Don’t Be Blinded by Your Own Expertise

Expertise sounds like an unqualified good in professional contexts. Companies associate it with high performance and leadership capability and seek it when hiring for key roles. But in studying top executives over the past decade, Dartmouth Professor Sydney Finkelstein came to understand that expertise can also severely impede performance, in two important ways.

Consider the case of Matthew Broderick, who led the Homeland Security Operations Center when Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, in August 2005. A brigadier ge.....

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