We’ve all heard the expression “jack of all trades, master of none.” Expressed differently, there’s fierce debate as to whether you should strive to be a generalist or a specialist. Frankly, there are excellent arguments on either side.
Myself, I’m a polymath. That, of course, is just a fancy way of saying, “I do a lot of different stuff.” Though I must confess a particular fondness for a term that has fallen out of usage - Renaissance Man.
What I’ve been thinking about this week is if that’s actually true.
Is it possible to be a specialist in a passion instead of a function?
When I look back over my career, the common thread has always been a passion for helping people change. Whether it was shifting perspectives through telling stories as a filmmaker, helping men transition into single fatherhood as an author, or aiding organizations in embracing new and effective ways of solving problems.
To follow this passion, I’ve...
Though they're treated as obligatory, mission and vision statements seldom work. They may sound nice, but it's rare anyone is able to connect these often wordy and clichéd statements to their actual day-to-day work.
In this short whiteboard video, I explain how you can create something called a "Touchstone" - a clear, concise statement that sums up your reason for being in 7 words or less.
I had lunch several weeks ago at a well-known spot in an area of my city that I don’t normally frequent. An extremely popular lunch destination that often wins “Best Of” polls in local papers, this family-owned business has been there for almost 20 years and boasts an extremely loyal clientele.
Clearly, they are doing some things right to be able to still exist in the tight-margin world of restaurants. The food was pretty good.
And I am never going back there again.
From the moment I stepped in, I was surrounded by chaos. The cooks behind the line were tense and overwhelmed staring at handwritten order slips. Customers that were not regulars stood around looking confused, unsure of when and where to pay. The person at the cash had no idea who ordered what and would shout out the names of different dishes, which resulted in even more confusion as many people had ordered the same thing. There were dirty plates on many of the tables.