Making the case for a mindful approach to career and life development.
Any guide to a successful life or career must take liberties in how success is defined. In this book on finding your own way forward, Lovegrove, the U.S. managing partner at the Brunswick Group, takes a more philosophical approach. This isn't to say that the author doesn’t consider the how, when, and where, but he makes the case that the reasons why will go a lot further toward building a satisfying career and life. Lovegrove's thinking with his mosaic principle is that the idea of a “jack of all trades, master of none" is unnecessarily constricting, that creating a wide-ranging, diverse life is not only healthier in the present, but will also open up more choices as time goes on. The author addresses the trend of specialization in many of its forms, from high school students being steered away from a liberal arts education to the medical profession, in which it’s commonplace to require different surgeons for nearly every individual part of the body. Lovegrove argues that taking a T-shaped approach—having an area of deep knowledge that serves as a base, of sorts, from which you expand outward into different subjects—prepares you for a broader range of challenges while avoiding the master-of-none scenario. The author lays out six skill areas he feels are crucial: a developed moral compass, a prepared mind, an intellectual thread, an integrated network, contextual intelligence, and transferable skill sets. Lovegrove compellingly draws on examples from his own careers to illustrate the benefits and pitfalls of each skill area, and he bolsters his narrative with anecdotes about other successful people in a variety of disciplines.
Lovegrove balances his book neatly between the nuts-and-bolts approach to being successful and the more philosophical sense of understanding yourself first before seeking to change the world for others.