Authority is essential for online success. There is no debating that. But how do we acquire authority? That topic is up for debate in this episode of The Lede.
This is the first of a four-part series in which we are going to take conventional content marketing ideas and debate their merits. Because hey, the generally accepted notion just might be wrong. And if it is, we want to find out.
Oh, and we want to bring some friends along with us.
In this episode, Demian and I (plus a special guest) bring a conversation that we had at our recent company meeting in Dallas to the air.
Is authority bestowed or earned? We’ll debate. You decide. (Comment below with your thoughts.)
Listen to Copyblogger FM: Content Marketing, Copywriting, Freelance Writing, and Social Media Marketing below ...
The Show Notes
- Authority Rainmaker
- 10 Ways to Build Authority as an Online Writer — by Demian Farnworth
- Demian’s interview with Bernadette Jiwa
And I will add this link and quote, by Seth Godin, which I stumbled upon after we recorded this episode. Just in case you were looking for a tie-breaking opinion. 😉
What’s not obvious is the discipline necessary to earn authority. Now that you can’t be given it, now that you can’t take, now that you have to EARN it, it seems to me that many of us have forgotten that there’s a cost to earning something.
Is Authority Earned or Bestowed?
Sean Jackson: You know, Brian Clark may not know what he’s doing. (Laughs) Now I just may have lost my job for that …
Jerod Morris: Welcome back to The Lede, a podcast about content marketing by Copyblogger Media, hosted by me, Jerod Morris, and Copyblogger’s chief copywriter, Demian Farnworth.
The Lede is brought to you by Authority Rainmaker, Copyblogger’s second annual live event coming this May in picturesque Denver, Colorado. Authority Rainmaker is a carefully curated content marketing event featuring keynote speakers Henry Rollins, Dan Pink, Sally Hogshead, and Chris Brogan, as well as ample opportunities for networking with some of the brightest minds in online marketing. Early bird pricing remains in effect for now, so go to authorityrainmaker.com for details.
Okay. So you may have noticed that The Lede has a new home. Yes, after many years of being housed within the nurturing biosphere of the mothership known as Copyblogger.com, The Lede has joined forces with its Copyblogger brethren over at Rainmaker.fm. And Demian and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this esteemed podcast network with so many of our talented colleagues. To kick things off in our new home, Demian and I have a four-part series planned for you. And just so you know, it was Demian’s idea.
He calls it Hero versus Villain, which basically means that we have selected a few generally accepted content marketing principles or aphorisms and are taking opposing sides and arguing their merits. And we may or may not have a few special, spontaneous guests planned along the way, but you’ll have to listen and see. And just know that we hope the conversation doesn’t stop when the podcast does. We always encourage your tweets: @JerodMorris and @DemianFarnworth, or your comments over at the blog post below the show notes.
All right. Here comes the first episode, in which Demian and I tackle the question of whether authority is earned or whether authority is given. It’s a little more complicated than you may think initially. Right now, on The Lede.
Demian, how are you, man?
Demian Farnworth: I’m great, Jerod. How are you?
Jerod: I’m doing well. I missed you. We’ve been doing these interview episodes, and it hasn’t been us together like normal, so I’m glad that we’re back together here to record this episode.
Demian: Great. Great. Perfect timing, too. Nothing like two brothers getting back together to duke it out.
Jerod: Yes. Exactly. Which we are going to do here in a little bit. How do you like the new digs? This is our first episode at Rainmaker FM, which is kind of exciting.
Demian: I love it. Yeah. I love it. This is something that I’m proud to be a part of, and I’m very excited to see how this rolls out, and I think I’m excited too, about — I enjoy doing these and I enjoy the idea of doing them weekly now, too.
Jerod: Me too, and obviously we’ve had a lot of fun hosting the Copyblogger podcast, which The Lede is, but I’m glad that so many of the other people in our organization now will have their own shows, and their own opportunity to put their expertise out there, and their personalities, and I think there are going to be so many good shows over there at Rainmaker FM that people are going to really like.
