The Master Generalist: What It Is & Why It Matters

A different way to think about generalists.

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of generalists for years. You may know it by a number of different terms, from polymath and renaissance man to jack-of-all-trades and multi-hyphenate.

The word you use isn’t as important as the meaning, and the meaning is one that is able to do many different things. Not a specialist or an expert in one field, but someone who has a diversity of skills and abilities in which they excel.

The problem is that while I’ve fallen madly in love with the idea of the generalist, I’ve always been wary of it as well. Despite how wonderful being a generalist sounds and as much as the idea resonates with me, I’ve never been able to shake the importance of mastery as well.

I’ve read, seen, and experienced too much to think that being a generalist is enough. It is easy to let loose and follow your curiosity and jump from project to project, but where exactly does it get you? That’s the part that bothers me. I’m ambitious. I have big dreams. And while being a generalist describes me, it falls short in terms of my goals. Generalists alone don’t build great companies. They don’t disrupt industries. They don’t make the world a better place. You need something more.

This is why I was looking for something else. Something greater than the generalist, an evolution of sorts, which brought me to the Master Generalist.

The Master Generalist is the best of both worlds. It holds mastery at its core, rather than casting it aside. While still embracing diversity and curiosity, it provides more structure and stability. It provides the generalist a foundation from which greatness can be born. That’s the premise anyways.

My writing in the future will all be related to this idea in some way, shape, or form. I hope to better understand how such a construct can work and be of value not only today, but in the future.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, come along for the ride.