Yet, the pressures of modern society push us toward narrower focus and deeper specialization in our lives and careers. Our pursuit of specific expertise risks us becoming isolated from those different from us; our lack of shared experience fosters suspicion and conflict. Today we have business people and government officials who persistently distrust and demonize each other; a fortunate few with professional and financial security, increasingly isolated from those left behind; and community leaders who struggle to relate to and connect with the communities they serve. In every walk of life we have allowed ourselves to be pushed into self-defining cocoons from which it is difficult to break out.
Nick Lovegrove’s compelling vision provides the way out of this contemporary trap. There are vivid portraits of those who get it right, such as Paul Farmer, the physician whose broad and imaginative choices bring health and hope to the world’s poorest people. And there are cautionary tales of those who get it deeply wrong, such as Jeffrey Skilling, the CEO of Enron, who lacked the breadth of experience and perspective to see the forest from the trees, grasp the risks Enron was undertaking, and see how it could all go so wrong.
Riveting accounts such as these are combined with a pragmatic set of six skills for succeeding in an ever-changing, more complex, and diverse world. A developed moral compass, an inner sense of right and wrong enables you to move out of your comfort zone and take risks. Transferrable skills provide a broader bandwidth for new challenges, skills that you can extend to different organizations and walks of life. Contextual intelligence enables you to go “out on the balcony” to see the whole arena and gain a holistic perspective. A prepared mind, an intellectual thread, and an extended network round out this framework for a more remarkable and fulfilling life built upon the Mosaic Principle.
In a society in which even elementary kids are told to pick one sport, Nick Lovegrove’s conclusion that the best life path features wide-ranging experiences, even those we aren’t good at, should be a breath of fresh air
The Mosaic Principle underscores why critical issues like national security and economic advancement cannot be adequately addressed by people with one-dimensional skills and experience. We need many more people who can cross between different walks of life, sharing their expertise and perspectives – not just in fiction, but in real life. Nick Lovegrove’s book is a must-read that offers us a practical and compelling guide to meeting this challenge