Demian: Yeah, that’s right. It’ll be a good opportunity for people to just get fat on Copyblogger people.
Jerod: (Laughs) Yes. I don’t know what that means, exactly, but….
Demian: (Laughs) Me neither.
Jerod: Okay. So I guess by the time this airs it’ll be two months ago that we had our company meeting in Dallas, and I think it was on the first night of that meeting we were all milling around, re-acquainting ourselves with each other, high-fiving, backslapping, that kind of thing. And Sean Jackson, our CFO, came up and sat down, and it was you, me, Stefanie, maybe a few other people that were there, and we got on the topic of authority.
And we got on the topic of whether authority is earned or whether it is given. And Sean was pretty emphatic that authority is given more than it’s earned. I disagree with him a lot, and that’s going to be the focus of this episode. We’re going to take those two different sides of authority, whether it’s earned or whether it’s given. Where do you stand?
Demian: All right. Before I tell you that, let’s define the terms first, really quickly. So when we say “earned,” it means simply that you worked really hard to become the best you can at a particular discipline.
Jerod: Right. Okay.
Demian: That’s earned. “Bestowed” means that someone looks at you and says, “You are a star, I’m going to elevate you, put you into the spotlight.” That’s earned authority. So I began on your side, but after sort of being — I don’t want to say “browbeaten” by Sean, or “cornered,” even though that’s quite possible, I would say he was convincing in his argument that it is actually bestowed.
Jerod: Okay, but why? Other than the fact that he threatened to withhold your paycheck.
Jerod: Why did you take his side?
Demian: So bestowed. Bestowed is simply this: No matter how hard we work at becoming the best that we can, we sort of just toil away, as Robert and Brian like to talk about, in the salt mines, by ourselves, alone, in obscurity. And we could slowly develop skills. We could slowly develop our discipline. Become good at it.
Say me, as a writer, I could be writing year, after year, after year; but I really don’t hit my stride. I really don’t get any attention. I really don’t get any respect until somebody looks down upon me and says, “Hey, this guy is great. Check him out.” And once that happens, things start to turn for that particular person.
Case in point: that’s sort of what happened with Brian Clark. I was on the sidelines, working away, working hard, doing my thing, sort of building up my portfolio, and then I came online and I started to try to develop this reputation, and things were going pretty well. But it wasn’t until I got Brian to sort of pay attention to me and throw some traffic, throw some attention, throw some love my way. And that thing sort of turned, and people found respect.
Jerod: Okay. And you make a good point, because I do think at some point you need the validation of someone else, or maybe many someone elses, but you hit the nail on the head. You earned that bestowing, or whatever you want to call it, because of all of your hard work. Because of the skills that you developed. Because of things that you did.
Now if you want to say that Brian kind of turbo-charged it, or took it to the next level, that’s fine. But to me, I think all he really did is he just gave you a further opportunity to earn more authority. Because if you stopped doing all the things that you had done to get there, then you would have quickly fallen off, and you would have nothing. So it would be great that you had this endorsement, but it wouldn’t mean anything for the long term. It would have just been a short-term thing that, “Hey, this is great,” but that’s why I think “earned” is the right answer here.
Because ultimately it still all comes down to you, and I get that it helps, but I don’t think at the end of the day that the bestowing means anything without everything that came before and everything after. It’s kind of a moment in time, and it’s an opportunity to take it to the next level, but then you again have to go earn it. You’re just kind of earning on a different stage, at a different level. Does that make sense?
Demian: It does. It does. Now, before I concede any ground to you at all, let me say this. So I was talking to Bernadette Jiwa, one of the Authority Rainmaker speakers, and did a podcast with her. And when I was doing research on her, what just sort of blew me away about her — what sort of, in my mind, elevated her to another level, was that she had all these endorsements from Seth Godin.
And this is the thing: Bernadette Jiwa is a brilliant girl, but I don’t think — and I hope she doesn’t not like me for saying this, but I don’t think she’s, like, the smartest person. Right? She’s just someone who’s got the attention of someone like Seth Godin and now is light years ahead of the rest of us. Does that make sense?
