Yeah, I’ve been attacked by Baboons, I’ve been stranded in the Arabian desert, and I’ve ridden a runaway horse between the Great Pyramids. That was before I was 9.
This is supposed to be the Story of Me, right?
Oh, wrong platform. I’ll restart my Malakye story with what I do: a lot of things. Yes, I ain't afraid to say I'm a Jack-of-All-Trades. A lot of people consider that a bad thing. That narrow thinking is their problem, not mine (I’m looking at you, Liz Ryan of Forbes.com).
Many, if not most, if not all, great company leaders can be considered a Jack-of-All-Trades (Steve Jobs, anyone?). They have a breadth of knowledge of the business elements that help them see how they best work together. They can talk the talk with the various and disparate specialists they need to bring together. They’re more open to new opportunities, more willing to learn new things, more willing to reset or turn on a dime.
It also does not mean a “master of none”. Pairing those two concepts is antiquated and short sighted. It’s not hard for a Jack (or Jill) to be very good at many things. They leave being perfect for those that don’t care as much about the big picture. The great Robert Heinlein said it well;
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, conn a ship, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve an equation, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Sure, one could find quotes that cite the opposite, and we could pit them against each other all day. But that would be a waste of quality time.