We’ve all heard it. “Knowledge is power”.
The thing is, we often think the power comes in sharing knowledge before anyone else has it. “Did you hear what happened with Tiger Woods? He lost his ‘such-and-such’ endorsement.” “Hey – did you hear about GM? They’re releasing a future-focused super-car in Q’4 2010. But don’t tell anyone…” Or “hey, don’t tell anyone, but I overheard that Billy is getting promoted tomorrow…”
Oh, and that phrase! “But don’t tell anyone…” Or “Don’t tell anyone I told you but…”
There is power in knowing before others. And we feel powerful when we are the ones who get to tell. And we ask others to not tell knowledge sometimes, which is like putting candy in front of a small child and asking them not to eat, then leaving the room. People can’t seem to help themselves. Having juicy info? Powerful.
And yet, I’m here to tell you that I believe the power comes in knowing the info and yet not sharing it. In my world, the info can be about people or about authors or big happenings in the publishing world. That’s just my world, and when I first started working (in my immature 22/23-year-old days) it was so much fun to have insider knowledge and I wanted to share it with everyone. It made me feel powerful, important. And in some ways, it made me able to ‘one-up’ others.
But now in my oh-so-mature 28-year old days (haha!), I find the greatest pleasure in knowing things but not sharing them. I carry information and secrets with me, and yet find myself realising that true power is in not sharing. Being trustworthy and responsible with information is a big deal.
So, what do you think as I turn a common perception on its head? That how we use ‘knowledge as power’ is not, in fact, the most powerful way to use it? Would love your thoughts…