My last post about ID skills reminded me of this one from Clive Shepherd. He is (as usual) bang on the money as far as I'm concerned.
One of the most liberating things anyone ever said to me in a professional situation happened like this:
I was in a meeting with a few of the organisation's big players. They were talking about a mammoth proposal the organisation was drawing up, which would result (if we won it) in a sizeable contract worth millions and lasting a decade.
Because my boss expected that I would wind up working on the resultant contract, should we win it (we did and I did), he had asked me to join him at the meeting. I assumed I was there as an observer - after all, these players were well out of my league - so I was holding my tongue (no mean feat).
As the discussion progressed, it seemed to me that a key point was being missed. A fundamental issue overlooked.
Before my tongue actually split in two, I dared speak up. My heart was in my mouth. I said my piece and, to my astonishment, they listened. They adjusted their plans to accommodate my observation.
During the next comfort break, I apologised to my boss for overstepping the bounds of my remit. His answer, which permanently lifted a weight off my shoulders, was:
Think about it like this - How much are you being paid? If you withhold from the person who is paying you all your hard won experience and perspectives, are you not guilty of fraud or theft? After all, isn't that what they're buying? Isn't that what they pay for? We need to man up and bring our expertise to the table. It's what we're there for, after all!