Hi Richard, it sounds like you didn’t have a good experience reading this article. I’m sorry.
I’m the editor for all of the personal development articles being published on Medium. So, in that way I have final responsibility both for what topics get chosen and then the final form of articles that get published. (I can kill or send back for revision any draft that doesn’t meet my standards.)
I can help give background about how I judge authority in this topic area. Generally, anyone can be an authority if I scope the article correctly. So, for example, I may publish stories about individuals experimenting on themselves. In that case, the author is an authority on their own experience.
More commonly, I’ve been recruiting authors who come from various coaching disciplines. These are people who work in the trenches with a wide range of people. I like these authors specifically for not being ivory tower — they are full of applied experiences. They are authorities on the application of techniques, although not always on the first principles that led to those techniques.
In the case of this article, Tim is one of the people who consistently makes me feel smarter. And that plays a huge role in my perception of his authority.
As background, I spent five years building habit formation tools for a community of a few million users (Lift) and then turned that company into a coaching platform and now serve a few thousand behavior coaches who in turn serve a few tens of thousands of clients. It’s specifically the experience with coaches — where I see a broad range of approaches and then get to judge the value of many of those approaches by comparing them to client retention rates — where I think I draw my own authority. (It’s up to other people to judge the magnitude of my authority for themselves.)
So, in the future, as this category develops and I publish more articles for Members, I think readers will have a more developed sense of my own authority and how much they can trust what they read here. And then hopefully that can be a starting place for how to respect the authors that publish here. I definitely want to build a publication based around the quality of ideas and information, rather than the name recognition and resumes of the authors.
So, back to Tim. I’ve been a guest on his procrastination podcast twice. Both times were opportunities to trade ideas back and forth. Then I’ve used information from those conversations in my own coaching practice (I have a group coaching thing with a few hundred clients) and then through the work of some of the productivity coaches on our platform. Of the twenty or so articles that I’ve published or are queued for publication, this was the piece where I highlighted the most sections. In other words, this is the piece that connected most deeply with me — and I live and breath this stuff every day.
So that’s the background on how to think about authority both generally for this topic and specifically for this piece.
In any case, thank you for being a Medium Member. I sit in on some of the editorial meetings (although I’m officially acting as more of an external publishing studio), so I see how much exciting content is in the works. If my personal development articles continue to disappoint you, then I’m sure you will find great content elsewhere in the Member section.