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Experience is Not Expertise

I came across Albert Maruggi‘s “Marketing Edge” podcast a couple years back in the iTunes store.  Albert’s a smart and likable guy.  He used to be in television and now does social media and public relations consulting with Provident Partners in Minneapolis.

I probably would not be on Twitter if not for his advocacy.  Admittedly, I don’t use it to its full potential.  Regardless, I’ve learned a lot from his insights, observations and guests … which brings me to the topic.

Albert Maruggi of Provident Partners and the Marketing Edge

Last May, I listened to his interview with Dr Paul Schempp, a professor at the University of Georgia and president of Performance Matters.  The focus of Schempp’s life and work is understanding what it takes to be an expert performer.  Consistent with this theme, he consults many world-class athletes on expert performance routines.

Dr Paul Schempp of Performance Matters - Author, Scholar, Speaker, Coach

Schempp’s ideas have been condensed and clarified into 5 Steps to Expert, his fourth book.  Though I’ve not yet read the book (I’ve got so much reading to do), I’ve listened to Albert Maruggi’s interview with Schempp a few times.  I heard it again last night.

A stand-out takeaway: experience is not expertise.  This point is raised in Part 1 (link below) and illustrated by an example involving a student teacher who became teacher of the year in California a few years later.  It seems obvious, but the distinction seems lost on many people.  In my view, the concepts are related, but not in a causal way.

Just because someone’s been doing something a long time does not mean that he or she is getting any better at it.  Many people achieve level of competence that feels sufficient … they settle … they stagnate.  They’re competent performers, but they’re not on the road to expert status.

A smaller takeaway: the gentlemen briefly discussed point guard Terrell Brandon, a two-time NBA All-Star.  I don’t know why, exactly, but I really liked that guy.


Give the podcast a listen.  It’s a good conversation on a powerful topic.

Here’s Part 1 of the Paul Schempp interview on the Marketing Edge

Here’s Part 2 of the Paul Schempp interview on the Marketing Edge

Here are reader reviews of 5 Steps to Expert at Amazon.com

5 Steps to Expert by Dr Paul Schempp


4 Comments

  1. Wow, thanks for the props and for the highlight of Dr Schempp’s comments. It’s interesting as people listen to that example whether they see themselves as the new whippersnapper or the head in the sand old timer. The goal as I reflected is to have a little of both. The confidence the comes with experience and the youthful energy and willingness to try something different.

    All the best to you and your readers

  2. Ethan Beute

    April 27, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Thanks so much for coming in! Love the podcast and your insights.

  3. Hello Ethan: You and I are both fans of Albert and his superb podcast. Like yourself, I’m a dedicated listener. I’m delighted you found the book useful. Our research does indeed show that experience alone does not make an expert. In fact, many of the ‘experts’ we study seldom refer to their experience or past achievements when describing their work. When we asked Coach Bobby Bowden why he so freely gives away his team practice activities and playbook at coaching clinics, he told us “It’s old news. If I do next season what I did this season, I’ll get killed!” Experts work to be better tomorrow than they are today–no matter how much experience they have. I see that in Albert Maruggi. And “T” Brandon is a man who is very easy to like and respect. A great guy. Again, thank you for your kind comments about my work.

  4. Ethan Beute

    May 13, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I’m so appreciative of you both elaborating on the ideas and on the interview.

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