We live in a time when identifying authentic expertise has become rather challenging. Technology has made it so you can buy your followers, automate your likes, fake your engagement and buy your media credentials.
But what happens after someone has opted to go this “pay-to-play” route?
Years ago, Shawn Killinger was fired from NBC’s The Apprentice: Martha Stewart for suggesting that you just “fake it it till you make it”. She didn’t say anything that hasn’t been repeated, suggested and acted on since the beginning of time BUT did leave a question unanswered by that advice.
What happens when you make it?
The problem with buying your way into the realm of Subject Matter Expertise is that very few people take the time to actually master the subject they have convinced others that they know. If you’re going to fake it, you should take the time to actually master your subject along the way. Expertise has an expiration date – if you are not continuously learning about your subject, collaborating with others in your field and with those completely outside of your network, eventually you will be exposed.
Our advice? Don’t take the shortcut. In action and in deed, be the expert you claim to be. In your quest for recognition as a Subject Matter Expert in your job, in your field or in your business, there is always what I call, “the ring of truth”. Instinctively, the more astute members of your audience, your colleagues and your employers can hear the ring and if not, they recognize and expel the charlatan in their midst. Don’t be the charlatan.
I’m always interested in your opinion of course – do you think expertise can be bought? Reposted on LinkedIn