Jerod: Yes. But she earned that. That’s what I’m saying. Because of her views and her consistency, and how prolific she is at writing. For all of those reasons, she earned that. So I get that, again, that helped. That took it to the next level. It did all of this. But I think we overplay this idea of bestowing.
I mean, again. You’re right. That does make you, maybe, take a second look or maybe even take a first look. But then it’s all about her, and if there’s nothing there, then whatever was given will quickly be given back, or you’ll realize that she wasn’t really worthy of it, whatever. It’s just kind of a temporary thing. But there’s got to be the substance there. And that’s her. That’s what she earned.
Demian: Right. Okay. Let’s do a little thought experiment here, just to kind of help each other and help our listeners sort of see this, Okay?
So there was a time in my life when I so desperately wanted people to look at me and think, “My God! He’s a genius.” The only problem, though, is I wasn’t doing anything for people to look at me and say, “He’s a genius.” I was large in my own eyes. And so if someone would have looked at me and thought, “I’m going to make him a star,” they would have been doing the world a grave disservice, right? So I guess in that sense you can’t have — you can’t be bestowed until you’ve earned.
Jerod: Right. Someone can bestow you attention. I just don’t think they’re really going to give you authority. They’re going to give you the chance, and they’ll give you temporary authority, but it’s still going to come back to what you do.
Jerod: It’s like in sports. If a coach puts you out there as a starter, he’s giving you kind of that temporary authority that, hey: this is one of the five best players. But if you go out there and play like crap for the first five minutes, you’re either going to get yanked or the fans are going to realize you stink and any “authority” that you were bestowed now is nothing. And if the coach just keeps you out there, now he’s the one who’s going to look like an idiot, and he ruins his own authority.
So I think ultimately it comes down to what you do, what you contribute, and I think that’s where the “earned” part comes in.
Should we call Sean?
Demian: Yeah. Let’s get him on the line and have him settle this right now.
Jerod: I think we should.
Demian: Okay. Let’s do it.
Jerod: All right. Let me try this. We’ve never done this before on an episode, so I have no idea if …
Demian: He started this, so he should end this.
Jerod: I kind of agree. Although — well, we’ll see. Hopefully this will stay civil.
Demian: Right. Right. You know, the other thing too, while you’re pulling him up, is that you would never give a recommendation to someone for a job unless you knew that they had the skills to back it up.
Jerod: Well, you would hope so.
Demian: Right. Exactly.
Jerod: So … okay. We have Sean. Sean, are you on the line?
Sean Jackson: I am on the line, gentlemen.
Jerod: So we are discussing how you cornered Demian and told him that you wouldn’t send him his paycheck if he didn’t agree with your point of view…
Jerod: … on the ‘earned’ or …
Sean: The only editorial control I have.
Demian: (Laughs) That’s right.
Jerod: As we were telling everybody, you kind of started this debate. So let’s let you give your point, and then we can discuss it a little bit further.
Sean: Certainly.The point is that authority is conveyed, it is never earned.
And I’ll use this analogy: A police officer. Right? There are police officers that just graduate police academy, and they go on the street and they pull you over, or they ask you a question. And then you have cops who have been on patrol for 10, 20 years. They’ve been there, done that, have tons of experience. Much more, of course, than the patrolman who just got out of academy. And yet they both have authority, and the reason they have that authority is because the state gave them that authority.
Well, that’s the same case with other types of authority. When someone is deemed to be an expert in the field, it is because someone else has said, “This person is an expert in it,” or an institution, or the government, or the media. Just because you’re on TV, a lot of people think, “Oh, he must be, or she must be the smartest one out there,” because the media thinks they’re authority to comment. So authority is always conveyed. It is never earned.
Jerod: Okay. So my counter to that would be, if we’re using the police example, that person had to earn his way through the police academy to get the designation that he can now be a police officer. And I get that, let’s say, someone pulls you over and you don’t know who it is, you don’t know if he’s been on the force for 20 years or for 6 months, they’ve got that immediate authority simply because of the uniform, and that’s been bestowed upon them. But if that new person, if they operate outside the law, or if they stumble around and don’t know what they’re doing, they can quickly lose that authority. And my argument is that you earn it.
