Knowledge is power = or so they say, esp. Sir Francis Bacon.
But – I would counter, that it’s what you do with that knowledge that measures your power or influence.
Wisdom is considered a sign of weakness by the powerful because a wise man can lead without power but only a powerful man can lead without wisdom.
You gain more influence, by sharing knowledge than what you do by holding on to it. That is, second to knowing where and how to find that which you do not know, is what you know and do not know. Headspin?
In days of old, kingdoms were built by kings and governments that held on to what they had, gathering and drawing wisdom and wealth to themselves. But in around the time of Solomon, one of the greatest currencies in the world was knowledge.
Imagine that man who first invented fire, and all that was possible by it. While his individual power was very strong in the moment that he held onto that knowledge, all of society was enpowered when he distributed what he knew. His influence was very great, and became greater.
Similarly, consider how the world has changed. Influence and power increases or decreases dramatically in accordance with what you do with the knowledge you have.
Great leaders will share their accumulated knowledge and build the communal knowledge pool for the benefit of customers, workers, company, world at large.
Take Google for example. Many of their finest products are free services available to the masses, and the fastest growing fields of technology are in the use of mediums that allow us to share knowledge with each other.
Would Google be nearly as influential, if we all had to pay for their basic services? No, of course not – as Microsoft. Instead, they share the knowledge, build platforms for community development and then offer premium services to those customers they have established trust with.
Think about mentors – the best mentors are those that share knowledge and experience with others for the benefit of the broader community.
If you want to lead with influence – share the knowledge that you have about your processes, your strategies – give away and you will gain respect and manna from those who want to learn from you, beside you and those who can influence your own knowledge pool.