Manufacturing guy-at-large.

Why it's troubling

Added on by Spencer Wright.

After posting (and tweeting) about The Presenter's Paradox yesterday, I spent a little time thinking about why I find it troubling. 

As a generalist, I accept that there are pieces of my skillset which will fall through the cracks. Not everything I do needs to add up to anything in particular, and I don't expect everyone I meet to appreciate each of my interests.

And yet I strongly believe that what others might think of as extracurricular activities are actually integral parts of what I offer. I feel that the breadth of my experience has a multiplying effect on the value of each component part. I have chosen not to specialize, and I consider my offering to be stronger as a result.

And so the Presenter's Paradox leaves me in an awkward position. If my value is estimated as an average of my levels of expertise, will I only ever be seen as an amateur? Or is it possible to present my breadth as an extraordinary skill in itself? What are the characteristics of the businesses best suited for generalists? Is giving in to self-direction (i.e. entrepreneurship, I suppose) the healthiest path?

I don't think these questions are intractable. But they are big. And they don't feel un-troubling to me.