Now it certainly helps if someone will bestow upon you some recognition and some notoriety for what you do, but that to me just kind of turbo-charges it. But it’s still what you do after that. You still have to continue earning it, or what someone else is giving you or saying about you isn’t ultimately going to matter.
Sean: No question that to keep your authority you have to earn it. There is no question. But to obtain authority — I’ll use you two guys as an example.
Brian Clark thought you were good enough to be a writer, and he made you guys the centerpoint of Copyblogger.com. He made you an authority on Copyblogger.com. Now to keep that position, other than driving me crazy from time to time, what you have to do is earn it, right? And you earn it continuously. Because you can certainly lose authority if you do not continue to earn your place there. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you guys are the single best copywriters ever, right? It’s not necessarily the single best, or the declared authority. It means that you have to have a certain level of performance to keep your authority. And I would say that you have to have a certain level of performance to even have the opportunity to have authority conveyed to you.
But there are plenty of great writers you guys know who are toiling away in obscurity even though you look at them and think, “My God! This guy’s work is fantastic,” or “This girl’s work is fantastic,” and yet they are not an authority in their space, and yet someone like you, who now has authority because someone like Brian gave it to you, you can sit there and say, “Look. I have to work hard to keep it, but am I the single best writer that has ever been produced to do this?” Of course not. There are always going to be people better than you, but you have the authority, and sometimes they don’t.
Jerod: But he didn’t just choose us at random, either. Again. We earned that authority that we were given.
Sean: You earned the authority. You earned the right to be given authority. How’s that? You earned the right to be given it. But you didn’t earn the authority. Because here’s the other thing that goes with the idea of conveyance. Brian Clark may not know what he’s doing.
(Jerod and Demian laugh)
Sean: (Laughing) I just may have lost my job for that, but the reality is that sometimes authority is conveyed by people who are not necessarily authorities in the space to begin with, right? It would be the equivalent of me saying, “Well, Demian is the best writer ever.” Well, I enjoy his work, but am I truly an authority in writing? Do I have the leverage and skill? Yet, because I can pay his check, I can make a claim, and hence that gives me certain types of authority that I can convey over. And that’s where I think the nuance is in this particular discussion.
You have to be able to play the game. You have to earn the right to potentially be chosen. And you have to earn your right to keep it. Now, I will give you the counter-argument to this. Are you ready for it?
Jerod: Bring it.
Sean: Okay. The counter-argument to this is that I can claim authority without you giving it to me. And here’s how I do that.
I can just say, “I’m an authority in X,” and as long as I do actions that build upon, that reinforce, that claim, then my self-declaration of authority can then continue to be earned, if you will, by my particular work. So I may be toiling away in obscurity, and I am working on a very, very specific thing that not many people know about, but because I know I have a knowledge and expertise, I self-claim my authority. And you see a lot of that happening, especially by people who don’t know what they’re doing, because they use the word “guru” after their name.
So I think you can self-claim authority, and to your point you have to earn it. You have to stay there, because if if I said I was an authority in writing, and you start to see my work, going, “I don’t think you’re really an authority, Sean, because I’m having to constantly edit it,” then I continue to earn my place there. So you can self-declare.
Demian: Yeah. I like that. Because how often do we say, “Don’t say you’re an authority, demonstrate that you’re an authority.”
Jerod: Okay. But this idea of who is bestowing the authority, though? Again, if we use this example at Copyblogger. So Brian Clark “gives” us authority, but isn’t it really at the end of the day the audience who gives the authority, and don’t you earn that authority from the audience?
Here’s my problem with this, is I think it’s dangerous if we simplify it to say that authority is bestowed, because I think people might spend too much time just trying to find an endorsement instead of earning the respect and authority of an audience one by one. Because I think it’s when you do that, the byproduct of that is you can have this authority bestowed upon you by someone who’s a greater authority, but I just think if you’re going to focus on one or the other, it’s the “earned” part that is the most important.
