What Building a House Taught Me About Listening to Experts

by Danny Koteras

I built a house this year, which I have never done before, and it was awesome. Didn’t have a single argument with my wife nor had to “give in” on anything. I took the approach that I wasn’t going to fight over shades of gray. But that’s not what this is about. This is about realizing there are people who do their job every day and are a lot smarter than me when it comes to their work.

I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted going into the house project. In fact, I showed up at the very first meeting with the builder with a list of must-haves in the new home. What I ended up with is something I could have never put together on my own.

That’s what it’s like at our agency. I’m not a media expert. But I work with people who are. So when they tell me our target is in a certain place, I simply craft a message for that medium. I’m not an app development expert. But I work with people who are. So when a developer tells me how users interact with applications on their phone, I listen.

The point is, I can’t be an expert in everything. But I am surrounded by people who are far better at their discipline than I am. I work together with them to make sure I can provide our clients with the best possible message in the best possible place in the best possible way. It’s OK to embrace your shortcomings. In fact, I honestly think the smartest people around are those who realize they are NOT the smartest people around.

I encourage you to lean on the smart people in your agency or office or life. Be great at what you’re great at. But let the experts help guide you to a better solution than you could have ever created on your own.