Caution: This might be the most arrogant post I've ever written.
I was in a pitch last week when the person I was pitching said, "I just want to you to know that you're in competition with another agency." I'm still not 100% sure why he brought this up, but I thought I'd explore further. "Mind me asking who I'm in competition with?" After giving me agency, I mentioned that a guy I trained actually went there last year. Turns out the guy that I trained was the guy I was pitching against.
Funny how that works, isn't it? I trained him back in 2005, when admittedly I didn't know shit. "Honestly, he didn't do very well," the guy said, "you must not have trained him very well." I quickly replied, "Actually, I trained him just enough to know that if ever went against him in a pitch, I'd win the business."
I did end up winning the business and they're a great client. Truthfully, they made the right choice.
Training people is one of my favorite things in the world. Though, my biggest struggle with training is trying to determine just how much knowledge to transfer to others. If you're not the owner of your company, then how much do you have to gain from getting their employees at your knowledge level?
The corporate hell yeah guy in me says that you should never hoard knowledge. Imparting what you know onto others makes your entire organization stronger. As someone who is trusted to help better your peers, it is your responsibility to always stay a step above. This is the only true way to remain on top of the internal company competition and still be a top notch trainer.
I'll leave you with one more story.
I'm currently hosting a Google Analytics training class. There is a person in this class that is struggling a bit. This is not unusual, there's a lot on the test that they're never going to use. After the class he approaches me about his struggles. "What do you think I need to do? Everyone is taking the test on Friday and I'm not sure I'm ready." A simple problem, with a simple solution. "Study for the test at home and you'll be more than fine by test time."
He was dumbfounded. Study for the test at home? But, school is over. How could he possibly study for work at home? It's called homework, not workhome. Will he do it? I don't know we'll see how well he does. But, if you don't do everything possible to stay ahead of the curve and your competition, then you're going to struggle mightily in every job situation.