“You presented a very interesting approach to Expertise in defining the Craftsman, the Scientist and the Artist types, however I cannot say I entirely agree with these strict constraints. I consider myself a highly qualified craftsman: with so many years of expertise in my domain I have clearly mastered all the critical tools and techniques. Does that mean I cannot be a Scientist discovering new approaches or an Artist who brings his soul into everything he does?”
Thank you so much for question! This is really a point that needs to be clarified, because it touches upon a very sensitive subject, equally important for us all – our status as professionals.
What’s important to understand here is that in the aforementioned approach I haven’t mentioned even once that any hierarchy of status exists between the Craftsman, the Scientist and the Artist types. For our world to keep spinning we desperately need all three types of expertise, especially the Craftsmen, as they are the Lore Keepers of the trade.
Our tendency to attribute a certain level of importance for each of the types is based solely on our Cultural misconceptions. More than often our decisions to get into a certain profession have nothing to do with our abilities, tendencies or talents we were born with, but rather with the perceived social value of this profession, imbued in us by the society we live in. We are programmed with a desire to belong to so-called “elite echelons” of the workforce, so we perceive every typology as innately hierarchical. What I was actually trying to say in my post is that this is a false lodestar to follow, because we’re much better served when following our real talents than some cultural stereotypes.
Each one of us has their own unique personality, which makes us better suited for some things than for others. In every field we employ ourselves we can either excel or not excel and we have greater chances to excel in something that we have some predisposition to.
My delineating the difference between three types of expertise was to help us understand ourselves in a clearer way. Knowing your strengths, as well as your limitations, can only facilitate your endeavours, while a misleading belief that everyone could be and should be a Scientist or an Artist leads to wasted efforts in some cases, and to wasted lives in less forgiving circumstances.
Craftsman, Scientist and Artist types’ boundaries are guidelines to help us identify are potential and as a next step to consciously choose our own development plan, which can fit our needs perfectly, not letting us pursue a career that will leave us unhappy in the end. Whether you can or cannot change type of your expertise depends solely on your personal potential, which varies drastically from one person to another. For some people, moving linearly from Craftsman to Scientist and further to Artist is a natural way, while for others the best way is to stick with one type FOR GOOD. Many Craftsmen with their highly developed sense of detail will feel very uncomfortable in the world of chaos, which is a natural habitat of Artists. However, many Artists would feel helpless when required to provide a specified result following a rigid timetable. So it’s not about status – it’s about different mindsets, and they cannot be changed that easily.
This makes me think about the need to change the famous quote stating that: “You can be anything you set your mind to” into “You can be anything you can set your mind to”.