Multipotentialites

11/19/2015 19:50

Faculty of the College of Business are more than educators – we’re active career counselors, too.

You’ve probably had good students express to you confusion at the prospect of making career choices, afraid they’ll never find their way in today’s world of work.

My response is to encourage those students to take heart, take stock of their strengths - and prepare for the possibility that they may even be amultipotentialite.  Formerly known as dilettantes, once misunderstood as “people lacking focus” or mere job-hoppers, the world is more welcoming of their brand of exploring than ever before.

Here’s a basic Wiki definition:

[Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions; they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.

This article from Psychology Today discusses the blessing and the curse of multipotentiality.

There is even a web home for them.

This paper addresses the challenges faced by gifted adults/students, who may become almost paralyzingly confused by the many prospects open to them.   Note how well many points correspond to the recent CELT workshop offered by COB faculty, on developing leaders in the classroom - not to mention the problems faced by multipotentialites everywhere.

Fortunately for such individuals, the so-called “rules of engagement” in business have shifted, thanks in large part to the pace of innovation. Smart employers understand that novel thinking doesn’t necessarily come from employees who are comfortably ensconced in positions for which they are well versed and prepared. On the contrary – creativity is more likely to come from those who are comfortable being in multiple places at once.  The multipotentialite, one who focuses on multiple domains and plenty of exploration, is often a source of innovation and organizational revitalization.

Few of us ended up where we imagined we’d be, taking divergent paths to where we are now. Maybe some of us are multipotentialites. And maybe we can help our students understand that being open to a lot of prospects may be their ticket to the successful lives they seek.

 

youtu.be/QJORi5VO1F8  = Watch a YouTube Presentation on Multipotentialites