Demian: But let’s be honest, though. I mean, we all play that game though, right? We get to a certain point, and I freely admit I purposely tried to get on Brian’s radar because I wanted him to say, “You know, this guy actually has something that’s worth investigating or worth investing in.” So I think it’s okay to play that game, but of course, you have to have the skill set in order to back it up.
Sean: But this, also, is where it comes to trouble, right? Because sometimes authority is conveyed by a source that does not have any expertise in the medium.
Sean: You see this a lot. Some celebrity says, “This is the best plumber I’ve ever used in my house!” So the plumber goes out and says, “Hey, we’re so good that XYZ celebrities choose to use us,” right? Now the celebrity has no clue about plumbing. They just like the guy or the gal. They were very helpful. They fixed the problem. They were prompt. They earned, if you will, some adulation; and yet the celebrity now has given this person as “the best plumber ever,” and because we give authority to celebrities, and often case wrongly, but we do it anyway; then now that authority source who has no clue about being a plumber has now just vested this plumber as the greatest plumber out there.
So you do see some of this where the authority source may not necessarily be the expert in the field, and yet because they are considered an authority for something, they then convey it over. And that’s the downside of this, because you could be chasing somebody like Brian Clark all day, and then you get there, and you go, “Wait a minute, this guy has no clue.” Or maybe it’s because he is absolutely brilliant and his validation of my work is something that I now can claim pride in that authority, and that I want to try to earn.
So you see this all the time with the media, guys. I mean, the media needs some “expert” to talk about some subject so they go into their pool of people that talk well on TV. They stick them on TV, they spend two minutes talking to the person, and now all of a sudden the media has conveyed a sense of authority for this particular person on this particular subject without any preference given to the amount of skills he has, is he the best in the field, is he the worst? I mean, how many times has an expert been on, and then later indicted for a crime? That does happen.
Demian: So it’s safe to say that we should be careful in whom we are bestowing the authority, because…
Demian: …it could be a guilty-by-association in some sense. I don’t know about you, Jerod, but I like that idea of we have to earn the right to be bestowed authority.
Jerod: Yes. I agree. And I also think the best part about bringing Sean here is the out-of-context quotes of him saying “Brian Clark doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
Jerod: I’m going to have to pull them out and send them to him.
Sean: (Laughing) This may be my last podcast, but….
Jerod: (Laughing) It’s been great working with you, Sean.
Sean: It is funny, though, because many of us at Copyblogger went to Brian Clark. I mean, I was the same way. I still remember to this day the first time I met him, popping up my laptop, showing him my work, and wanting his validation of it. And it was very important. And many of us in Copyblogger did that thing because we knew from his work, because he worked so hard to keep his authority. And by the way, who gave Brian Clark his authority in many respects? You know who that was?
Demian: Right. Darren Rouse?
Sean: Well, it was Darren and it was Seth Godin, right?
Jerod: Mmm-hmm. Yeah.
Sean: Right? I mean, Seth Godin and Brian have had a very close relationship, and that was an instrumental part. That’s why if you look at Brian’s bio he talks a lot about how he’s been in Seth Godin’s books, as well as others. So even Brian was conveyed an authority by someone he admired and trusted, and that authority from Seth passed to Brian. From Brian it passes down to the ones that he chooses to do it.
So yeah, we do need to be careful whom we give it to. You don’t want to give it to someone as unearned. And that’s why I think the audience question that you originally said is a little bit tricky, Jerod, because an audience can convey authority, right?
Sean: And if I have a million people coming to my site every single month to read my work, I may be an idiot, but I still have a million people coming to my site every month to hear the ramblings of this idiot. Right? So authority based on the numbers, or based on the audience, can potentially give it to you.
Jerod: But there are different types of authority. We can parse that too, because …
Jerod: … but by building that audience you have authority. Now whether you use it to further an idea that is good and that is right, obviously, that’s a different story, but that’s still authority.
Sean: That is true. And the audience can give it to you — but it’s very indirect. It’s not like the audience comes up and says, “You shall be the authority,” right? And it’s very hard to publicly show that, too.
