Is Information Truly Power?

Throughout my career and life, I have seen so many people tightly hold on to their information as they believe it is power. This belief escalates even more when there is either a downsizing or layoff. Many people believe if they secretly hold onto that information and are reluctant to share it, it improves their chances to hold their position should another downsizing occur. Actually, that information isn’t power but it does improve your value to the organization.

Difference Between Power and Value

Understand the Value of Your Knowledge

So what’s the difference? The definition of power is ” the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events”. Do you really think you truly possess that power where you work? Realize your company will survive should you leave with all that information. They might encounter a tough time for a while but they’ll get through it.

Think of your knowledge as improving your value to the company. The more you know, your value increases. Be willing to learn as much as possible. By doing so, not only are you increasing your net worth to your present employer but you’ve increased value to future employers should you decide to look elsewhere.

When a company downsizes, they tend to look at what positions are being affected and can be absorbed by others. Then they will look at skill sets as to who knows what and their personal attributes. How open are they to multitasking and helping where it is needed. Cross training definitely helps out.

Attitude Safed the Position

The following is a great example. We were downsizing and the final position was down to two people. Both people were knowledgeable in their respective areas. They were always busy in their own area. However, one person was always very open to helping throughout the organization to do whatever was needed. The other person didn’t demonstrate the same attitude. They felt some things were beneath them and they made it known. So, when it came down to possibly losing her job, she was more than willing to perform the tasks she didn’t want to help within the past. So, who do you think the company kept?

Remember, knowledge isn’t power but it does increase your value. Additionally, the willingness to share and help others further increases your value to the organization. Actually, power can be your downfall.

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