We’re all experts – Except we have nothing to really show for it

* This post will have nothing to do with Learning on Demand *

I’ve had a hard time writing lately because I’m trying my best to live and let live but the amount and quality of rhetoric floating around in different spaces that I intersect with has gotten to me. I feel safe with the idea, that most of us, have a much easier time being an expert when we don’t actually have to do anything. Things roll off the tongue without obstacle. I read alot of blogs about business strategy, startup strategy, eLearning and a host of other stuff where folks are saying “Do it like this” and “If you do it like this, then your going to fail” and for the most part its all garbage. How do I know its alot of garbage because the world doesn’t ever operate by linear, clear rules of engagement. There is no mix some of A, add B, remove C and voila – you get D. Even the franchise business which works by being able to repeat a formula is subject to the laws of probability.

If you are going to dole out business advice, then you should atleast try starting and/or running your own business (different from being a lone consultant). If your going to be an mLearning expert, you should at least have designed and developed some outstanding products/programs that don’t fall into the norm. If your going to preach about how large organizations need to adapt to a networked environment, you ought to be running a large organization and doing this work. Its ok to research it and talk about results from your research, but don’t get all preachy and make it seem like a no brainer about doing x, y and z. Jack Welch can preach about reorganizing a large organization but if you played the role of consultant in the reorg, back off on the preaching.

I’m starting to see a trend among some of the people I’ve been interacting with who I consider to be extremely successful. I’m defining success here by folks who are in a position of power within their designated field, who have the ability to influence outcomes at the highest level, who are extremely competent at leading and who clearly enjoy what they are doing. I don’t see them preach alot. I don’t see them running a public campaign about best practices. They are generous with their time, available as mentors but well above the veil of expertise so many of us like to create (I included).

I’ve been re-evaluating my own approach to how and what I present out through this blog, my social networks and my in person conduct. I tend to be outspoken which I don’t see changing and I’ve always wrapped my thoughts as ‘opinions’ and not facts but in the world of business and what makes an impact, an expert I am not. My expertise is so localized and even when my craft is done well, I’m not sure it can have the impact we all profess we have. I’ve seen impact. I know what it looks like to a bottom line and I’ve seen people influence it in ways I never have.

In business, ideas are worth nothing! Execution is everything (This is my new mantra. I’m not sure how to execute ironically but I’m trying)

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