Beware of the Dangerous Amateur

You are an expert in many things. All of us have those special areas, where our expertise and experience reign supreme. This can range anywhere from being a master of merger and acquisition financing deals down to being the only person who knows how to get your toddler to sleep at night. We know what we’re doing. We’re competent and confident. So why do we sometimes consider throwing it all overboard when an amateur brings us a solution that runs counter to what we know is right?

Beware of the amateur who lords over you in an organizational hierarchy. Beware of the amateur with whom you are enchanted, or smitten, or who’s favor you wish to curry. Beware of the amateur who comes disguised behind veils of creativity and breakthrough thinking.

Be the Expert you know you are. Use your expertise to examine, probe and investigate what they are wanting to accomplish. Try to uncover the true gem in their questioning and potential new thinking. Then apply your expert knowledge to develop a solution that addresses the needs they have identified.

If you implement their solution without the benefit of your expertise, everyone runs the risk of losing. The implemented solution may fall short of what they thought they wanted, or what you know is possible. Your credibility may be diminished in their eyes, and yours.

Use new input to expand old thinking, but don’t dismiss your hard-gained expertise and experience.

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About lynnmorstead

Writing about the small things that shape our lives
This entry was posted in Life Coaching, Technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Beware of the Dangerous Amateur

  1. Rhonda says:

    But always remember to sharpen the saw! One part of retirement that concerns me is the need to keep my skills and expertise “sharp”. At work, there were many opportunities for professional development — short courses, seminars, and even longer offsite training. I am concerned with my previous expertise degrading without sufficient outside input, examination, and renewal. Always worth seeking another opinion, but as you say, weigh it against what you already know!

  2. Cathe says:

    I’m very curious about the situation that prompted this post…sounds very intriguing…!

  3. Nick Alvarado says:

    The Amateur…Yes, they tend to request all kinds of new things with little regard for time or blow back. On one hand they can blow away obstacles but sometimes those obstacles are levies and you risk flooding the whole town. Maybe it’s a process document that’s used to get clear on the business objectives. For example, I think with a program like a 1:1 device or BYOD initiative you have to have a vision for what kind of classroom structure and the kind of new products you want students to create for a grade. Once you have that vision you have to imagine all of the skills and resources that need to be available, then start to think about the project work, training, and short/long term support systems that need to be planned as separate tracks to get you there. Don’t forget lots of prototyping. Amateurs like to just buy the same system that someone is using and consider it a fast track to success. It’s not wrong to want to capitalize on other’s experience but you also don’t buy the same size and make of shoe as someone else and expect to be ready to compete.

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