If you want freedom…

Autonomy and responsibility. You earn them.


By being really good at what you do. By demonstrating that you can do the job. By having evidence of your capabilities.

There’s no shortcut. But as your expertise develops so should your level of freedom.

I was playing around with this idea and I drew a graph on my whiteboard. I called it “Diffusion of Responsibility”. Here’s what it looked like:

Let me explain what each of the areas represents.

A – Low expertise/Low autonomy – Beginners, apprentices, interns, newbies.

B – ​Low expertise/High autonomy – Amateurs and hobbyists (starting out), disasters in the making, those labelled as potential stars, bluffers and pretenders, the over-confident, those with independent means.

C – High expertise/High autonomy – Veterans, people with proven ability, those with independent means.

D – High expertise/Low autonomy – Well paid slaves, most CEOs, robots, AI (for now).

This graph illustrates a heuristic:

The better you are, the more autonomy and responsibility becomes available to you.

So if your ambition is individual freedom get really good at whatever it is you do.