Gurus really bother me.
These gurus come in many different shapes and sizes. They may think they know all there is about lean, or six sigma, or cooking, or coaching a sports team, or raising a family.
You see, gurus are everywhere and they really annoy me. Here are a few reasons why.
- They’re always talking about their amazing education. The thing they don’t realize is that no one really cares how many letters are after their name. Plus, I’ve known PhD’s who worked for people with nothing more than a high school education. In the end, the degree gets you a job (sometimes)… after that it’s your work effort and attitude that determines the rest.
- They think they have all the answers. When asked a question gurus almost never reply with “I don’t know” as they see this as a sign of weakness. It’s not.
- They don’t seek help. Because they think they have all the answers they never ask for help when they clearly need it. Simply responding, “I don’t know, what do you think?” is a wonderful way to combat this stubbornness.
- They talk down to people. This one really ticks me off. Gurus often stand in front of the room rattling off buzz word after buzz word even though half the room has no earthly idea what they’re talking about. And when one brave soul raises their hand for clarification the guru makes them pay for it with a smug reply.
- Few follow them. While this one doesn’t necessarily annoy me, the guru has very few followers. The guru may even be a leader on paper… but they often complain about how un-loyal those under them are.
Don’t Be a Guru
There is a BIG difference between really knowing your stuff and acting like a guru. Here are a few things I recommend.
- Learn all you can. It’s totally cool to get an amazing education while also learning all you can long after your college days. Just don’t brag about how smart you think you are as this only makes you look smug and arrogant.
- Ask others for help. Being a leader means helping others grow. So, ask for help when you don’t know something. Additionally, ask for help when you know the answer. That is leadership.
- Be humble. No matter how successful you are… be humble. I’ve been blessed with many things in my life. But, for me, I know the reason for anything good in my life is my Lord and God. So no matter if you believe in God or not… humility is arguably the most important virtue any leader can have.
- Be kind. Lastly, when you stand in front of others as a subject matter expert speak to people with respect and kindness. This means explaining what all the buzz words mean as well as answering questions in such a way others will not be afraid to ask for more clarification.
What do you think?
What do you think of my stance on gurus? Am I being too tough on them? Or can you think of other reasons gurus need to be brought back down to earth?