The Blog - Where Business Collides with Human Nature

Definition of Guru and is it GobbledyGook


Guru is a buzzword in business and internet marketing you may use to describe someone.   Or maybe it is a term you use to describe yourself. 

Interestingly, the word guru originates in Sanskrit. 

- Gu indicates darkness.
- Ru indicates destruction.

A guru is considered "a dispeller of darkness".

Anyone able to shed light (dispel the darkness) on a topic for another might be considered a guru.

A fifth grader who understands the new technology becomes a guru to the retired engineer. 

A guru is a spiritual teacher, someone who leads a disciple to wisdom and self-realization, imparts knowledge on the disciple, or guides the disciple to divinity. The word guru is commonly used in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh traditions to indicate a religious teacher. The word originates in Sanskrit, and is formed by the syllables gu and ru. Gu indicates darkness, and ru indicates destruction. Thus, when translated directly, guru means ‘dispeller of darkness.’ This simple etymological explanation is supplemented by the postulation of numerous texts discussing the nature and role of a guru. A popular example of such a discussion would be that of the etymology of the syllables gu and ru to indicate the juxtaposition of light and dark, where ignorance is dark and knowledge, particularly spiritual knowledge, is light.

A staff person with more experience than a boss is a guru in their own right.  

A question for business owners:  "Should I hire 'gurus'?"

The answer is 'Yes'.  Hire gurus.  Hiring people who "dispel darkness" and shed light on how to create sales and profit for your business is a plus. 

For those who are interested in leading gurus

It is a challenge to lead gurus who have their own view of the world unless you raise the bar and think in terms of empowerment vs. control.

As the term "guru" is tossed around in the business and marketing worlds, and has become distracting and proves, in reality, to be unhelpful.  The phrases "top quality", "best service", and "innovative" are instantly filtered and minimized in the potential buyer's mind as these words have become gobbledygook.

Does "guru" now fall into the category of GobbledyGook?

David Meerman Scott is a guru of GobbledyGook.  Learn more about Gobbledygook from David Meerman Scott, bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR and the hit new book World Wide Rave.

Gobbledygook Phrases Used In 2008 - From Dow Jones, see an analysis of the most overused Gobbledygook in all 711,123 press releases.

David Meerman Scott's Book is available here:

new rules for PR marketing

You are a guru and looked to for wisdom. You make more impact than you may realize.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Leadership Definition Personal Development