Marshall McLuhan wrote about someone with expertise in one area being seen by others as (or actually claiming to be) expert in all areas. Hence, Barbra Streisand’s constant political harangues, causing the opposing sentiment, Shut Up and Sing. We saw it again last night at the Golden Globe Awards. People who can claim a public moment for any legitimate reason often use it for personal (and illegitimate) reasons.
My point here, however, is not about partisanship, it’s about success. Be careful about those who spout advice who have never done what you seek to do, irrespective of their success in other areas. That applies to would-be coaches, but also clients and prospects.
“I’m an expert in manufacturing,” one irate executive once told me in response to my suggestions. “Yes,” I acknowledged, “so it’s only natural that you don’t appreciate the difficulty of the sales process.” There are very adept technical people who proceed to give their clients advice in marketing—while they themselves are charging by the hour and are almost always behind schedule.
Being good here doesn’t necessarily make you good over there. If you don’t believe that, as a golfer to play tight end, or a scuba diver to ski a black diamond.
© Alan Weiss 2017