Surely you’ve heard or read that above phrase, right? Some could call a Jack of All Trades a dabbler, not a Master or an Expert who has totally focused on one specific topic area by dedicating all her time, effort and practice into acquiring more and more knowledge about this one subject.
But others could call a Jack of All Trades a “Master of Integration.” A master of integration would be a person who knows enough about many disciplines and skills to be able to bring them all together in a practical, cohesive, and useful way.
There are pros and cons to both Jacks and Masters. Jacks, can become overwhelmed and/or blocked with not having enough knowledge about too many things; masters can become stifled or blocked by their expertise when they’re not being open to new and different thoughts, perspectives and/or connected subjects in conjunction with their one area of expertise.
The key? Having a diffused learning mode/style; a more free floating brain state that allows inspiration and creative ideas to flow and make connections within the brain that feels seemingly mind-less. Rather than a focused learning mode/style whereby the brain state is totally concentrated and occupied by one task/subject. No doubt you’ve experienced both…one while hiking or listening to music and one while cramming every detail about an upcoming real estate negotiation into your head.
Real experts, experts like Steve Jobs, take the one skill in which they excel and use that area of expertise to make connections to and with other topics/subjects/themes. Jobs combined his fundamental skill in computer science with design. He was able to “outgrow” himself by adding his unique and original engineering expertise to unique and original design ideas. And then, Jobs was able to outgrow his competitors most, if not all, of the time with new, simple, friendly, uncluttered products
The effective learning process goes something like this…first, become expert in your field by focusing on the skills sets that are essential to you basic success. Second, outgrow your expertise by allowing yourself to learn new things that will stimulate your thinking about your chosen area of expertise. Third, become a true expert, a true master, by combining all these elements/things/thoughts together in some sort of creative, innovative, out-of-the-box solution.
And, all the while of this effective learning process, ask yourself how you can apply what you are learning to what you already know. Perhaps you’ll then come up with something as successful as an iPhone or a real estate app that will seamlessly, almost intuitively connect your real estate product, a new house, with a prospective buyer.