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Neither the Stage Nor the Book Equals Expertise

Neither the Stage Nor the Book Equals Expertise

I’ve often pointed out that neither writing a book nor speaking on stage makes anyone an “expert.” They’re simply a writer or speaker. However, if they present challenging IP (intellectual property), innovative ideas, pragmatic techniques, and challenge your current thinking, then their expertise becomes apparent.

This is exacerbated by social media. Whereas a book editor or event owner has the ability to sort out experts from the crowd, however imperfectly, the social platforms allow anyone to sound off no matter how ridiculous their position. (Note that they’re not called “business media” platforms.) On Linkedin, as an example, the articles are almost always in support of whatever remedy the writer is hyping, no matter how questionable or even silly. It’s the hammer/nail phenomenon.

Even being on TED (gasp!), let alone TEDx, doesn’t make anyone an expert, but merely a TED presenter, until such time as their ideas strike you as important. McLuhan was right all those years ago: The medium is the message today, and the media are out of control.

You can decide now whether I’m just writing or I’m presenting some useful ideas.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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