To share or not to share

To share or not to share

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

A few months ago, a designer shared a brilliant project workflow in a design group all-hands meeting. I reached out to them to ask permission to share the slide deck. To my surprise, they refused, citing the fact that too many times, people have used their ideas without crediting them.
With my academic background, I understand the frustration. The first thing I taught my students when I was teaching at universities was proper citation. But in the workplace, should we stop sharing because someone might “steal” it?
As I am getting more experienced in this industry, I care less and less about earning credit. So I share as frequently as I can. I share as early as I can. I teach and speak about different levels of shareouts with various fidelity work at different workflow stages. I do my best to carve out time to share my experience, ideas, and learnings at conferences, participate in meetups. Comfortably, I don’t mind people stealing my thoughts anymore, as long as the beliefs and practices benefit others.
People started to see me as a thought leader, came to me to discuss their approaches. Theories, ideas, practices start to fuel each other. Together, we move the industry forward. To my surprise, and not to my surprise, I am getting more credits.
Life is short; do we have time to chase credit? Or do we want to do something meaningful? I smiled, when I saw my friend Ko posted this on LinkedIn. Be brave, inspire others.

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