Versatilists’ Checklist of Competencies

In this fast-changing world, it is important to be versatilists. Unfortunately, it is far too easy to get off the versatilist track. So I guess we need some sort of checklist to help us on track.

I find something interesting regarding this in the book Personal Finance by Kapoor, Dlabay and Hughes. There is a list there under the heading “Career Training and Skill Development” which they say consist of “the competencies that successful people commonly posses”. I’m sure this list also serves us well to show the competencies a versatilist should have.

Here they are (in no particular order):

  1. An ability to work well with others in a variety of settings.
  2. A desire to do tasks better than they have to be done.
  3. An interest in reading a wide variety of materials.
  4. A willingness to cope with conflict and adapt to change.
  5. An awareness of accounting, finance, and marketing fundamentals.
  6. A knowledge of technology and computer software as well as basic Web site design and e-commerce skills.
  7. An ability to solve problems creatively in team settings.
  8. A knowledge of research techniques and library resources.
  9. Well-developed written and oral communication skills.
  10. An understanding of both their own motivations and the motivations of others.

Though this list doesn’t explicitly deals with anticipation and learning engine, its items are related to them. For example, “an interest in reading a wide variety of materials” is related to anticipation engine while “a knowledge of research techniques and library resources” is related to learning engine.

This list also shows that we need a variety of competencies to succeed. For instance, I may have strong background in technology (point 6), but I need to have knowledge of finance and marketing as well (point 5). I also need to read readings outside my current area of expertise. Going through this list can help us see which areas should be our priority for improvements.


  1. The idea of a versatilist is appealing BUT I personally don’t believe that it is the best approach. Maximizing of personal competence plus maximizing of communication should provide a way better solution. Create something of high quality to “trade” and then find the “market” for your “goods”, advertise them.

    Basic understanding of socionics should be a must for everybody.

    For example I’m an IEI, very bad at structure and impulse control so… from a financial point of view I’m a disaster BUT my dual (SLE) is very good at management of resources so…. a IEI-SLE team is way better than the sum of a IEI and a SLE.
    SLE might not be good at seeing opportunities (one of my strong points) but is master of implementation (one of my weak points). I should get better at implementation and I should learn to control my impulses BUT no matter how hard I try, I will never compensate for the absence of my dual.

  2. Peter, that is a very interesting idea. Frankly, I’ve never heard about socionics before, and I’d like to explore it more. Thanks for pointing me to it.

  3. Excellent list . Many of us would forget the importance of versatility. But with the post you made, they may be reminded of how important versatility can be to some points in our life.

  4. Thanks, Pamela. Yes, it is easy to forget the importance of versatility. I think it’s because we all have a kind of inertia; we tend to keep doing what we are doing and do not change. We need to keep reminding ourselves about it.

  5. […] Several weeks ago, I wrote a list of competencies that can help you become a versatilist. Here is one of them: […]

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