If you own a business you have a need for experts in your life. You hire accountants, lawyers, consultants, and bankers to help you with your business. Sometimes you get great advice and sometimes the advice you get hurts more than it helps.
I recently wrote a post in the NY Times where I talked about how hiring the wrong person cost a business owner over 50% of her sales price. She didn’t use the right type of advisors. Some of these people said they were experts and some just were the wrong type of people to use.
Experts are faster at their work.
When you hire a real expert they aren’t doing their activity for the first time. In fact, you’ll find that they likely have done the activity well over 100 times. Experts are often a little older, might have personalities that support their expertise, and are very quick in answering your questions.
Experts also charge more money than many others. When you hire an expert you want results and you want your results created quickly with no mistakes. Experts can produce these results for you, and they charge for what they’ve learned.
Non-experts sometimes come across as being experts.
A non-expert might give you the impression that they’re an expert at what you need. Likely this is someone you’ve had a long relationship with. They are adequate for simple things that don’t have a lot of risk. When it comes time to making a change in your life where there is either a lot of money or a lot of effort at risk you need the best.
Non-experts are often afraid of experts. Non-experts don’t want to lose you as a client. There is a belief among advisors that if their clients wander off the reservation and use experts, the generalist that works with you might lose you as a client. This worry provides a large amount of insecurity by many of the advisors you work with today, especially when an expert is brought into the mix.
You need generalists just as much as you need experts.
If the advisors that you use on a daily basis are afraid of losing your business they might have a good reason to feel that way. They might not have spent enough time truly understanding what motivates you and what outcomes you want. If your every day advisor takes time to really learn what you want, they can help you manage your experts and should have no reason to be afraid of losing your business.
I find that managing experts is the most important thing you and some of your advisors can do to manage your outcome. If you have a generalist who can make sure everyone works in the same direction you will likely get a better result.
Even though experts are really good at what they do, they often wander down paths that you may not want to go. An expert can be intimidating. You might feel that you’ve hired the expert; you need to let them do what they recommend. This is a far from the truth as you can imagine. The expert works for you and you have a responsibility to make sure they work in your best interest and not what the expert thinks is your best interest.
One of your experts should be your generalist.
A generalist who’s an expert at being a generalist knows several things the first of which being they know that they don’t everything about everything. They know when its time to bring in an expert. They know when the cost of not doing so is higher than doing so.
- An expert generalist will help you identify the important answers before you start working with a specialist.
- If you want to install a new computer system your generalist will help you understand what you want your new computer system to do.
- The generalist will help you understand why your computer needs are important. The generalist will then help you understand some of the processes that are necessary for success.
- Finally, the generalist will help you develop a system for finding the type of specialist that you need.
This four step process is where an expert generalist can provide a huge amount of value.
It’s not that you don’t need experts from time to time but it is knowing when you need them. Having someone that can help you this process will save you time and money.
We’ve put together a special report on hiring for unique abilities. This case study will help you understand how to hire great employees. You can easily adopt this process for hiring great outside advisors as well. To get this special report, click on the button below.