Following the previous three videos, here, during the final part of our evening on Feminine Leadership, Dr David Paul answers questions.
Question: How is credibility different to being authentic?
Dr David Paul responds: Credibility is what you have earned your stripes about. For example, in the book Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell says that you earn your stripes by doing something for 10,000 hours. I wrote to him and asked him why the four zeros why not three or five? It’s a round figure but it is about the quality of what you do, how well you do it and how well you master it that gives you credibility. Anyone that you venerate ….. anyone where you think that’s amazing, they have put in those hours. That’s what we credit them with. So credibility is about earning your stripes because you can speak from a space of true expertise.
Don’t confuse expertise with experience either. They are two very very different things. One that gives you authority, the other gives you credibility. Authority is all about what it is you have learnt, what experience gives you is how to help others, how to guide, how to move them forward …. and find what’s the next step. You will prevent them from making the same mistakes because you’ve got experience. As an example, if I’ve have studied the theory of swimming I can tell you how to swim but if I can’t swim myself, I can’t save you in the water. But if I am an experienced swimmer, I will combine both my understanding of techniques as well as my experience to save you from drowning.
Most people speak from experience …. And experience is always about the past, it’s not about the future. So I cannot tell you anything about experience going forward this year but I can tell you everything about experience from today going backwards. It worries me when people ask: have you got enough experience? Would you want an eye surgeon operating on your eye with experience from 30 years ago? No, I don’t, I want the person who has the latest experience because technology has changed, ideas have changed, even the techniques of operations have changed. It is important to keep up with what the latest.
It is important for people to prove a credible history. Because if we don’t then we can’t prevent, and if you can’t prevent then you are always dealing with symptoms and not the cause. And we want to deal with the cause these days. Right now, all the global governments, especially the G8 and the G20 don’t want to look at cause. And so we’re still in a global crisis because we’re not willing to look at cause. We paper over the cause and just deal with symptoms
Keep on the cutting edge of your field
To be an expert, to be at the cutting edge of what you do … expertise is all about what I know and what I need to be. Collaborating with other experts in the fields to keep me on the cutting edge. An expert is about knowing your area, and you are the only expert in your particular area because you bring your particular slant or perspective .. nobody in the world can do what you do. We each need to find what we are good at and then be an expert in that specific space. The moment you say Oh but there are thousands of people doing what I do, you have lost the cutting edge. You have not pioneered the very edge of what it is that you are good at and you are still searching.
The self-inflicted trap of feeling that you don’t know enough
GL: I have personally found that advice from you to be awesome David. It’s really been very helpful because I do tend to say … there are so many people with more experience who have the thoughts that I have. I can sometimes put myself down. And then I remember that it’s about my take on something … I have my own special perspective and experience to bring to the conversation. Instead of thinking oh they know more than me, I remember what it is that I bring that is uniquely mine. It’s the female trap of not knowing enough. I see this in other women going on course after course when they know so much already. Particularly when we reinvent ourselves in later life, it’s difficult to know the moment when we are ready to “graduate”. It’s hard for women to know when they are “ready”. We are indeed ready to step out there now. The world needs us with what we have now
DP: if you don’t already know what your calling is, make 2014 the year when you at least start the journey. At least be a disruptor to people’s thinking. If you can’t be a disruptor then be a connector …. Connect people, bring them together. If you can’t be a connector, then be so radical that you transform the space that you are in. Be inspiring or be engaging. At the end of the day, we all have to be compelling …. Whatever the message is, we all have to be compelling.
January 2014, London