December 4, 2009

Everyone's An Expert

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

My doctor is a good guy. He seems to know what he’s doing. He has framed documents from accredited educational institutions hanging proudly in his office. Doc seems competent. He reads up about new medications, ailments and treatments. He takes training courses and hasn’t stopped learning since the day he left university.

Does that mean he’s an expert?

It appears that the problem is not the word but the use of the word.

"Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience."
Denis Waitely

Perhaps if you call yourself an expert, others view you as arrogant. And if others call you an expert, you must shun their compliments. Perhaps it stems from the perception that you can't back it up. Everyone I know is an expert at something.

Synonyms for expert include:
Specialist, Professional, Authority, Proficient, Skilled.

F1 World Champion Jenson Button is paid handsomely to drive a multi-million dollar race car so he certainly is a specialist – it’s not something most of us can do.

They're Everywhere!

My doctor is professional, my next door neighbor is an authority on lawn care, the dude who owns the restaurant a few miles away has a ton of skill and should be in the burger olympics and my best friend is a specialist with a bunch of big brain stuff I can't pronounce.

I spend most of my time in the world of social media and marketing where - according to some - you aren't allowed to have proficiencies and authority. I have spoken with many who others call experts and in every single case it is not a term they use to describe themselves.

What's all this about the Tweets and Pokes?

Social media is not something for any of us to "get", it is here regardless. Companies and individuals are embracing the mediums in which we socialize and advancing business in the process. I don't "get" how they can put a rocket into the atmosphere but I accept that it is a reality.

Whether you are practicing medicine, helping others collaborate with social tools, keeping weeds out of your lawn or refining ways to handle the chicane; you have skill and you are learning.

"I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions
in which they can learn."
Albert Einstein

Be proud of what you can offer and share it. Tell everyone how you can help, follow your passion and often refer to the good Doctor Geisel.

So, are you an expert?

@knealemann
marketing and social media strategy

image credit: telegraph.co.uk

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