Book learning v. life learning

August 27, 2012

I just had a lunch meeting and we were talking about people who hold themselves out as experts when they lack real live experience with the topic on which they are an “expert.”  I’ve seen it enough to want to ask the person, “Hey, what are you doing there?”  I’ve had lots of book learning in my life and lots of live experience on the same topics (just look at my bio page!).  I can say – without any hesitation – that while books can give you lots of great information, the real live experience can be very different.  It often has nuances that you simply cannot learn in a book.  And, I love books and love reading them!  So, my wish is that experts of any stripe get some ‘in the trenches’ experience before offering to help someone.  Remember, you might indvertantly do more harm than good.

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