There’s a frustrating trend I’m seeing among leaders in both the religious and secular worlds regarding expertise. I’m talking about people who are highly successful in one area, then seem to assume they’re experts in other areas as well. Of course, sometimes it’s true. I love the concept of “Renaissance people” who have multiple talents.
But for most, expertise in one arena doesn’t assure expertise in others. For example, because a pastor achieves numerical success in building a large church, doesn’t automatically make him an expert in leadership. Some are, but most aren’t. Some of these misled guys are out there writing leadership blogs that are largely hooey.
In other cases, pastors who have a successful church school assume they’re experts in education. On the secular side, some successful business leaders consider themselves experts in non-profit work, politics, or creativity and pontificate regularly on what’s wrong in those worlds. Again, mostly hooey. The list of subjects goes on and on.
The point is, success – even great success – in one arena doesn’t automatically make us an expert in other areas. I’ve certainly wrestled with the pull myself. Proceed carefully, because the platform you’ve legitimately created in one place can do great damage when those people follow you into other places where you’re not so gifted. Perhaps the primary key for avoiding this kind of embarrassment is humility. When we approach everything with humility, it forces us to re-consider our gifts and the grave responsibility they bring.
Have you had this experience?