The Bridges are Not Enough - Great Deeds Need to be Documented
In a previous post I wrote about how Julius Caesar built bridges across the Rhine to serve as an example to the German tribes on the other side. As it turns out, Caesar’s military strategy worked to support his political strategy, a relationship equally instructive to us in the modern world.
In addition to his campaigning, Caesar also wrote detailed journals that were not written for the barbarian tribes he subdued. They were written for the people in Rome, and not the illiterate masses either, but rather his upper class contemporaries, and especially his supporters and financial backers. We often forget that Caesar’s progress in war and politics was largely paid for with loans from wealthy backers.
The bridges, like his successful campaigns, were examples of Caesar’s growing power and influence - he was demonstrating to his peers that he could achieve near impossible things, and that joining his cause would bring success to his friends, but opposing them could be dangerous. This message was especially pertinent to the Senators who looked upon Caesar’s successes with trepidation, fear, and also envy. In politics and in war, Caesar was fighting multiple fronts.
This is an important lesson for us, too. We pride ourselves on creating a masterpieces that show off our talent and skills. This serves as an example to our superiors and also our coworkers that we are experts in our respective fields. However, this also serves as an example to those less scrupulous colleagues who would seek to copy or claim it as their own.
In the workplace or with a contract-based project, one can never be sure of what others might be capable of. This is why it is so important to carefully document one’s achievements much as Caesar did. While a copyright/patent may be expensive and overkill for such a situation, perhaps a more realistic option is to simply share the success widely. Writing an eBook or White Paper about it is another good idea, but more often than not, just sharing the success of it on Social Media can suffice.
Documenting one’s unique work ensures one’s claim over it. It is a testament to ingenuity and superior skills that serves as an example to others to accept it and not to challenge it. Caesar understood this concept well, and in today’s workplace, this might be a good strategy too. For anyone (myself included) who has had others claim credit for their hard work, this is an important lesson.
This blog post was previously published in The Gigster 'Zine, our free newsletter discussing new and innovative part-time opportunities & strategies for anyone with a college degree. To sign up for the newsletter, click here.