Leadership

How to Become the Go-To Business Guru at Your Company

business guru

“Guru” comes from Sanskrit many years ago, meaning “heavy, weighty.” The Oxford Dictionary cites the first use of “business guru” in a 1960s issue of Business Week.  So what makes someone a weighty business guru?

The first use of "business guru" was in a 1960s issue of Business Week.

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A business guru is someone who imparts deep knowledge on his team. This person is sometimes also referred to as a management guru, because he influences others and inspires groups to action.

Today’s business gurus include people like Malcolm Gladwell, Richard Branson, and Steven Covey. These are people who have become revered and respected for transforming big business theories into concrete examples and best business practices. This article can’t promise you the fame and fortune they have, but it can help you lay a foundation to become a better business guru in your own organization.

First, master your business domain

Whether your area of expertise is agile development, resource management, project management, or something else, become known as the expert. Read constantly about your domain. Stay current on the latest trends, technologies, and thought leaders. Contribute valuable experience through comments sections and even article contributions to niche outlets. In addition, keep gaining hands-on experience. Gladwell pinned the magic number of when you cross over into an expert at 10,000 hours of practicing your area of expertise in The Tipping Point. Practice your trade relentlessly. Seek improvements. Join a professional group that has local meetings to engage with more people also driven to rise in their own organizations and industries.

Second, clearly communicate

Gladwell, Branson, and Covey have one thing in common: They can communicate. When they talk, people listen.

You cross over into an expert at 10,000 hours of practicing your area of expertise.

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Clear communication requires more than perfect grammar. Today’s best orators inspire action through clear, versatile communication. This means reading interpersonal skills, effectively demonstrating nonverbal gestures, and of course, writing clearly and succinctly. Seek out public speaking events, where you can offer your expertise while practicing your verbal delivery and expanding your network. Use inclusive language, strong diction, and affection where appropriate. Great communication enhances every aspect of your professional demeanor, from stronger emails and internal communications to better leadership and gaining team buy in.

Finally, mentor your team

Inspiring groups to action is the ultimate mark of a business guru. Share your expertise with your team, so they can learn from you. This establishes your credibility as an expert, hones your communication skills, and sets you up with a highly well-trained team. The more success your team sees, the more success you will see, and the farther along the path you are to establishing yourself as a management guru.

And though this article can’t promise fame and fortune, not developing these skills is a sure way to ensure a lack thereof.

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Editors Note: The original version of this post was published in April, 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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