Chapter 11 Career View: Disrupt Yourself

Chance favors the prepared mind.

—Louis Pasteur, inventor

You have now completed the hard work of building the disruptor’s playbook, which will position your company for Goliath’s Revenge. Enough about the company. Let’s talk about you and your career: specifically, how you can prioritize the roles you should pursue, the skills you should develop, and the plan you should execute to maximize your professional impact in this confusing time of digital disruption.

Roles change, people adjust. A century ago, farmers felt great about their chosen career, with one out of every three people working in agriculture. Today it is just one in a hundred. However, entirely new roles, such as automation engineer, agronomist, and biotech researcher, have been created that make that 1% still farming more and more productive.

Farming today looks nothing like it did a century ago. We feed many more people with a comparatively tiny workforce. Genetically modified seeds, robotic farming equipment, and AI-based crop planning have become the norm. Farmers sit in front of sophisticated computer interfaces to remotely control tractors based on sensor data and drone video. Algorithms decide where to plant what seed, and when to harvest the bounty in a way that maximizes yield and keeps the soil fertile.

This same story is playing out in every industry, with existing career paths being reshaped and new roles emerging. As philosopher Eric Hoffer said, “In times ...

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