for this — trust me on this one.

The common sense point here is simple.  Share your knowledge.  You’ll brand yourself as a positive person.  You’ll become known as an asset within your organization.  And, people will be more willing to share their knowledge with you.  That’s a win-win-win.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  Now I’m going one step further.  I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success.  And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free.  Just go to  to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals.  I hope to see you there.


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