Some thoughts on Creating Expertise

Expertise is an interesting topic. One might visit my website and see that I frequently reference creating expertise, at the same time they find a variety of topics spoken about on this site. At one point, I was convinced if I wanted to become an expert I needed to focus on just one subject professionally. I have considered this for a long time and now feel differently about creating expertise.

Let’s look at Thomas Jefferson as a case study on expertise. Jefferson could be considered one of the most accomplished men in public life as well as the most versatile, jack of all trade if you will. The proverbial, “jack of all trades, master of none.” Yet Jefferson was considered an expert in many areas: architecture, civil engineering, geography, mathematics, ethnology, anthropology, mechanics, the sciences, and politics.

Thomas Edison makes another excellent case study on expertise. Edison developed a reputation as a skilled and creative inventor, having contributed innovations to printing telegraphs, facsimile telegraphs, automatic relays, stock tickers, and many other devices. In addition to being an innovator, his knowledge was deep in chemistry and business. His influence and innovative mind has influenced modern life for nearly a century after his death.

I hope that as people strive to become experts they will look at many aspects of their life and work to learn both broadly and deeply for in this they will find relationships and correlations with an opportunity for break throughs and profound knowledge.