When I was younger, I was given a toy toolkit. It looked like a real toolkit but it did not function like one.
I was recently reminded of this while listening to Donald Miller's podcast "Building a Story Brand" (no pun intended). The host asked if guest Daymond John believes you should staff your liabilities. The FUBU creator/Shark Tank entrepreneur did not, and instead felt you should staff your assets.
John would rather hire someone to take over an area of his personal strength "... so that I can peak in the other areas that I don't know. I don't want to be taken advantage of... I can't be the sucker at the table."
The way I interpret that is, when building out your toolkit, it is not about having all the tools but about having the right ones for the right reasons. You cannot use a hammer on every project; no matter how great, it only serves a narrow purpose. However, if you only choose projects which utilize its specialization, that high-quality tool makes work much more effective and smooth. You leverage your strengths and accomplish more in an area that matters most to you.
Most tool kits come with the obvious: hammer, wrench, screwdriver, pliers. But they miss one vital tool — the generalist. Cue the Swiss Army knife.
The Swiss Aemy knife is not pretending to be all-encompassing nor the best at every function — but it does offer an imprecise skill set for infinite use. It comes in handy for everyday tasks as well as when you are in a bind. Each of the aforementioned tools has a purpose; and the Swiss Army knife's is its versatility.
It makes me wonder... why are we so often told to be a hammer, wrench, screwdriver or pliers but rarely the Swiss Army knife?