“There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on Earth. So what the Hell, leap.” – Cynthia Heimel
Recently, I met one of the best natural teachers I know. He was pioneering, too – one of the first instructors of his subject area.
Given the immaturity of his industry and the mastery he’s developed as a teacher, I asked if he’d considered offering a train-the-trainer program to share his skill at teaching the subject. He said, “I get asked that a lot.” Then he said, “But what gives me the authority?”
What an incredible question. It was at once humble and sad. If someone who’s both the best and the most senior of teachers doesn’t think he’s got the authority to share that knowledge, students will continue to be under-served.
But I get it. None of us wants to be that person who’s terrible at what they do yet do it with great bravado. We fear being that fool. It’s confusing, how untalented people can be successful and brilliant people can continuously fail.
But that’s the key to the conundrum:
The only true authority is what we give or withhold from ourselves.
We’ve even built this truth into our language. The root of the word authority is author. Author comes from the Latin, auctor: originator, creator, one who brings about.
What will you create?
Think about something you’d like to do but have been waiting for “a sign” – for someone or something to give you the “O.K.” – to do it. Ask yourself:
- Why do you need that permission?
- Who or what has the authority to give you the permission?
- How can you become the author of that story?