Thought for the day: Experts

Since writing his book Outliers, it has been widely written and commonly accepted that Malcolm Gladwell is right with his assertion that you have to invest a lot of time into becoming brilliant at anything. (He personally suggests 10,000 hours).

Compare this with specialists, experts, gurus and other self appointed consultants who approach you through various platforms claiming either to be an expert or to be able to quickly get you to speed and operating like an expert.

Be warned, especially if it involves new technology, new ways of working, thinking, acting, fast moving environments or tightly regulated sectors – they are unlikely to be as specialist as they might proclaim. Exercise due diligence before committing. Here is a related post I wrote a few months ago.

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Tinker. Tailor. Expert. Guru.

Consultant, specialist, pundit, commentator, critic, connoisseur, authority, counsel, mentor – the list goes on and on. The list of self awarded titles that we sometimes apply to ourselves to give what we do credibility and meaning.

Yet these titles can often have the opposite and turn off potential customers.

Think about it. When was the last time you took a self titled consultant or guru really seriously.

There is a real backlash to this right now in the marketing sector and especially in the social media sector. How can anyone truly claim to be an expert when the landscape is changing and with dozens of new ideas emerging around the world daily?

Better to let your work, your testimonials, and therein, your reputation speak for itself. People buy experience, credibility and assurance – not gimmicky monikers. In time, based on sustained, committed delivery, they will decide if you deserve to be a called a guru.

Image courtesy of Shannon Burns