Political campaign strategy firm
September 20, 2023

💪 The underrated power of generalists

Home / Power Moves / 💪 The underrated power of generalists

Political campaign strategy firm

Deion Sanders is a hot topic of conversation lately after his impressive start as head football coach at the University of Colorado Boulder. There are even reports of Texans staying up past 1 am to watch Colorado football!

One reason even non-sports fans are impressed with Prime is because he played on every side of the ball – offense, defense, and special teams. He also played two sports at the professional level, winning a Super Bowl and a World Series title. One day, Sanders played in a football game where he returned two kicks and one punt, caught a pass on offense, and played on the defensive team. As soon as the game ended, Sanders caught a plane to make it to a playoff game for the Atlanta Braves baseball team.

Now that he’s a football coach, Sanders is taking his skills in all areas and turning them into success for his team. He is a master generalist. And that doesn’t just make for great coaches, it’s important in business, too.

Why Being a Business Generalist is a Game Changer

Everyone’s hyping specialization these days, but there’s real magic in knowing a little bit of everything. Being a generalist, aka “jack of all trades” in business, is more of a superpower than you might think. Here are a few of the reasons:

  1. You can adapt and thrive – Business is never static; it’s a rollercoaster. Generalists adapt quicker. You’re not stuck in one lane—you see the big picture and can pivot easily. Netflix moved from DVD rentals to streaming, thanks to leadership that understood tech and entertainment.
  2. You know how to connect the dots – When you’ve got knowledge in multiple areas, you get creative. You find cool, cross-disciplinary solutions that a specialist might miss. Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, inventor, writer, and scientist whose varied interests allowed him to see connections others couldn’t, making him one of the greatest inventors in history.
  3. You make smarter choices – With a wider lens, you make balanced decisions. You won’t accidentally hurt one department while trying to boost another. Warren Buffett invests in a variety of sectors. His broad understanding lets him make investments that are balanced and less risky.
  4. You can spot risks quickly – Specialists see risks in their field; you see the entire minefield. That’s a big deal when it comes to avoiding business pitfalls. Richard Branson, with ventures in music, airlines, and telecoms, sees risks from multiple angles, helping him weather diverse market changes.
  5. You are networking wizards – Different skills mean different circles. You’ll have contacts in all sorts of sectors, which is gold for growth. Oprah Winfrey’s skill set ranges from acting to entrepreneurship. Her varied network has been crucial to her empire-building.

Being a generalist means you’re not just a one-trick pony. You adapt, you connect dots, and most importantly, you grow. Keep expanding your knowledge and experience, because versatility is your real MVP.