What’s More Important than Your Experience?

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There’s one thing that matters more than your experience – do you know what it is?

Experience and Leadership Now, it may seem counter-intuitive to focus on something instead of your experience – after all, isn’t that what your linkedin profile is all about?

While the past is certain, your potential requires something more than experience.  Consider this: when it comes to your career – and the solution you can provide – there are two conversations that you can have.

One conversation centers on your experience.

The other answers the question: “Can you help us?

Which one do you think is more important – to your relationships, your team, and your career?

Consider this story:
You and your husband are going out on a date this Saturday night. You have two options for a babysitter for your four-year-old child.

The first one is your new neighbor – she moved in last week. She’s in her late 60’s and has an advanced degree in early childhood development. She’s also spent her career running a daycare center in another state, and she has over 30 years of experience.

Your other option is your next door neighbor. She’s 17 years old, and you’ve known her since she was about the same age as your pre-schooler. You’ve watched her grow up, you know her parents, and she’s babysat for you on several other occasions.


Who do you choose?

Do you choose the new neighbor with all the experience?

Or do you choose the kid next door – the one that you know?

Ask any mom, and she’ll tell you the right answer:


Go with who you know.

Trust trumps experience, every time.


Relationships and trust are more important than experience.

You will always go with who you know, when it comes to something you value very highly (could be your baby, could be your business – and for some entrepreneurs, maybe both of those things are the same!)

When it comes to managing your career more effectively, think about how you can cultivate the relationships that build the trust you need. Sure, that advanced degree from Northwestern or Penn State is impressive – but, if I don’t know ya, I don’t know how much it really means. And neither does your next boss.

Think about it – while the past is an important part of your credibility, your relationships matter more than what you’ve done or achieved.  When the conversation gets interesting is when you move away from a history lesson, and start forming your solution – a solution that’s based on collaboration and trust.

Trust me – that’s the best experience of all.

Stock images courtesy of 1and1 Web Hosting. Used with permission.

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