The Word "Expert" - EP 72

 

“You can be just a few steps ahead, and you’re still able to help someone else.”

—  Julie Greenham

 

How do you feel about the word “expert”? Or how about “leader”? Many of us feel ambivalence or a sense of disconnect about being referred to as an expert or a leader in our fields — no matter how long we’ve been doing our work!

 

For a long time, I felt very uncomfortable with the word “expert.” It’s not a label that naturally occurred to me when I thought about myself and my work, and I resisted having it applied to me. I had very definite ideas of what it meant to be an expert: I thought that you had to know everything inside and out. That you couldn’t stumble over your words or concepts while doing Lives, or even while talking to other people. That you needed to know the answer to every single question, always.

 

These were very unreasonable standards. And very, very...

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