Dirty Dozen #9 – Expert

by Rajesh Setty on October 21, 2009

Dictionary definition:
A person who has comprehensive or authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.

You would have heard someone say that “I am an expert” on one or more topics. You might have also said that you are an expert on one more topics. While it is good to be an expert on something, you might have some problems if you start believing it as if it’s 100% truth. The risk is that you stop all your investments to grow and learn on the same topic where you claimed your expertise.

In reality, the more you know about any topic, the more you realize that you don’t know much about it. In fact as noted author and Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer puts it nicely, “You need to be reasonably competent on a topic to know your level of incompetence on that topic.

Besides if you remember the “strengths theory,” you should really focus on strengthening your strengths rather than trying to fix your weaknesses.

Think about why you gained the so-called expertise on a particular topic. It is because you spent a lot of time working on that topic. You worked for a long time on that topic because you liked that topic. You liked the topic because that topic matched your interests.

See, there is already an incentive to be a “lifelong student” on the topic of your expertise. Go ahead and use that and strive to be the best in the area of your expertise.

Really, when you love what you are doing, it does not seem like work. Continuing to build on your area of expertise is just that – doing what you really love to do.

All the very best!

You can listen to the audio here:


Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

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