Are You an Expert?

Have you ever wondered if you are an expert?  Many of you reading this blog are in search of the best information, guidance, insight or other forward thinking initiative to improve yourself, help others or simply be enlightened. 

We like to take our best thoughts from the best expert advice or services available.  So what qualifies someone as an expert?  Is it how well they do something?  Could it be where there experience comes from or how long they have been working or practicing their gifts, talents and growing expertise?  

The dictionary states an expert as a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area. An expert is also called cognoscente is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. 

Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject, but they do not always agree on the particulars of a field of study. 

An expert can be, by virtue of credential, training, education, profession, publication or experience, believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the individual’s opinion. Historically, an expert was referred to as a sage (Sophos). The individual was usually a profound thinker distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment.

 Experts have a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field. In specific fields, the definition of expert is well established by consensus and therefore it is not necessary for an individual to have a professional or academic qualification for them to be accepted as an expert.

I believe that there are many parameters we may consider as to what qualifies someone as an expert in their field of study.  Malcolm Gladwell the author of many books, more notably Blink, Tipping Point, What The Dog Saw and Outliers has written about what qualifies an expert at considerable length and study in his famous book Outliers. 

Wikipedia states outlier is a statistics term and an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data and defined an outlier as: An outlying observation, or outlier, is one that appears to deviate markedly from other members of the sample in which it occurs.  I favor Malcolm’s study and proof of what an expert truly is…

Gladwell studied many disciplines, vocations and careers of a broad range of professionals to determine if the criterion for qualifying an expert was different in respect to the various professional interests.  He spoke about Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Wayne Gretzky, doctors, lawyers and countless others in terms of how they elevated themselves to the level of expert in their various fields of study.

What he determined as a major component of becoming an expert is the measure of time.  More specifically, how many hours someone practices their craft or profession on the road to becoming and qualifies expert.  The number across all disciplines turned out to be approximately 10,000 hours, which equates to about 10 years.  The 10,000-hour rule can be obtained in plus or minus 10 years depending on the doggedness of the individual. 

You can bet the attitude of Wayne Gretzky, Phil Mickelson, or Michael Jordan (I have met and served them all and I can vouch for tenacious characters when it comes to personal performance and getting in their hours) obtained their 10,000 hours in record time and before the 10 year mark.

Malcolm’s tested and proven 10,000 hour rule moved me so much that I created software called my Master Time Tracker to test whether my personal development professional status was at expert level.   If you call yourself a bona fide professional, regardless of your chosen discipline, you may consider testing your hours to determine are you a qualifies expert by this standard.  

I found it exhilarating putting my master time tracker (please email me for a free copy of my master time tracker to test your hours) into practice and realizing my true expert certification status.  

I continue to track my hours via the JessTalk Master Time Tracker with continual growth beyond the Gladwell prescribed 10,000-hour rule.  Will you test your hours today?