I’m considering myself a generalist. As a product leader, you have to wear many hats and deal with constantly changing challenges. What you have mastered today might not help you tomorrow. You have to learn new things on a daily basis to be able to keep up with the industry, trends and ever-changing requirements. To be able to do that you need to feel comfortable with not knowing every little detail and not having the time to become very specialized in one specific area. This book gives you great insights into why being a generalist is important in today's world and what you can do to become one.
‘Modern work demands knowledge transfer: the ability to apply knowledge to new situations and different domains. Our most fundamental thought processes have changed to accommodate increasing complexity and the need to derive new patterns rather than rely only on familiar ones. Our conceptual classification schemes provide a scaffolding for connecting knowledge, making it accessible and flexible.’
Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
by David Epstein
Product Management | Leadership | Startup
Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule. David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields — especially those that are complex and unpredictable — generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.
352 pages, Riverhead Books 2019
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