Who ya gonna call?

Posted on April 25, 2009



A funny thing happens when people don’t know the answer to a question, they ask an expert. The interesting thing is that the expertise doesn’t have to be directly related to the topic of the question. As long as the person is an expert on something, he/she has earned the credibility on almost every subject.  I heard a speaker once say if he hypothetical brought Angelina Jolie or Michael Jordan in to present on any topic, the place would be packed. Regardless of their actual experience, Angelina or Micheal’s success in other fields garnishes the attention of others.

Why do we care what an independent movie director thinks about politics? Why do we want to know what a TV host thinks about certain books?  Isn’t it interesting how we listen when a famous rock star advocates for the plight of Africa? The world wants to know what experts think regardless of the context.

I don’t agree with this phenomenon but sadly it’s true. However, these people didn’t become expert by accident. It’s only though talent, hard work, and luck that anyone can achieve sustainable success. So anyone who is an expert knows what it takes, how long it takes, and how hard it is to become an expert. That understanding does transfer to all fields of expertise.

So why am I sharing this? As a creative leader, you are probably frustrated that your boss, colleagues, or peers disregard your opinion or don’t give you enough credit. The fastest way to gain their respect is to become an expert in something. It doesn’t have to be related to your work, it just has to be easily understood. Being an expert in ‘igneous rocks’ won’t get you anywhere (except at a rock convention) among your community. Completing a marathon will.  

So stop getting frustrated. Become an expert in something and the questions will start finding you.