Because the other aspect of authority is it needs to have some public demonstration of it, either through the work that you do or, like many people do, put it on their “about” page. “Ten million people think this site …” So we need something to demonstrate authority in addition to it being conveyed to us.
But you are correct. If you don’t earn it, then you don’t have the chance to get it; and even if you do get it, then you may not be able to keep it if you don’t continue to earn the right.
Demian: So we should ask the audience to vote, to tell us what they think is their decision on this.
Jerod: We will.
Demian: We can drop them into the LinkedIn post and give us your thoughts; what you guys think.
Jerod: Yeah. Or send us tweets: @JerodMorris, @DemianFarnworth, @SeanThinks. Tell us there. Absolutely. Well Sean, thank you. This was fun. I’m glad you were available for the call.
Sean: Gentlemen, thank you so much, and your checks are on the way.
Demian: Yeah, thank you, sir! (Laughs)
Jerod: See you, Sean.
Sean: Take care guys. Bye.
Jerod: All right. Good stuff there, Demian.
Demian: So whose side are you on now?
Jerod: I still believe that authority is earned. You know, again….
Demian: (Chuckles) You’re so stubborn, Jerod.
Jerod: … Well, again at a certain point I do think it becomes kind of a semantic argument.
Jerod: Because I think you do need both. I guess to me that’s just where I want to keep my focus, is that…
Demian: Well, yeah….
Jerod: … Because here’s the thing. I try as much as I can to focus on what I can control and what I can do, and to me the earned part is all about that. You know, that is “What have I earned? What have I done?” And granted, the rest of it is important, but I just think if we’re going to argue for one side or the other I want to argue the side that I’m actually in control of, and that has to do with my efforts and what I’ve done.
Demian: So you think ultimately the lesson that people should be walking away from here is don’t focus so much on getting it bestowed, but actually doing what you can to earn it. Because that is the part, you’re right. That is the part you can control.
Jerod: Yeah, and I think that’s the best way to ultimately have it bestowed, and I do think that part is important if you want to go to a next level. If you have goals to go from one level to the next, or to jump five levels, you need that. If you want to go from managing your neighborhood watch to being an actual policeman, you have to have a certain amount or a certain level bestowed upon you.
But it’s still, I think, like you said, focusing on the part that you can earn and what you’re in control of. I just think if you’re going to focus anywhere, one is more important than the other. I think that’s the one you’re going to be better served by down the road. And whether that really answers this argument or not, I don’t know, but if I were walking away from it that’s what I would want to be thinking about.
Demian: I agree. And you know, Sean gives himself a hard time about his writing, but I actually think he’s a pretty good writer.
Jerod: I think he is, too. Hey, that’s why we keep publishing him on the blog.
Demian: He’s got some pretty good ideas, too. He’s a little fireball.
Jerod: Yeah. I guess the question is, did he earn the authority about this topic with the great conversation that we had in Dallas, or did we bestow the authority on him by bringing him on this call?
Demian: That’s right. That’s right. You know what? I mean, we….
Jerod: Maybe we should leave that for the listeners.
Demian. That sounds good.
Jerod: All right, Demian, this is fun. Back in action. It’s always fun doing these with you. And now folks won’t have to wait two weeks; we’ll be doing them every week.
Demian: Yep. That’s right. And I look forward to next week’s. I’m all fired up about that one, too. So that’s something that’s really near and dear to my heart that I rage against daily, so that’ll be a fun conversation.
Jerod: I agree. And you know, if you like this episode, if you like the things that we’re doing with The Lede and talking about; if any of these topics–if you have something this whole time, and you have your hand raised and you want to say something, come hang out with us at Authority Rainmaker in Denver because we’re all going to be there, and we can have these conversations live in person. It’s one of the absolute best parts of live networking events like this: those live networking opportunities. And the nice thing is with Authority Rainmaker, you’ve also got this incredibly useful curated conference experience as well.
