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Authority vs. Credibility

There’s a difference between imposing your authority and having credibility. We tend to confuse these two all the time. There are places we have credibility; where we have worked for it and we have earned it. In these places we have a senses of ease regarding it.

Authority is assumed––not earned. Authority presumes, that because I have credibility in one area, it gives me a hall pass to all areas. There is an arrogance to authority­­; a need to be recognized.

We all are vulnerable in particular areas (ie: intimate relationships, health, money career) where we are more prone to strut out our authority. In the area of intimate relationships, I would argue to the death to prove a point, firmly convinced I knew what I was talking about.

When it comes to mixing up authority and credibility, time is not always the great teacher in this regard. Someone could spend their entire life in a specific situation and still have not have learned anything. Authority doesn’t have the capacity to learn, it only has the capacity to dominate. The only pathway from authority to credibility is by way of humility––a true understanding that you don’t know what you are talking about.

“Just because you have expertise in one area does not give you a global passport to all areas.”