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Withholding information doesn't empower you, it paralyzes you and your company.


We all want to be valued. We all want to be secure in our position. What happens though, is that some

people equate that with holding hostage information that may be helpful to others in the company. This would then require that everyone comes to YOU for that information, proving your value. Or does it? Having worked with marketing, IT, sales, accounting, wait staff, and other departments in various companies since age 16, I've seen a lot of examples of people wanting to be the "go to" person with the answers for all - like an oracle or something. I have to admit to doing this myself when I had my art gallery. All this does is annoy people, make you look like a paranoid, control freak and take up your time with the same petty, repetitive requests for information.

Why it Matters: 

Why would you do that to yourself?

Why would you do this to your team or employees?

Don't you want them to be successful too?

Some of the reasons people withhold information and the "know how" to be successful in a company:

  1. They are afraid that if they teach someone else how to do it, they will no longer be needed.
  2. They want to show how smart and superior they are to those above them and make the rest of the team look inferior.
  3. They don't trust their team to do the tasks, so they take on that "I'll just do it myself" attitude of those destined to burn out or crack up from the pressure of doing it all.
  4. They are insecure that their methods to do a task actually are so convoluted, they will be impossible to explain to anyone and someone may come up with a way better way to do the same thing, making them look foolish - or so they think.
  5. They never thought that they could be valuable by documenting procedures and creating resources to share with all.

How many of these fit you or someone on your team that holds the keys to the information? I have found that the more I document, the more valuable I am to my clients, and the fewer mistakes or missed steps we all make. The company succeeds more and with these more routine items off my plate, and my time is freed up for more creative solutions, projects and initiatives.

If it is not you doing these things, but others, try to be compassionate as to the WHY they do it. Fear is a BIG factor most of the time. Sometimes they don't realize they are doing it or that is why.

When I had my gallery, a client who did coaching on the topic of Success Without Sabotage, observed how miserable and resentful I was becoming at having to do EVERYTHING. The biggest factor was that I didn't trust my then husband and business partner to do it correctly, on time, or successfully. That was the beginning of the end - realizing I had no trust in him. BUT I did trust my employee 100%! Once I figured this out, I was able to teach her all that I knew. This gave me the ability to take off, and the ability to focus on marketing, schmoozing clients and artists, and other tasks. She and I had a lot of success with this teamwork, more sales, happier artists and we were both happier. Admitting you are holding valuable information hostage is the first step. Figuring out WHY you do it is the private and somewhat scary next step. Then you have to decide: "What do you want to change?"

Here are some suggestions for lightening your 411 load:

Create a document library that your team can access.
I am a huge fan of Google Drive for this. It can be accessed anywhere and you can lock it down by sub-folder or document. you can also prevent those invited to view or edit from adding others to the permissions. Creating the document in that environment using pages, sheets, slides doesn't count against your storage space - only when you upload documents to Drive. Images don't count either. This becomes a living resource that is easily updated.  Some companies have extranets for this purpose. Check  your company policy for this type of shared resource. If you don't have one, time to create it.

Create a best practices guide for all tasks, branding, social media, event strategies, lead follow up, sponsorship.
Usually HR has all of this type of stuff. If you have a business continuity plan, this may be in there - or it may be a great addition to your plan. Having this makes it consistent when something comes up out of the ordinary. You can modify the procedure, adapt it to the new situation, but you will have a CONSISTENT response and everyone knows the company stance on any given item or issue.

Create or upload a BRANDING guide.
What are your colors? What are your fonts? How can your logo be used? What are your website colors - all of them? What are the templates for all social media posts - the standards for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube custom thumbnails. 

Create a company media package online.
This includes bios, headshots, company logo, company mission, etc. that can easily be used by the press, on networking and industry sites, for speaking or interviews. VERY handy. Review it  a couple of times a year to make sure it is current.

Consider short training videos for typical tasks and make a private video library.
Vimeo is great for this so you can password protect them and change the password when you need to.This allows your team to watch again and again how to do their typical tasks. This is a HUGE time saver when you add new team members or one person fills in for another who is on leave. This is especially handy for interns who may be working from home or part-time when you are not there.

Consider writing some scripts.
This is the phone so people know how to answer the phone at your company when someone is away from their desk or ends up at the wrong extension. EVERY call is an opportunity for a sale or creating a brand advocate.

This blog is supported by the generous sponsorship of ClickPoint Software, OMI - Outward MediaVanillaSoft and Goldmine CRM Software



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