Tim Ferris, author of the stunning book “The 4-Hour WorkWeek” explains on his blog why being a generalist, a Jack Of All Trades as he calls it, is making a comeback.
The devout specialist is fond of labeling the impetuous learner–Da Vinci and Ben Franklin being just two forgotten examples–a “jack of all trades, master of none.” The chorus unites: In the modern world, it is he who specializes who survives and thrives. There is no place for Renaissance men or women. Starry-eyed amateurs. Is it true? I don’t think so. Here are the top five reasons why being a “jack of all trades,” what I prefer to call a “generalist,” is making a comeback:
I personally agree with every single word in that post. I really appreciate people who are experts in their fields and I appreciate the effort it takes to become an expert. But I’d prefer to have a broader view, to know the big picture and learn new stuff from all around me. Tim calls this the diversity of intellectual playgrounds and argues that it will provide you with confidence instead of fear for the unknown. He ends the entry with two nice quotes I’d like to post here as well:
Be too complex to categorize.
Look far and wide—there are worlds to conquer.