What Makes Someone a Guru?
From teaching empathetic lessons to openly communicating, here are nine answers to the question, “What makes someone a guru?”
- Teaches Empathetic Lessons
- Becomes an Authoritative Guide
- Masters a Subject
- Expertly Influences People
- Displays Consistency
- Practices for 10,000 Hours in a Certain Field
- Builds Strong Relationships
- Provides a Shame-Free Experience
- Communicates Openly With Everyone
Teaches Empathetic Lessons
A guru is someone who can share their knowledge in a meaningful way. They must be able to inspire and guide people from all walks of life with their own unique brand of insight.
While no one person can know or have done everything, the power of a guru isn’t in having every first-hand experience imaginable. Gurus should rely on empathy to transition the meanings behind one experience into another while maintaining respect for the unique situations that every individual goes through.
In essence, the best gurus are people who can transmute the value of their knowledge and experience across a spectrum of people and situations.
Boye Fajinmi, Co-Founder & President, TheFutureParty
Becomes an Authoritative Guide
The term “guru” is often used to refer to someone who has a high level of knowledge or expertise in a particular area. A guru is typically considered an authority on a subject and is often sought for guidance and advice.
Someone becomes a guru through extensive study, experience, and dedication to a particular field. It is also common for gurus to be highly skilled in communicating their knowledge to others and inspiring them to learn more.
Ultimately, being a guru requires a combination of deep knowledge, expertise, and the ability to share that knowledge with others.
Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely
Masters a Subject
A guru is a teacher who has mastered a subject and can teach it to others. They understand the subject matter deeply and can explain it in clear and concise ways that students can easily understand.
They are passionate about the subject, often sharing their knowledge with enthusiasm and patience. A guru is also a mentor who guides students on how to approach their studies, helping them achieve success.
The guru will use different methods of teaching depending on the student’s individual needs and learning style. They can also provide valuable advice and help students reach their goals.
Aviad Faruz, CEO, FARUZO
Expertly Influences People
People use the term “guru” in a variety of ways. The definition of “guru” that I like the best is “an influential teacher or popular expert.” Put simply, a guru is someone that has skills, experience, and power.
There are many talented people who work behind the scenes at companies. They stay out of the limelight and use their skills and experience to do their jobs. Many people are content with this status. Others have both skills and influence. Besides just doing their work, they can affect company policy at the local level, and start trends at the global level.
Dennis Consorte, Digital Marketing & Leadership Consultant, Snackable Solutions
In my opinion, what makes someone a guru is consistency. For consistency, there are two important things: consistency in thoughts and consistency in actions.
First, consistency in thoughts means that whatever the guru thinks, they should be able to back it up with logical reasoning and evidence. Second, consistency in actions means the guru should walk the talk—their actions should align with their words.
A guru who is inconsistent in either thoughts or actions cannot gain the trust of others and will quickly lose followers. Consistency makes a guru credible, and people are more likely to listen to and follow a guru who is consistent.
Ludovic Chung-Sao, Lead Engineer & Founder, Zen Soundproof
Practices for 10,000 Hours in a Certain Field
In order to achieve success and be recognized as a guru, one must dedicate an immense amount of time and effort to perfecting their craft. As the saying goes, “it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of something.” This is true for anyone wishing to be considered an expert or “guru” in a certain field.
These 10,000 hours should be spread out over a period of at least five years. This gives someone ample individual time to practice and refine their skills. With discipline, dedication, and hard work, anyone can become a guru in their field of expertise.
Burak Özdemir, Founder, Online Alarm Kur
Builds Strong Relationships
The characteristics of a person who can be recognized as a guru are well-developed relationship-building skills.
A guru knows how to attract people and build long-lasting and strong relationships with them. Meeting a guru, we have the impression that we have known each other for a long time and can entrust all our secrets to them.
A guru has the gift of an aura of attraction, which mesmerizes those around them. At the same time, they make people feel unique around them. Gurus respect others, offer sound advice, and are supportive.
Building relationships in such a positive way makes people follow the person’s path. Thus, strong relationship-building skills are essential for a guru.
Nina Paczka, Community Manager, Live Career
Provides a Shame-Free Experience
In order for a guru to be a truly effective teacher, they must not be the sort of person who needs to embellish the past. The lessons they share need to have meaning, regardless of how that lesson may look to others.
If they choose to share an experience, it must not be simply to make themselves look good in the eyes of those who follow their teachings. A guru can accept that they are imperfect and that their imperfection can provide useful lessons that may help others to avoid the mistakes they may have made in the past.
A guru isn’t a being of ego. They must be humble and real if they want their teachings to have meaning and garner respect from others.
Neel Shah, Founder, EZ Newswire
Communicates Openly With Everyone
A guru must be someone who is willing to openly communicate their ideas, lessons, and opinions.
Gurus aren’t your bosses, though. Their communication isn’t unilateral, nor is it authoritarian. They should do their best to promote a dialogue between themselves and those that listen to them. They should be open to their communities and be willing to grow and learn with those who look to their words for inspiration and advice.
All of this together is what builds the trust between a guru and their audience that makes them an authority in their field. It is a respect that is earned through open communication, rather than forced through charisma alone.
Max Ade, CEO, Pickleheads
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