Generalist vs Specialist which Path is for You? Argument for Generalist

Daily Quote : “Approximately 2,700 years ago, the Greek poet Archilochus wrote that “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Isaiah Berlin’s 1953 essay “The Fox and the Hedgehog” contrasts hedgehogs that “relate everything to a single, central vision” with foxes who “pursue many ends connected…if at all, only in some de facto way.” It’s really a story of specialists vs. generalists. Don’t miss this important article on career changes and what corporations are looking for when hiring.

Two Different Paths for Success and Personal Fulfillment in Life: Expert or Generalist–Your Choice.

Let me share two different strategies for personal success: you can either choose to specialize and become an expert in your field by creating one central vision by aiming to be the best in the world at doing one very specific thing (expert) for example specializing in only knee replacements and reconstruction, or you can try to become very good in as many different areas as possible (generalist) for example, by being an internist or primary care physician, which you then can use in combination to become a medical researcher or a professor in Primary Care. Now days, the Generalist strategy is gaining more desirable and popularity from the individual preference “point of view” and corporate recruiters because in a rapidly changing world it provides many more options and career paths (portfolio approach to skill acquisition). You are required to gather many experiences in different fields thus eliminating the potential disaster of choosing to be an expert in a field where you are bored or dislike the daily work or the people you work with. In being a generalist you have the ability to combine related areas of experience, you increase your versatility and flexibility to apply your large skill set in many different fields, making your particular combination of skills more uniquely valuable. The biggest issue for you is in making a choice of where you want to land and then very aware when opportunities present themselves.

If you’re interested in improving the quality of your life and work as a Generalist research shows us a few of the core areas of skill you need to focus on for personal and career development. Take a moment to imagine what skills and areas of skill development you would need to enhance to become a sought after generalist. Once you have your list of the things you want to improve rate yourself 0n a 1-(low ) to 10(high) so you have a base line to measure against as you work to improve. Then send me your email at and get your FREE report highlighting what behavioral research says you need to develop to become a Generalist-Leader 



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