Be an Expert

be an expert The Way Women Work

We hear:

Competition is too tough.”

“Requirements are too high.”

“There are not enough opportunities.”

Don’t believe it, not even for a minute.

Success in today’s world requires expertise.

What just won’t cut it is a little bit of knowledge and an average skill set.

In his opinion piece The End of American Optimism, Mr. Mortimer Zuckerman enumerates the ills of the slower economy, high unemployment, and how we should no longer be optimistic about the future. If you kept reading his piece, you learn there is a “gross mismatch” between available skills and demonstrable business needs. Businesses all over the world often struggle to find the skills and talents they need to fill critical positions.

Say we focus on the opportunities right in front of us, rather than on fostering more and more pessimism. These opportunities (upon which we are now focused) require expertise. Expertise requires knowledge and skill acquisition and even more importantly “deliberate practice.”

In The Making of an Expert, the authors say that deliberate practice involves two kinds of learning: improving the skills you already have and extending the reach and range of your skills. It is the extension of the reach and range of your skills that you and the world now need.

Look for the opportunities, evaluate your talents, and extend-extend-extend.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell devotes a whole chapter to the 10,000-Hour Rule: that 10,000 hours of practice is the magic number for true expertise; how achievement = talent + preparation.

We, the women of the world, are becoming more highly educated and more experienced in the workplace every day. We are coming in to our own, and this is our time.

What’s your expertise?