Mark B. – tech

Being a generalist ~ “Jack of all trades”


We’re all familiar with the expression “Jack of all trades –  master of none”.  But, is it still relevant in nowadays? This expression implies that by trying to learn many things, you give up mastery of any of them.

Wikipedia says:

Jack of all trades, master of none” is a figure of speech used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills, but is not necessarily outstanding in any particular one.

I agree with David Mansaray in his post, being competent in many skills doesn’t mean you’re not a master a least one particular skill. The constant acquisition of knowledge and skill is a power, it will certainly result in the fruition of new perspectives and opportunities.  Was Steve Jobs a better programmer than top coders at Apple? No, but he had a broad range of skills and saw the unseen interconnectedness. And he knew when to listen to each one, and when to stop listening to each one. He knew when he was being bull shitted, and he knew when to dig deeper.

As technology becomes a commodity with the democratization of information, it’s the big-picture generalists who will predict, innovate, and rise to power fastest. The jack of all trades maximizes his number of peak experiences in life and learns to enjoy the pursuit of excellence unrelated to material gain, all while finding the few things he is truly uniquely suited to dominate.

Another interesting post by J.T O’Donnell: “Jack-of-all-Trades don’t get interview because…”, being a generalist also need to be-adaptive as much as possible to what Industry needs.


This entry was published on June 12, 2014 at 4:01 am. It’s filed under News / Headlines / Update, Self Improvement and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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