Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Does Expertise Really Exist?
by Al Bredenberg

Ever notice how people sometimes say this when you don't know the answer to a question and they're trying to make you feel bad about the job you're doing:

"Well, don't you know? You're supposed to be the expert!"

See, this is one of the advantages of being the Reluctant Guru. The Reluctant Guru doesn't really believe in experts, so he can be very ambivalent about his own expertise. He might be able to answer:

"Who says?"


"I don't believe in experts."


"I have very little faith in my own expertise."


"Don't worry. If you don't want to have to pay me anymore, I will just go home now and go back to being a window-washer."

"I used to be an expert, until I had my lobotomy last week."

Or some smarty-pants rejoinder like that.

The thing is, the trends in the economy and job market are forcing more and more of us to act as free agents. To find jobs and keep paying the mortgage, we have to be positive-minded and try to be good self-marketers and make ourselves look like we really know what we're doing, whereas most of us recognize that we are largely idiots and are usually just winging it.

If you think this doesn't apply to you, then you are probably having a problem with honesty and genuineness. Hey, I know a personal coach who can help you with that issue. She's a real expert at it ....

Al Bredenberg