One of the many facets of a leader is the fact that a leader must possess an extensive body of knowledge that sets him/her apart from the rest of the employees and/or management staff. For ex, in IT (Information Technology) management, the leader has an advantage of knowing the end result right from the very beginning. Most leaders must be able to anticipate changing variables within every strategy and develop an exit strategy as a mitigation tactic to ensure the inevitability of forward movement.
A "subject matter expert," is defined as an individual who possesses comprehensive knowledge of a specialization of an organization or has in-depth knowledge of an organizational process and is able to assess, describe, interpret, or translate the core functions associated with an organizations current business model. A leader is considered an expert if he/she is able to conduct a needs-based assessment of what an organization will need to fulfill their goals; evaluate the organizations main objective; prepare an action plan accordingly; and project the outcome of strategic implementation, i.e. the end result.
An ex, of this type of expert is a leader who has a general knowledge of the inner workings of various job functions, has extensive knowledge of policies, regulations, and/or procedures, and has the ability to multitask, and delegate authority. A subject matter expert would possess the following characteristics in an effort to correlate to an effective leadership role:
Must be able to motivate and/or persuade a team of individuals to operate in a particular direction.
Must possess interpersonal skills.
Must be competitive and advantageous enough to operate all key job functions.
Must be a transformational, transactional, and/or charismatic leader.