Notes

Multipotentialites: “Why some of us don’t have one true calling”

Notes on Emilie Wapnick, “Why some of us don’t have one true calling”
TEDx Bend, April 2015
In TEDTalks Business Podcast

There’s nothing wrong with pursuing varied disciplines and passions. One focus (specialization) may not be all that we can be. There may be more than one great thing to do.

“Multipotentialite” — someone with many interests and creative pursuits, a.k.a. polymath, renaissance man, scanner.

There are strengths to being this way…

  1. Idea synthesis — combining fields and creating something new at the intersection; innovation happens at the intersection
  2. Rapid learning — observing everything, trying new things, transferring skills across disciplines
  3. Adaptability — morphing into whatever is needed in a given situation

Some of the best teams have a specialist and generalist paired together, for both depth and breadth of knowledge and skills.


[Emilie had a few more multipotentialite “superpowers” listed on her website, puttylike.com: contextual thinking, translating between modes of thought, wearing many hats, concoction.]