Smart Feds Understand the Importance of Becoming an Authority

Quote: “The same thinking that has led you to where you are is not going to lead you to where you want to go.” – Albert Einstein

Quick, what comes to mind when you think of these people?

Bill Gates

Oprah Winfrey

Warren Buffet

There are all experts or authority figures in their chosen field. What about you? When people say your name, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Are you to the go-to IT person, go-to Power Point presentation person, or the go-to Sales person in your organization? Then guess what, you have expert authority.

Expert authority happens when you become very good at doing something that is important to the company you work for. As a result, people look to you and respect you more because you bring value to the company.

So what do you want to be known for?

If you can’t think of anything, ask your co-workers, and then make it a point to master that skill your company needs and become that go-to person. In order to get paid more and promoted faster, you have to change your thinking. Once you do that you will change the trajectory of your life.

Action Item: Write down one thing you want to master and be known for in your organization.

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Mark Hammer

Give Larry Terry’s now-classic book “Leadership of Public Bureaucracies: The administrator as conservator” a read. One of Terry’s central points is that public bureaucracies have two things that permit them to carry out their constitutionally-dictated mandate: their legal authorities, that permit them to enforce, and their acquired and maintained authoritativeness, that permits them to persuade. The well-led agency continuously works towards maintaining and enhancing its perception by stakeholders as the repository of sound thinking and wisdom on whatever its mandate covers; the “authority”.

What is true at the agency level is also true at the individual level. Compliance is always increased when people feel they are dealing with someone who is knowledgeable, thinks through problems in a broad and deep way (nay, wise fashion), and is reasonable in their expectations (i.e., asks of you what they are asking because it is the appropriate and sensible thing to do, not simply the required thing).

BE that person.

Dale M. Posthumus

Although perhaps implied, I would say you then must use that expertise for the good of the organization, share your knowledge, recognize you are not the only knowledgeable person in the room, and be ready and willing to help. We all know experts that protect/hoard their knowledge to use as power over others.