Do you ever find yourself cringing when you see the titles some business people give to themselves?
Social networks are packed with self-proclaimed gurus, thought leaders and mavens. The challenge here is NOT with the title, but the fact that it’s self-proclaimed. In reality, we don’t self proclaim a title, we earn it. If people in your marketplace refer to you as a thought leader, you have no control over that. They decided, based on their experience of you, that you lead them with your thinking.
What you DO have control over, is how you choose to refer to yourself. This is why the titles people proclaim for themselves, tell us so much about them; usually the polar opposite of what they intended!
The smartest person in the room?
Whenever people self-proclaim a lofty title, it immediately puts us on guard. For example, if you are at a networking event and someone tells you they are the smartest person in the room, you know that they are not. Their decision to proclaim that to you, is something that even a moderately bright person wouldn’t do. It’s plainly ridiculous, shows a lack of self-confidence and makes them look like a fool.
The reason we see so many self proclaimed gurus, is that they fail to see the disconnect, between the message they THINK they are giving us, and the message we actually receive. They genuinely think it looks impressive to call themselves gurus, oblivious of the fact that it makes most people instantly suspicious and others (like me) cringe.
The bottom line: Think extremely carefully before you hire a self-proclaimed guru, maven or thought leader. Their need to self-proclaim that title, tells you massively more about them than the title itself.
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