One Trick Pony

One Trick Pony

“We live in an age of specialization.”

  • One Trick Pony suffers from
  • Getting mired in the details & not seeing big picture
  • Not seeking out broadening assignments
  • Not understanding the activities that drive firm value
  • Getting overwhelmed by business complexity
  • Having a skill or knowledge gap in a key area of the business

Mind the (Skill) Gap

These folks are good at doing good job at what they’re good at. The problem is they become so reliant on what they’re good at—a signature skill— that, over time, unbeknownst to them, they become one dimensional and non-promotable. While Version 1.0s resist change, One Trick Ponies don’t realize they need to change—that they’ve over-specialized and have become pigeon-holed into doing one thing for their firm. Their upward mobility stops because they’ve done the same thing over and over and haven’t had a diverse set of work experiences that provide them with a broad strategic perspective. They don’t understand how other departments function and don’t grasp the activities that drive value for their company’s business. They thought their belief that “we live in an age of specialization” led them to take the right approach, but came to realize that their careers are now limited because of their narrowness.

Why do talented people experience career derailment?

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