Hear the Beard: If you find yourself in the spotlight, share it. There’s plenty to go around.
I almost never feel threatened by competition. Fact is, there’s plenty of work out there for the lot of us. When I meet someone who has potential to excel, I brag on him. When I hire another professional investigator to help on a case, I freely tell my clients what a good job she did.
Thanks to a journalism background, I am often presented with opportunities to write for publication or speak in public: public radio, industry journals, business magazines, seminars, etc. Whenever possible, I love to share the spotlight with my peers. It makes me look smart for aligning myself with such interesting and competent people. It gives them a chance to address audiences to which they might otherwise not have access. It’s what’s called a “win-win.”
I try to surround myself with good, competent, professional people. And I strongly believe that when we share our opportunities and successes, we all benefit. “When you increase your discernment, maximize your awareness of the available options and then go ahead and ship work that scares others… that’s when you succeed.” Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog, November 21, 2011
For example, my friend Mike was asked to give a lunchtime presentation about credit card fraud and ID theft to a large group. He works for a local bank and has an idea about the topic, but he is not an expert. So he thought it would be a good chance to loop me in.
He still gets credit for putting the presentation together, and he gains credibility by enlisting the expertise of a Certified Fraud Examiner. I benefit by getting exposure to a new potential client base. It’s what’s called a “win-win.”
I like sharing the stage with my fellow investigators. I like to brag on their skills and abilities. My buddy L. Scott Harrell once asked me to cover for him in an online presentation for a national audience. It helped him out of a scheduling bind and gave me a chance to be the expert for a day.
I once interviewed another Nashville private investigator for a public radio story I was working on. It helped me put together a nice story and gave her the chance to be the expert for a day.
This post is a re-hashing of an earlier one on altruistic reciprocity, but I think it’s important to keep the idea fresh. Life is short. Share. It always, always comes back.