The Deadly Expert


We all know the deadly experts. These are the people that use their expertise to kill projects, deals, opportunities and even relationships.

Man with gunIn many companies, you find these experts in every corner, including technology, marketing, sales, training, and legal.

The deadly experts use big words to intimidate, bully, disgrace, protest, and brag. Even someone that has comparable expertise may be casually dismissed by these deadly experts. (For if they admit that someone else may be right it damages their power and self-esteem.)

They wear their often self-assigned label of expert as a rank, to be honored by others and as their authority to rule.

What the deadly expert does not realize is they have confused “being the expert” with “having experience.” There is a big difference in behavior between these two things. And a big difference in the respect given by others.

The expert must live up to a standard of perfectionism and expects others to recognize it as well. Meanwhile, those with experience are the ones that have instead learned how much they don’t know, working to be as much a student as teacher, forever gaining more experience.

For effective communication and leadership, don’t be the expert but instead simply work to be the one with experience. You’ll learn more, know more, find it easier to work with others and be sought out for more projects and opportunities than the deadly experts.


Glenn S. Phillips is the author of Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself. His website,, will lead you to more information about effective communication training, risk assessments and genuinely helpful tips. You can email Glenn directly at

© Copyright 2012.  Glenn S. Phillips and Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111


About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.