How the Entrepreneur Becomes a Generalist

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Expert authors are specialists by definition. You are an expert when you know very much (a deep knowledge) of a limited area (of expertise). Generalists, and managers belong more to this “category" than to the other, they know more about a broader area but their knowledge resides just under the surface.

One of the competences of a manager is that he or she should be able to delegate and control what is delegated. You can choose to do that in different ways.

You could focus on the result and the process. You need to define this result and the process is merely set to control the timelines; “I want this before 5 PM. " Now the question is, what is the result. This is more an issue if you are managing beyond expertise. So you could be able to manage the construction of a building (If you have the construction expertise) but when you switch jobs and you are contracted to manage a team of scientist how would you manage? How would you know the result, the ingredients? The professionals around you know that you cannot follow them and they will give you a hard time.

Before, in hospitals the management process was done by the specialist. Only recently, management teams assisted by a medical director haven taken over.

The other way is that you manage on content. This is what the entrepreneur is doing. You must have a vision and the competences to communicate this to your team. The more the team will grow, the more difficult to manage the content.

A entrepreneur is more a specialist during the start-up and must give this up once the business is growing. He or she will turn more into a generalist, similar to the manager.

© 2005 Hans Bool

Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days. You can apply for a free demo account


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