The uniquely identifiable Black Sabbath’s “I am Iron Man” riff plays in the background as I restart my blog posts after almost 4 years.
I recently read an article by Rahul @matthan in the Mint that really piqued my interest. He wrote about the need for “Polymaths” in today’s world. Intrigued by his argument I googled for ‘Polymath’ and came up with “a person of wide knowledge or learning”.
I went deeper down the rabbit hole and came up with blogs, HBR articles, Books and even a PHD thesis on the context of Polymath in business. Took 2 days to go through them all.
Each one of them takes the argument of having a ‘Generalist’ approach against a ‘Specialist’ one in today’s economy/business/world. I actually loved the mathematics of Pareto applied by @runvc to argue for Polymaths in a converged world! The HBR article talks about “Polymathism is largely untapped force in business practice, but it’s also the future of problem-solving.” A wired article I quote, “More generally, the world of business and entrepreneurship actively encourages those who see connections between disciplines. One who can recognize a relationship between two disparate fields of ideas will more likely come up with the next new thing.”
You won’t probably understand this, but it came as a relief to be able to identify myself as a Polymath. No, don’t get me wrong. It is not an ego trip to say I’m great. @matthan’s article forced me to think deeply about the course of my own career.
I’ve never been able to slot myself into any functional role. I actually enjoy each and every one of them. A technologist at heart, I’m fascinated by how products get dreamt about , scoped, built, priced, marketed, sold, accounted, supported and improved. Over my 20 year career(yep, that’s darn long), I’ve done Engineering roles, Marketing stints, Business Development, Pre-sales, Sales , Partnerships & Alliances, HR, Finance – heck , even Chief of Staff a couple of times. I’ve swam through corporate roles, ambiguous startup gigs, advisory to companies/leaders and career counseling.
You might ask WHY! Well, because I enjoy them all. The day I just have to do 1 role, I might as well give up and retire. The thrill and rush of solving problems across functions, being able to connect the dots – empathize with the trials-and-tribulations of each function is what gets me going. Whenever someone from the industry tries to slot me into a role I have palpitations! Maybe this Polymath thing is my human tendency to look for a source of belonging. Well, to err is human!
My wife keeps saying I have ADHD – but I think Polymath sounds better ! Lets see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
I Am Polymath….<and the Iron Man riff continues….>
Agreed , one must keep sharpening the saw and take up new challenges in life !!
Continuous evolution is what keeps monotony at bay ..
So can one say you are polymathematically great!
LikeLiked by 1 person