An Employee Workshop for Aspiring Experts

Unconventional Workshop 23


Opportunity is everywhere.

Current worker situation:
90% company-work-process, where position is structured, repetitive, task-oriented, company-process-driven.
10% individual work-process, where position is unstructured, complex, creativity-driven, strategy-dependent, project-oriented.
Worker petition to management –  clean up at end of shift takes longer than allotted time.

Possible worker petition to management – the desire to take on more responsibility so that is loose like the following:
75% of position is structured, repetitive, task-oriented, company-process-driven.
25% of position is unstructured, complex, creativity-driven, strategy-dependent, project-oriented.

Might be better for CoE “expert-driven” page …

The gift that a company gives you is responsibility. The ability to own a small part of the company and contribute using them as a vehicle. There are times when companies take advantage of people and do not pay what they agreed to, there are times when workers take advantage of employers and do not work as hard as they agreed to. There is, however, a responsibility to contribute and if an employer/employee relationship is not maximizing contributions, there needs to be a change.

Might be better for CoE “unconventional positions” page …

The gift that a company gives you is responsibility. The ability to own a small part of the company and contribute using the company as a vehicle.

When a company gives an employee more responsibility, that responsibility is usually based around group #2, #3 or #4 positions. Responsibility is not usually associated with group #1 positions, as the bulk of the work is structured, repetitive, task-oriented and company-process-driven.

Types of added responsibility:

Group #2: Traditional institution-guided expert-level positions – Responsibilities go deeper into the path already taken. As this group is more connected to the institution, a responsibility that is associated with an organization and provides a certification is an excellent example.

Group #3: Leadership expert positions – Adding leadership responsibilities can include management type positions where responsibilities include hiring, firing, performance reviews and typical management related administrative tasks. Leadership responsibilities can also be a lead-by-influence role where expert-level skills are the driving force in leading decisions; creating direction for others. This is similar to a mentor-protege relationship, but is usually organized within a group, and the subject matter expert has leadership over those who need to follow the mastery.

Might be better for CoE page …

Interview questions: Traditional institution-guided expert -VS- unconventional expert:
Given task: Question if one relies on traditional (formally instructed) ways to perform … or unconventional expert way.

Existing opportunities
Motivational speaker and writer Earl Nightingale popularized the story “Acres of Diamonds”. The moral of the story is very fitting for someone who has recently committed to an expert-trek.

Acres of Diamonds Article
by: Earl Nightingale

The Acres of Diamonds story ”a true one” is told of an African farmer who heard tales about other farmers who had made millions by discovering diamond mines. These tales so excited the farmer that he could hardly wait to sell his farm and go prospecting for diamonds himself. He sold the farm and spent the rest of his life wandering the African continent searching unsuccessfully for the gleaming gems that brought such high prices on the markets of the world. Finally, worn out and in a fit of despondency, he threw himself into a river and drowned.

Meanwhile, the man who had bought his farm happened to be crossing the small stream on the property one day, when suddenly there was a bright flash of blue and red light from the stream bottom. He bent down and picked up a stone. It was a good-sized stone, and admiring it, he brought it home and put it on his fireplace mantel as an interesting curiosity.

Several weeks later a visitor picked up the stone, looked closely at it, hefted it in his hand, and nearly fainted. He asked the farmer if he knew what he’d found. When the farmer said, no, that he thought it was a piece of crystal, the visitor told him he had found one of the largest diamonds ever discovered. The farmer had trouble believing that. He told the man that his creek was full of such stones, not all as large as the one on the mantel, but sprinkled generously throughout the creek bottom.

The farm the first farmer had sold, so that he might find a diamond mine, turned out to be one of the most productive diamond mines on the entire African continent.The first farmer had owned, free and clear … acres of diamonds. But he had sold them for practically nothing, in order to look for them elsewhere. The moral is clear: If the first farmer had only taken the time to study and prepare himself to learn what diamonds looked like in their rough state, and to thoroughly explore the property he had before looking elsewhere, all of his wildest dreams would have come true.

The thing about this story that has so profoundly affected millions of people is the idea that each of us is, at this very moment, standing in the middle of our own acres of diamonds. If we had only had the wisdom and patience to intelligently and effectively explore the work in which we’re now engaged, to explore ourselves, we would most likely find the riches we seek, whether they be financial or intangible or both.

The company you work for is simply the canvas for your life’s work

Within a Culture of experts, we learned about the types of opportunities that are a good fit for unconventional experts. As unconventional experts look at opportunities within their company and/or the job market, they will see a variety of opportunities that offer different compensation. The biggest temptation is to weigh short term compensation into

• Ability to learn within the position – is there the opportunity to function at a high-level of complexity.
• Ability to advance to expert-level – are there Masters in this type of role?
• Availability of mentorship – will someone have time to show me all that needs to be learned?
• Level of transferrable skills – can one use skills at other companies, should there be a need to change?

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Risk versus responsibility
Increased responsibility within employment usually comes with more compensation. The risk, however, is still on the company. The company always takes the risk. Almost any position can be turned into an independent contractor position, where the individual worker takes some risk. If a company doesn’t need independent contractor services for the rest of the month, they don’t work and they don’t get paid. The independent contractor would take the risk within the hours worked and compensation. If an independent contractor made a mistake that cost the company $10,000, the company would still have to carry the burden of the loss. Companies cover hours and mistakes. There are also many regulations that need to be followed, which come with their own risks. Selling goods and services to customers is also a risk that the company carries. Certainly, there is insurance to cover lawsuits,which is also paid by the company, there are other losses with law suits and increases in insurance costs that puts them in the risk category. No company is protected all of the time. What if sales go down due to a change in the market? More company risk. If no layoffs follow, the company eats all of the losses. If there are layoffs, there is unemployment insurance to protect workers. This insurance is paid by both the employee and employer. Unemployment is the risk to being employed.


The opportunity is to work on expert-level skills without taking any risk.

Interviewing as an Unconventional Expert
Whether it be a different position within a current employer or for a different employer, we all go through an interview process. If the process is open to additional candidate information, go to CultureOfExperts.com/interview and look at the questions that are a part of that program. A short but precise answer sheet may not be a bad idea, if acceptable to the interviewer.


Focus on strengths

give examples within career




Company takes all risks
Putting goods or services into the marketplace is very hard.

Having one’s own small business is almost impossible for large scale goods and services, no way to compete. Part of division of labor, for better or worse.


We protect our rights to be average
We become advocates to protect our rights to do an equal amount of work than other people. If we find out we’re doing more work, we feel the unfairness.




Merit – noun: The quality of being particularly good or worthy.
Merit – verb: To deserve or be worthy of
something, especially reward.

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