Authority Means Getting The Important Stuff Right

  • Category: Authority Mindset

When I first started in consulting, I was terrified of making a mistake.

Clients spent a lot of money for our advice and I figured my analyses had better be perfect. Luckily, my first mentor there explained to me that making mistakes was a given—the best we could do was to install “gates” (like a peer review process) to catch most of them before they went to the client.

I’m not gonna lie—I still cringe when I catch a typo in a client communication.

But there’s a difference between a typo here and there and getting the truly important stuff right—consistently.

Maybe the classic example is a biography. You want to know it’s meticulously researched and factually correct, right? Because then you can enjoy their point of view, their take on the subject.

In a biography of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy—just a few chapters in, I’d already caught four rather obvious errors (like the Connecticut town Wallington—which doesn’t exist—instead of Wallingford, which does).

You can argue that’s not really important, but after the fourth error that you would expect a biographer (or their editor) to catch, I started not really trusting “the facts”.

Expertise leading to authority means doing your best on the little stuff, but 99.9% of the time, getting the big stuff right.