Leading smart people

Are you leading professionals in a field where you lack deep knowledge yourself?

If so, your most important job is to create a success environment where everyone can bring their best.

The following ideas will help you to achieve most with your team.

1. Don’t hide the limits of your knowledge and pretend you know more about their subject field than you do. Instead, acknowledge their deep expertise and always look for ways to improve the performance of the team.

2. Ask them to provide you with multiple options when you have to take an important decision related to their expertise.

3. Trust their expertise. However, focus on discussing their assumptions when presented with a course of action to verify accurate thinking.

4. Use the three platinum questions when you lack knowledge of any subject matter:

  • What’s your evidence to draw this conclusion?
  • What type of evidence would prove you’re wrong?
  • Which smart question would you ask me if our roles were reversed?

5. Build an environment where you provide consistent access to other experts to ensure external orientation.

6. Coach and develop your team on high-performance processes and behaviors. Let other content experts coach your team members on content knowledge

7. If experts disagree with each other, ask for the option which creates the least amount of negative impact when things go wrong.

8. Deep expertise is restricted to a specific domain and comes from long study and experience. Therefore, be aware that a deep expertise in one subject, implies limited expertise in many other subjects.

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