How To Show Up as a Leader in a World Where Everyone Is an Expert

Jun 24, 2021

You don’t have to spend a lot of time on social media to realize that you have the opportunity to be an expert. At Curate Well Co., we believe that everyone has a unique and impactful expertise, and that you deserve to share it with the world. More than that, we think that the people who will be impacted by your expertise deserve it too.

The Difference Between Leadership and Authority

What’s the difference between the two? Authority is the right to administer orders, make decisions, enforce guidelines. It’s about having power. The trust that exists with authority is largely one-way — you trust the person with the power. Leadership is about a group dynamic. It’s the action of leading a unit. It requires two-way trust with a common goal. Leadership is the ability to bring out the best in others. It’s the ability to step into yourself completely, so you can effectively guide others in fully stepping into themselves.

Authority is generated from past performance. It exists when someone has shown proof of credibility. Leadership is about mapping out where you want to go in the future. Leaders set the direction, build a vision, and work to create something new.

Leadership isn’t about having all the answers, being right, being the smartest, or being the most successful. It’s about asking the right questions, creating possibilities, and enrolling others effectively. But more than anything — it’s about collaboration. When leaders are influential, they nurture more leaders, who then step into their own display of leadership.

While there are plenty of people practicing authority-building, there aren’t many leaning into their role as a leader in their space. Leadership and authority are two different things, and leadership is what’s needed for innovation, human-led businesses, and culture-change.


How to Show Up as a Leader Today

Look for Ways to Make a Difference, Differently

Do something that will make a difference even if it wasn’t explicitly asked of you. Look for opportunities to elevate even if it’s not in the SOP. Take the initiative to go beyond the template. Just because no one else is, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. Leadership isn’t formulaic or procedural. It’s about listening for the opportunity and doing what isn’t otherwise being done.

Additionally, trust that the things you love to teach and provide are needed and will make a difference for your community — even (especially) if no one else is talking about them yet. What you do behind the scenes, if not seen, will be felt in the experience of your work.

Practice Integrity

Our definition of integrity is simple and has little to do with morals or ethics — do what you say you’re going to do. In my opinion more opportunities are lost from lack of follow through, lack of consistency, and lack of commitment than anything else. Show up in your space as if you are just another member. If you want to build loyalty and commitment, you need to be in the experience with your peers and hold space for them to be part of something bigger than you. Be reliable, consistent, and predictable to generate deep trust. 

Be in Conversation with Your Community

Being a leader requires hard conversations. Share your experience without apology, and share your knowledge openly. Be direct and honest in your communication. 

Ask for feedback. Check in with the experience others are having. Their perspective is likely different than yours and will offer invaluable insight. Asking for feedback humanizes your experience and allows for dialogue to open up with your clients, customers, or consumers where you (and they) can be vulnerable and honest. If you’re not asking for feedback, you are losing money, missing out on relationship-, trust-, and credibility-building opportunities, and could even be completely unaware of the thing that sets the tone for your leadership and growth.


Being a true leader of your business, your industry, your generation is about so much more than hitting revenue goals. The way you show up for your business, the effort you put in that no one sees, the generosity you give — it will all come back to you as the leader you are.

Join us in The Curate Community, an annual membership for women leaders just like you who want a community to learn from, grow with, to celebrate with, and collaborate with. Join us today!

Plan your next year in business with intention and innovation, so you can create industry-defining impact, by downloading a free copy of our Annual Planning Spreadsheet here.


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