Josh Linkner

Josh Linkner - who started his career as a jazz guitarist - personifies creativity, entrepreneurship and disruptive innovation. He has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold...

Well-Rounded is Over-Rated

"And the award goes to the most well-rounded person!" Said no one, ever.

Achieving modestly in many areas may be what our middle school principal suggested, but it's no way to become a history-maker. We're led to believe we should be 'pretty good' at a lot of different things, but the truth is that the champions in all life's pursuits embrace an opposite, counter-intuitive approach. They focus all their energy on just one thing, sacrificing most other areas of life to become world-class at a single, important, memorable quest.

This last week, we celebrated the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul, Detroit's own Aretha Franklin. She was adored by millions and left her mark on the world, not because she was decent at fifteen things. Instead, she poured her entire being into her music. Franklin honed her craft over the decades, sharing her unmistakable voice and artistry to elevate us all. Would the impact have been as great if she spend only 15% of her focus on music, spreading her energies into various other hobbies and subjects?

In our busy lives, filled with information-overload and endless possibilities, the hardest thing to do is say NO to so many tempting paths in order to stay manically focused on just one. Discovering our calling, and then pursuing it with street fighter determination and tenacity, is the surest path to victory.

Balance is overrated. Well-rounded is another phrase for human energy that's been diffused. Instead, become the Serena Williams, Pablo Picasso, or Ernest Hemingway of your own profession. Follow their lead at becoming the giant in their respective crafts, rather than being the master of none.

The cliche of "not putting all your eggs in one basket" is frankly for the birds. Instead, take absolutely every egg - and your friends' eggs, neighbors' eggs, and every other egg you can get your hands on - and stuff your one basket full. Singular focus - not well roundedness - is the mark of a champion.

The post Well-Rounded is Over-Rated appeared first on Josh Linkner.

The Tyranny of Good Enough
Posted December 16th 2018
Your chicken salad sandwich wasn't bad, really. It was 'good enough.' The service wasn't speedy, but also wasn't horribly slow....

The Power of Surprise and Delight
Posted December 2nd 2018
Following the polite knock on my hotel room door, I was stunned. "Just a little something to welcome you to our hotel," said t...

Heads Down vs. Heads Up
Posted November 25th 2018
We've all heard people in the business world proclaim that they are "heads down" on a project. Or that they are unable to explo...

Setbacks: Game Over or Game On?
Posted November 18th 2018
What do Oprah Winfrey, Mick Jagger, and Jeff Bezos have in common? They are all incredibly successful, true, but they also have...

A Simple Approach to Boost the Appeal...
Posted November 11th 2018
If you have a burning headache, you'll do whatever it takes to subdue it. If it's 3:00 am on a cold, snowy night and you are ou...

What's Your Firebird?
Posted November 4th 2018
In 1953, a team of the most creative designers and engineers at General Motors set out to make history. Their task: invent the ...

Metrics That That Matter
Posted October 22nd 2018
With our national focus on productivity and financial gain, we carefully measure Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other metrics...

We've Been Banksy'd
Posted October 14th 2018
The demure art world felt shockwaves over the last week as the dramatic news broke. The mysterious street artist known as Banks...

What Business Can Learn From Our...
Posted October 7th 2018
If there's a silver lining in today's polarizing political landscape, it's the increase in activism that is sweeping our countr...

The Honey Badger Mindset of...
Posted September 16th 2018
The Honey Badger - a hideously ugly, mean, and tough wolverine-like animal - gained fame and notoriety back in 2011 with a vira...