Boss Lady

Be a Jill of all trades vs.master of one


There’s a common misconception that to be a ‘Jill(or Jack) of all trades’ means to be mediocre – but in my own experience, that’s rarely the case. In fact, I would go as far as to argue that when it comes to business, managers with more diverse skill sets actually make for the most effective leaders.

When I first began my career in real estate, I was recruited straight out of high school. With little industry knowledge, I made it my mission to move around and learn as much as I could, and subsequently, I took on a variety of different roles. Initially, I started out as Receptionist before then moving on to work as a Property Manager, Account Coordinator, Sales Agent and Branch Manager before ultimately launching my own business and becoming a Biggin & Scott franchisee.

Now, in my role as Managing Director of a network of four offices, I’m extremely grateful for the experiences I’ve had, and I can’t tell you how important this wealth of knowledge has been in helping get me where I am today. I truly believe my broad range of skills and training provided the perfect platform for me to launch my own business, and I know that my diverse range of abilities continue to play an instrumental role in my success as a leader.

Here’s why I believe embracing all elements of your business rather than focusing on one specific area can make you a more effective leader in business.

You understand how the business functions

In order to run a business effectively, it’s imperative that you have a comprehensive understanding of how it operates. One of the most important advantages to being a Jack of all Trades as opposed to a Master of One is that you are far more likely to have a strong understanding of how the business functions behind the scenes.

For business owners who have only experienced one area of the industry, managing the different aspects of the business can present quite a challenge – particularly when it comes to things like employee relations and monitoring the financial aspects of the business.

You have sufficient industry knowledge

Another benefit to having a diverse set of skills is that you will be able to perform your own role while simultaneously being able to look at the business from all angles and ensure that it is running as intended.

For those with limited knowledge of other areas of the business, it can be extremely difficult to monitor staff performance and oversee their work. In this instance, business owners must rely heavily on their teams to do the right thing, as they themselves are unable to check themselves.

You are able to offer support to your staff

To be an effective leader, it’s important to be able to demonstrate to your staff that you are across all areas of the business and can provide assistance and mentorship when required. If you areunable to do this, you run the risk of your employees taking advantage of the situation.

For those with small to medium size enterprises, having a broad knowledge of several different areas can actually be even more important, as it will be your responsibility alone to offer support, guidance and troubleshooting to more junior members of staff.

You can keep up with the day to day operations

While you don’t necessarily need to be an expert on every area of the business, it’s important that you know enough to ensure you can keep up with the day to day operations of the business. While you can always hire people to manage the areas in which you lack confidence, you need to know enough to ensure that they are doing the job correctly, as well as what to do in the event that issues arise.

While the world of business may at times associate being a Jack of all Trades with negative connotations, it really does offer far more benefits than being a Master of One. When embraced and utilised correctly, your varied knowledge can have a valuable impact on your skills as a leader and can take you to places in your career you might never have imagined.

About Danelle Hunter

Danelle Hunter is the Managing Director of Biggin & Scott Knox with many years of experince within the real estate industry. An expert in her field, Danelle was recently awarded the REA Group’s 2017 AREA Customer Service Excellence Award for her highly acclaimed ability to grow her business by up to 46.3% while maintaining a 100% retention rate simultaneously – a truly impressive feat that has not been surpassed by many.

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