Why I Quit Being The Expert
I’m not the expert! You probably already knew that. But maybe not. I didn’t. Recently I’ve retaken some leadership and personality inventories. Specifically, the DISC profile and the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI). I’ve taken both of these in the past, but’s it’s been some time since I’ve looked at them. The DISC identifies your leadership tendencies and the MBTI explores at your personality, (For those interested, I’m a high D in the DISC and an INTJ in the MBTI). I haven’t changed much in the time since I last used these tools, however, in looking closely at the results I discovered something about myself. I apparently have a distinct need to be seen as the ‘expert.’ I wrote a little about this discovery in my last blog post, ‘Feeling Stuck? This Might Be Why.’ So I’ve decide to lay down my need to be seen as the expert.
I don’t think I’m alone in this need to be seen as the expert. Especially for pastors, I think the very culture of ministry today encourages us to cast ourselves in the role of expert. We have the advanced degrees, we lead most of the meetings, people are always asking us the questions, so maybe it’s natural that we slide into this expectation to be seen as the expert. I’ve come to believe that it’s much better for us, for me, to lay down that temptation, that need, to be seen as the expert.
Here are five reasons why, I’m sure there are more:
- It allows me to lead where I’m actually gifted. When I’m trying to be seen as the expert in an area where I’m not the expert I miss out on leading where I’m actually gifted. I’d rather spend my time and effort building on my strengths than pretending to be something I’m not.
- It allows others to lead where they are gifted. My need to be seen as the expert can keep others from stepping into their own leadership and their own call from God. It’s time for me to get out of the way and allow others to lead where they are gifted and strong!
- It shifts the focus from the individual leader to the team. Let’s be honest. My need to be seen as the expert is all about me, validating me, putting me front and center. Laying down my need to be seen as the expert allows the team to be the focus, not me. And that’s better.
- It brings more voices to the leadership table. It’s kinda subtle really, but my playing the role of expert discourages other voices; silences the questions, and diminishes progress. More voices at the leadership table is a good thing that honors the team and encourages progress.
- The vision and mission become the priority. Again, when I’m playing the role of expert then I am the focus of what’s happening but when I lay down that role then the vision and mission can once again become the priority. The vision and mission are much more important than my need to be seen as the expert.
What about you? Are you trying to be seen as the expert? Will you lay down that need so the team, the organization, the Church, others, can be better? Need some help? Let me know! (Check out my coaching page HERE)
Grace and Peace, Rich.