Recently I read a blog post, like I often do throughout the week. In a sea of sameness, this post stood out. It was a sort of tribute post, crediting a respected HR colleague, Charlie Judy (@HRFishbowl), who coined the term 'Trench HR' for the impact he had on another blogger - and our space.
Charlie is the same blogger who gave me a platform for my first blog post, which I later blogged about. He's the same blogger I'd sit down beside in the SHRM blogger lounge and pick his brain about writing style, frequency, and how to know when you 'get it right.' He may not remember those conversations, as I know he's had an impact on many aspiring bloggers, but the generosity he demonstrated in sharing his expertise so freely made an impact on me. I'm still learning how to become a good writer and blogger. I have a lot of work to do, but knowing I have talented writers in our space to learn from like Charlie, Laurie Ruettimann, Lance Haun, John Sumser, Matt Charney and others certainly gives me inspiration.
I'm fortunate to encounter that generosity on a regular basis, and it made me think more broadly about this 'knowledge sharing economy'. We all have passions. We all have expertise and knowledge in particular fields. We all have gaps - things we're curious about, professionally or personally, where we seek answers and strive to improve. We all play a part in the knowledge share economy.
If you want to be successful in your field, the key is sharing you knowledge freely.
I've been the beneficiary of so many friends, peers, mentors, and those I aspire to be like throughout my career. Busy people, who could certainly be doing a lot of things other than spending 30 minutes being peppered by questions from someone trying to learn about their field. I remember, and appreciate, all of them.
Inspired by this knowledge share economy, and how I've benefited from it in my career, I make it a point to do my part to give back. I try to share everything I learn (yes, even mistakes), and usually schedule several calls a month meeting new people and seeing how I can help them. We all should. You'd be surprised how much you can learn from those discussions, and you never know when that person you helped might blaze new trails in your field. Chances are there will remember you, and chances are they will pass it on.