Putting Your Knowledge To Work
To establish yourself as an executive, you’ve likely mastered a technical or professional skill. It may be finance, supply chain, sales, data analytics, or any number of other disciplines. But as a leader, technical expertise alone will only get you so far. If you want to take your effectiveness to the next level, you’ll need to expand how you make it valuable and who finds your mastery useful.
The key to unlocking the value of your knowledge lies in how you communicate your expertise, use it, and apply it to other situations. So, what are the secret ingredients for leveraging your specific areas of expertise and experience?
- Communicate and translate the utility of your expertise to others. Use pragmatic and clear language to help those outside your specialty understand what you have to offer. Make it accessible. I often say to clients, “explain that to me like we are friends from high school, and I don’t know much about your business.”
- Use your expertise to develop talent. Nothing creates loyalty and engagement like helping someone improve their skills and grow. Investing your time and energy in helping others learn and advance makes you even more valuable.
- Bring your expertise into scenarios where people need it. Where would your organization benefit from cross functional collaboration? Use your knowledge to build the bridge between functions. Perhaps your understanding of finance enables the sales organization to do a better job with pricing. Or your experience in operations can surface issues others are unable to see.
Senior leaders need to know how to leverage their unique experience in every situation, not just in environments specific to their capabilities. How you use that expertise in a variety of contexts to help your company grow is a key to effective leadership. Prioritizing this in your own development will absolutely elevate your leadership presence.