Your resume does not make you an expert. Your ‘connections’ do not make you an expert. Your alma mater does not make you an expert.
You can spend decades in a field and be moderately successful. But, if you are unable to impart your knowledge to the up-and-comers in your field, you cannot be considered an expert.
Being unable to communicate effectively, the ‘why’ of how what you do, works – clearly defines you as: not an expert.
In the civilian sector, we are surrounded by people, hired based on a manager’s contrived ability to ‘get along’ with a potential hire. It would seem the inner dialogue follows a pattern of: “Will this person make waves? Am I going to want to murder this person? Will I enjoy working with them?”
Those questions seem to surface more often than the question: “Is this person competent? Are they a well-rounded fill-in-the-blank?”
There seems to be a distinct lack of individuals who strive to encompass a 360-degrees skill set which would enable them to not only fill multiple roles, but also impart their knowledge to other members of the team, thus creating an environment of learning and collaboration, pushing the into a realm of quickly built credibility.
It doesn’t do the team any good to have a person who is really good at a particular task, who is unwilling or unable to teach others what makes him/her so good.
The other common thought of “I might lose my job if I teach someone else to do what I do, if they end up being better than me” is also a fallacy. A team composed of 360-degree superstars is going to generate a work tempo that keep them employed collectively and allows them to rise to the top of their field based on shared knowledge and a logical spreading of work tasks.
A team composed of 360-degree workers will have the flexibility of writing their own checks. The best get paid. There are far more opportunities for a team of superstars to make money and gain notoriety than for just one person, who is constantly trying to distance themselves from underachievers and those who make work well but don’t add anything to the team aside from expertise in a fraction of the entire task or field.
Sure, there are fields where solo work is the way to go and I applaud those folks who embark on that ‘lone wolf’ trail and encourage them to be the best they can be.
But, in fields where you have a team i.e. public relations, information technology, marketing, sales etc. It’s important for the longevity of the field and field integrity to ensure the majority of workers are that 360-degree professional.
I will likely go into more detail later…but I’d like this to get the conversation started.