Deep Generalist

I am a Deep Generalist

By the time you’ve finished reading this page, my ongoing articles and case studies, you’re going to want to be one too!

  • Explore Your Passions
  • Outpace AI
  • Build Width AND Depth of Capability
  • Live Your Rich, Authentic Life
Deep Generalist Jacob Aldridge Introduction Video

My early career was HARD! (Sound Familiar?)

This was the early 2000s, still part of the old world.  Left over beliefs from the previous century that success was only possible through specialisation, and a world where everyone was expected to conform to a neat and specific career path.

Trying to fit into that box twisted me in knots and left me exhausted. It also sent me to edge of bankruptcy.

I was:

  • a Trained Journalist, having graduated at the top of my class
  • a Novelist, with a published book on historic architecture
  • an Office Manager, with experience across IT, marketing, and training
  • Knowledgeable on a range of industries from Real Estate through the various Venture Capital companies I’d promoted in a marketing role, and
  • a TV Show Host, albeit of a program I hope will never again see the light of day.

Who would hire someone with so weird a mix of skills?

In my early 20s, under mortgage stress and having moved to a city I hated just to make ends meet, I began to fear reality: maybe I wasn’t fit for this world.

And then ... something changed

I must have applied for 100 jobs in an attempt to kickstart my life again. Accepting a paycut, I threw my hat in the ring for a job back in Brisbane – and discovered a firm with a complementary problem to mine.

They needed an Operations Manager. It was a broad role – you had to be able to talk to people, troubleshoot IT, reconcile Trust Accounts, run training workshops … and they were a real estate franchisor so industry experience was essential.

They couldn’t find anyone with that particular set of skills.

I couldn’t have found a better leg up.

Versatility is Valuable

What I learned in that role, which became a stepping stone to running my own business and becoming the international business advisor I am today, is that none of the people you work with are one dimensional. All of your clients, especially if you service business owners, are a rich, emotional tapestry of their own lives.

If you can only engage them with one specific skill, you are of limited value.

True value lies in having a variety of skills, rather than one deep area of specialised expertise. It took that role, and then the step into my own business, for me to learn that lesson. And it became most apparent to me several years later when I made the deliberate choice to run headlong into a Recession – but that’s a story for another day.

The Polymath has Teeth

Today I am in demand as a coach, advisor, and speaker – not because I have one area of expertise, but because I have so many.

The Renaissance Person, the Polymath, wasn’t “T-Shaped” – with a smattering of different skills and one, deep specialty. Not at all! These people who changed the world – they had TEETH, they had both Width and Depth.

This is the Deep Generalist. Someone who may not have one single area of expertise that stands out, that makes them a world beater. They have depth all over the place: in multiple disciplines; in range and capabilities and expertise.

And they can bring that range to multiple different problems, often with a unique insight that creates a breakthrough the experts simply could not see. By exploring the full breadth of their interests, the Deep Generalist lives a richer, more authentic life … and is far more valuable to those around them.

Are you ready to be a Deep Generalist?

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Jacob Aldridge Deep Generalist
The Deep Generalist skills chart
Interviewing Deep Generalist Keynote Speaker Jacob Aldridge
"The Future is not in Specialising.

"The Future lies in Generalising - and doing it Deeply."

- Jacob Aldridge

Want to be a specialist on a fragile perch? Or a deep generalist putting down strong roots?

I’m building an international community of exceptional people. The 21st Century Polymaths, today’s Renaissance Humans. All the world’s information is at your fingertips. Every aspect of what makes you unique is ready to explore. Sink your teeth into it.