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Do You Suffer From GURUITIS?


I’ve spent the last week interviewing about 50 authors, thought leaders and gurus – a group of smart, passionate folks with very eclectic expertise. One of the many things I learned is many of them suffer from what I call “GURUITIS.” I figured I might as well take a page out of the pharma industries play book and define a condition that many suffer from (without ever knowing it was a condition) and potentially offer a cure (Shaken leg syndrome? Dry eye syndrome?).  Unfortunately for me and for you the cure isn’t a little blue pill that I could patent and prescribe.

The Symptoms of GURUITIS:

  • Deep expertise
  • Passion
  • Intelligence
  • A strong desire to get their message out
  • Lack of focus
  • Desire to speak to larger audiences
  • Desire to speak more frequently
  • An inability to say no
  • Allergic to having employees or building a team
  • An inability to smell opportunity
  • A desire to be published
  • Large egos

At Risk Population:

  • Aspiring authors and thought leaders
  • Struggling authors and thought leaders
  • Successful authors and thought leaders

Preventive Measures:

  • An honest understanding of your strengths and weaknesses
  • Getting insight and help from others
  • Admitting that you don’t have all the answers

GURUITIS can be cured (I’m not sure if this is the part in the pharma commercial where we’d cut to a scene of a couple in a bath tub on the beach but it could be).


  • A solid strategy
  • An understanding of your target market
  • Expert help that is aligned with your overall objectives
  • Having measurable goals and milestones
  • Staying focused
  • Continuing to do what you do best

Luckily I don’t need to conclude this with a long list of side effects that you may experience while taking the “medication.” (This would be where the authoritative voice would tell you what to do if you experience the dreaded 4 hour erection.)



Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. I think this interestingly infectious disease has been further spread virally, much like the clap, through the internet. With the blog-o-sphere blowing out an opportunity for everyone to have a voice, I think the desire for this disease comes out of the accessibility to an audience, an unlimited amount of space to grow and the new openness of having an authentic voice on the web, the prospect is too good to resist.

    These things all sound fantastic, as they should be, promoting insights and learning in an open environment, but with everything ideal it seems to have created a swirling frenzy of people scrambling to brand themselves, say enough relevant (both SEO -wise and Wisdom-wise) content to make a name and hopefully a profit for themselves.

    Akin to something wonderful like the Love revolution leading to the AIDS revelation, I feel like there will eventually be a lull in the Guru-sphere clutter that permeates out inboxes and RSS feeds. Spreading the wisdom you know of the world in a subjective, open environment could very well lead to lots of greatness in the future, but until then, people need to find a better way to make a living than through aggressive internet marketing, informational product packaging and the illusion of value. The insights that come from real experts comes from real life experience, building a brand, starting a company, filming a movie, writing a Novel, these are the things that most Gurus haven’t actually done, and hopeful when the Guru bubble bursts, people will be free to create value in the world through more traditional means like creative writing, philanthropic projects and good old fashion art.

  2. Thanks, this is marvellous !
    Although I think that Internet is not responsible for it, only that they come more easily through to us. Already my grandfather called them “Besserwisser”…..

  3. Guilty of all the above. Ironic thing is that I work with CEOs to help them resolve these. I think every coach needs a coach because we simply cannot objectify ourselves enough to be useful.

    Peter–you got me laughing out loud.


  4. Great Insights , Accurate Diagnosis, The Cures !!…. A bit vague, needs a Guru focus …perhaps more mulling !

    Broadly The Problem Is Scalability : How To Make The Offerings That Have Thousands Of Listeners Reach The Millions ….without SEO Network Marketing !!

  5. You nailed me. I’m in pain from my own illusions. I almost belly laughed when you said “aspiring.. struggling.. successful authors…” <3

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