A friend of mine has said that he strives, in every job he has, to make himself obsolete on his own terms. Then, he can move on to a new role, having left his job better than he found it.

Another friend of mine has been complaining about someone at his work who is actively working to make themselves a lynchpin, a silo of information that the company needs to function. They are trying to keep others in the dark, to gain power and protection through the knowledge that they alone wield.

The first approach is compassionate. You care for yourself, your coworkers, your company, your job. You try to improve all of them, by spreading understanding and power. The second approach is cowardly and selfish: you try to protect yourself at the cost of the community—and usually at the cost of yourself, too.

Be compassionate. Be part of a community.

What I need to work on in this respect:

  • If I need to know something, I’ll ask. I won’t worry about someone being too busy, but I will ask about when I can ask in detail. I’ll help others spread understanding.
  • If I see someone hoarding knowledge or responsibility, I’ll ask what I can do to help. I’ll understand that they may have deeper worries than they’re willing to discuss, and try to imagine them complexly.