An expert is an almighty and powerful entity. The expert arrives in town to the sound of cannon firing, jets displaying tricks above, an appreciative crowd and a gleeful clanging marching band.
A fexpert is a fake or faux expert (aka guru) and they tend to slink into town with no one noticing. Some Fexperts even carry their own one man band just to make sure you know that they are there.
Whilst some folks might specialise in an area and have a good knowledge of the tricks, the tips and the pitfalls, few are experts.
An expert, as the word implies, is someone who is highly experienced and has special skills and knowledge in a particular area.
An expert implies someone who has gained Yoda-like skills and has been recognised by their community as a living embodiment of Yoda himself.
They are kind of rare.
After all, if most people were experts we would be living in a state of blissful grace where the world was populated by short softly spoken experts with bad grammar.
And it would be really really boring.
There would be nothing to learn and learning stuff is what makes me get up in the morning.
How do you recognise a true expert?
An expert will never introduce themselves as an expert, “Hi John Smith, social media expert”.
An expert will have an awesome mastery over a subject area, the pitfalls, the opportunities, the tips, the tricks. This will be demonstrated by a long experience in their field.
An expert will be recognised as experts by their peers and may even be introduced as such.
An expert will always accept that there are limits to their knowledge and that they could learn more. They became experts because they were interested in learning.
An expert will accept and thoughtfully discuss alternate ideas. Experts are interested in ideas, not the world of opinions and being right or wrong.
An expert is likely to look just like you and me.
How do you recognise the fexpert?
A fexpert will introduce themselves as experts and be a self-proclaimed genius.
A fexpert will have some experience and reading in a subject area but not accept that there are limits to their experience or knowledge.
A fexpert is interested in being right so you recognise how smart they are. They will argue rather than discuss.
A fexpert is secretive, mysterious and dismissive. This is so you don’t catch them out.
A fexpert thinks you can be a guru without years practicing the spiritual arts and assembling a flock of disciples.
A fexpert is likely to look just like you and me.
How do you avoid being a fexpert?
It is quite simple. You stay interested in ideas. Your ideas, other peoples ideas, your kids ideas, your taxi drivers and your co-workers ideas. The world is made up of many wonderful new ways of seeing and understanding the world. As soon as you proclaim yourself as a guru, a genius or an expert, part of you is closed off to this magical world of ideas and you stop listening.