And we’ve mentioned it a lot, but we’ll certainly keep mentioning it. It’s May 13th through the 15th, it’s in Denver at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Keynote speakers are going to be Henry Rollins, Sally Hogshead, who you met on the podcast; Bernadette Jiwa, who you heard on the podcast; Dan Pink, Chris Brogan. So many great people are going to be speaking, sharing their knowledge, and of course I’ll be there. Demian will be there. So many people from the Copyblogger audience will be there. And we all really want to see you.
Demian: Sean will be there, too.
Jerod: Sean will be there. Yes. He will be there, and if you just bring this up, he will talk to you about it for…
Jerod: …and have a really intense, passionate conversation with you about it, as you heard here. So any thoughts, really quickly, on Authority Rainmaker before we sign off?
Demian: I’m looking forward to it. I think it was said well by Brian when he said it’s like a rock concert, MBA graduate program thing.
Jerod: Yeah. Are we going to greet people at the door again like we did last year at orientation?
Demian: Yeah, man. Yeah, yeah. We can do that. That was fun.
Jerod: That was fun. That was very fun. All right, Demian. Everybody out there. We’ll talk next week.
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Lede. If you enjoyed this episode, if you like what Demian and I are doing with The Lede, we would greatly appreciate a rating or a review over at ITunes. Those help out a lot, and we greatly appreciate them. And I will just reiterate one more time: Go to authorityrainmaker.com. Get all the details for our live content marketing experience coming in Denver this May. We would love to see you there, and again; early bird pricing is still available. Authority_rainmaker.com. We will talk to you all next week with another episode of The Lede. Thanks for listening, everybody. Talk to you soon.
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Jerod Morris says
Thank you Robert Bruce. You are kind. And wise.
Kim LeClair says
I just listened to this. Feel like I’ve got 2 new buddies!
When I listen to Brian Clark and Robert Bruce I feel like I’m listening to some late night word jazz…. listening to you guys felt like a debate over a pint!! Great stuff!
And – since he doesn’t give me a paycheck… I think I can say this… If you listen carefully I think Sean concedes in the end….
“But you are correct. If you don’t earn it, then you don’t have the chance to get it; and even if you do get it, then you may not be able to keep it if you don’t continue to earn the right.”
I know – that is out of context, but still…..
Thanks for this guys. Really loved it! Looking forward to more!
Jerod Morris says
Thank you Kim! We appreciate the comment and kind words. We might also change the tagline of the show: “It’s like listening to a debate over a pint!” 😉
Plenty more to come …
Gary Arndt says
I think they confuse ‘fame’ and ‘authority’.
Jerod Morris says
That is an interesting distinction — and certainly the former means nothing in the long-term without the latter.
Gary Arndt says
The distinction between authority and notoriety is important.
Here are some dictionary definitions of authority as it pertains to this discussion:
“the power to influence others, especially because of one’s commanding manner or one’s recognized knowledge about something.”
“the confidence resulting from personal expertise.”
“a person with extensive or specialized knowledge about a subject; an expert.”
While one definition does deal with the ability to influence others, all of them deal with knowledge or expertise.
You can’t bestow knowledge, expertise or experience. You can only earn that.
If someone with a following mentions you, that can help make you more noteworthy, but it doesn’t make you an expert about anything.
You don’t need some A-List blogger to talk about you to have authority. You don’t even need that to have have an audience. It definitely can help, but it isn’t required.
Moreover, it isn’t hard to come up with examples where fame has nothing to do with authority. Just look at many of the people who developed some level of fame due to reality TV. Most people follow them because they are a train wreck and no one would take their advice about anything.
Definitely an interesting listen.
I’m curious – this discussed individual authority, but do you think it is different when we look at companies/websites/businesses, and the perceived authority there?
Jerod Morris says
I still think, in general, that authority is mostly earned. Even a company, website, or business has to earn its authority by displaying expertise and building trust. Someone or something can bestow attention on a company (like Shark Tank, for example), but ultimately if the company doesn’t deliver then it won’t have any meaningful authority.
Doug Francis says
As I see it, when authority is bestowed you get… credibility.
Jerod Morris says