‘Jack of all trades, master of none one’

t shaped skills

We often encounter phrases like ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ Does this maxim hold any longer?

Is it enough that you are only skilled at one thing and ignore everything else?

At least in the context of a startup, this does not hold. But maybe in more specialized professions like a surgeon or an astronaut, this might be the case.

For example, if you are an expert in the sales function, you require the skills of a sales executive and need to understand marketing and maybe a little bit of product. Lest you are left baffled at the questions raised by your customer who might understand the product more than you, that’s not a pleasant situation for a sales expert. Moreover, these situations have a direct bearing on the performance of a sales professional.

Instead of the trite model, it is better that you adopt the T-shaped skills model, as shown below.

Source: https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/careers/soft-skills/t-shaped-skills/

This means that while you develop deep discipline expertise in one area, you must also invest in becoming ‘A jack of all trades.’ Or rather a generalist in many other skills.

So let’s be ‘Jack of all trades, master of one.’

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