EXPERTISE is one of the four essential attributes of good leadership.

It is rare to find a good organizational leader who has not built up a wealth of knowledge and skills within his or her industry that is directly relevant to the organization, as well as considerable “general knowledge” and a suite of transferable skills.

And for those not in a titled-leader role, building your expertise is just as important, whether you aspire to lead others or not.  Continuously building on your knowledge and skill-sets is one of the privileges of being human.

In broad terms, expertise can be categorized in four ways (the examples are by no means exhaustive):

Expertise-Matrix

To some degree, the range and depth of expertise required for any specific role is contextual, that is, it depends on the role and the organization’s pursuit.  Many a CEO has switched field with little or no Industry-specific skills, relying only on their generic knowledge and transferable skills.  In such cases, said leader leverages the organization and industry-specific knowledge and skills of their team, crams for specific knowledge at the outset, and then learns as they go.  This is the exception though, not the rule.

Continuously building on your knowledge and skill-sets is one of the privileges of being human.

If you can spare a couple minutes, try mapping out your own knowledge and skills using the matrix above.  In which areas could you deepen your knowledge and skills?  Add them to your personal development plan.  You do have a personal development plan, right?

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