I think we’ve all heard about the TV show on hoarding. I haven’t seen it, but I have known a few people who are hoarders. What a mess, at so many levels. What challenges it causes, for so many people.
Recently, while facilitating a meeting, someone commented about a leader who seemed to be hoarding information. My ears perked up (not to imply that I hadn’t been listening before, of course). What a concept: hoarding information. What a mess, at so many levels. What challenges it causes, for so many people.
Then, I started to wonder if I hoard information. Yuck. I think I do.
- I definitely have information in my computer that people might be able to use. Yes, we have sites where we can share information, but how often do I upload to them?
- I definitely have information in my head that people might need. Yes, I’m willing to answer questions when asked, but am I proactive enough to be sharing in anticipation of what they’ll need?
- I definitely have resources that would be useful to others. Yes, I’m willing to share when approached, but am I thinking about resources my team members might need before they ask?
What causes this hoarding of information? I came up with a number of possibilities, none of which are attractive. One possibility is fear. If I share, then others will know what I know, and they might be better than me. Another possibility is insecurity. If my team members meet some of the people who have been useful to me, then the team member might be liked more than me. Another possibility is lack of confidence. If I develop my people by sharing useful information as a way of developing my team, they may excel and be promoted ahead of me.
Get my drift? Not a pretty picture. What a mess, at so many levels. What challenges it causes, for so many people. Slap, slap. It’s time to get over myself, deal with the fear or whatever it is, and do what leaders are supposed to do: motivate, inspire, develop others, and definitely not hoard information. That means sharing as much information as I can, keeping people informed, and thinking about what’s best for them, not just about what’s best for me.