True genius without heart is a thing of nought – for not great understanding alone, not intelligence alone, nor both together, make genius. Love! Love! Love! that is the soul of genius. (Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, entry in Mozart’s souvenir album)
Most of us live out our lives activating our dreams or aspiring to do so. Statistically we are most likely not geniuses; however, we can become deeply knowledgeable and passionate about our work. This expertise can develop after years of training, education and work experience or we can hit our stride earlier before we are 30.
Have you ever found yourself involved in a face-to-face or online discussion about the value of one career path or academic degree compared to other options? Every month or so there is a new study about how some choices will lead to better remuneration rates. A decision to aim for medical school is discussed with enthusiasm while the plans of a student who hasn’t quite made up his mind are kept under wraps. Meanwhile one professional informs another – working in a different field – that people with his own academic, research and work experience encounter more challenging and rigorous work and therefore should receive more professional respect and a higher pay. Both professionals have attended graduate school and are experts in their fields.
These exchanges can foster insecurities in people who have doubts about their own abilities and expertise. Mid career some people take a break from their jobs, go off the grid for awhile, read self-help books or muse about trying a completely different career.
Life coach, poet and Stanford educated author Tara Mohr has shared insights and gives spot-on advice about how you can discover what type of expert you are. She describes four types:
* The Survivor moves and connects with his or her audience – often more effectively than formal experts.
* Cross Trainers provide fresh insights regarding areas in their new chosen field that have been overlooked by other experts.
* The Called have passion that can go the distance; a vision; and, will challenge accepted ideas about a situation that others have decided to accept.
* The Specialist holds advanced degrees and/or has a considerable amount of work experience in an industry.
Where would we be without diversity in our workforce and in out communities? Tara Mohr’s ideas help us to appreciate the unique talents, experience and knowledge that each of us bring to our professional community; the office; our circle of family and friends; and, our efforts (paid and unpaid) in our communities. She also discusses the potential pitfalls that each type of expert might face.
Do you know people who are struggling to find their way on their career path? Do they know which kind of expert they are? Is a lack of confidence about their own level of expertise in their chosen discipline holding them back from taking the next important step? Are they ready to take the leap?
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Understanding How to Frame Your Creative Expertise, by Tara Mohr
Your Homework: Identify Your Leap (Video by Tara Sophia Mohr):