On our last trip to Zurich, Switzerland, my son wanted my husband and me to bring him back an authentic Swiss Army knife. Steve and I shopped until we found the ultimate knife and brought it home to Mark.
It was well made, had solid craftsmanship, and was true to its core selling point: it was a knife! But it was not just a knife - it was anything from a cork screw to a fingernail file. If you ever owned or examined one of these knives, you may have marveled at its versatility as I did. When I held the knife in my hand and personally opened each implement, I realized the knife was scary!
Thomas Friedman, author of the popular book, The World is Flat, says that 21st Century employees need to be as versatile as a Swiss Army knife - the worldwide icon for function, durability, and ingenuity. Freidman recommends that individuals be well founded in their core identity and well rounded in their ability to respond to many different types of job requirements.
From my experience, individuals tend to be a jack-of-all-trades and master of none or an absolute powerhouse with tunnel vision. Which one rings true to your personality?
The mantra for the past several years has been 'do more with less' so it should come as no surprise that the global marketplace demands us to be true to our core characteristics as the powerhouse of performance yet destroy tunnel vision and master more skills - or resemble a Swiss Army knife.
In a Swiss Army knife, the tunnel vision or core tools are a large blade and a small blade. Then you start with options and can chose paraphernalia from can openers and tweezers to toothpicks and a Phillips screwdriver. Don't forget the pliers with a wire cutter and wire crimper.
Think about your core strengths. Are they in sales and marketing, technology, business management, human resources, research and design, etc.?
Now from the wish list below, put a check by the characteristics that if developed, would make you more functional and add value to your resume. Even a jack-of-all-trades should find something on this list he/she could improve.
Start each sentence with "I am":