Hide not your talents. They for use
were made. What's a sundial in the shade? - Benjamin Franklin
Alleged 'impossibilities' are
opportunities for our capacities to be stretched.
- Chuck Swindoll
Talent in the
In this time of economic challenges,
one would assume that
the future would not be too bright for a
47-year-old unemployed church worker, living alone with her cat
in a small village of 5000 in Scotland.
By now, many around
the world know the name 'Susan Boyle'.
When Susan strolled onto the stage of "Britain's Got Talent"
ready to sing, people in the live audience didn't expect much.
Her physical appearance was described as "frumpy" and
"outdated". As she started to sing, however, the camera showed
the shock and surprise of the judges and audience members.
In the end, she received a standing ovation.
to view the video of Susan's performance
Likewise, in our workplaces, we all have
colleagues who we see as
"ordinary" people. It is the skilled
coach-leader, however, who can not only
get to know the members of his/ her team
in a way that uncovers their hidden yet
"extraordinary" talents, but learns what
motivates them to deploy those talents.
See yourself as a 'Talent Conductor'.
If you are in management, make a
list of direct reports and others with
whom you work most. What job
talents does each possess, that you are
aware of and would like to encourage/
Next, with strategic coaching questions,
try to uncover their motivators
and 'hidden talents'. For example, you
might ask, "What part of your work week
do you enjoy the most, and why?" or
"What areas of your current job are you
the most passionate about?"
If possible, strategize on how they can
spend more time in their "talent zones"
that can increase productivity and ROI
(i.e. some sales reps are talented in
face-to-face persuasion, but not with
Note: If you are in
management, there may be times when a
person's greatest talents and passions
are not aligned with the talent required
for the job, and you may have to summon
the courage to help them be successful
Jack Welch (former CEO of GE) has long
been a proponent of letting people go to
succeed elsewhere if their talents are
not aligned with the needs of the
Susan Boyle's case, the motivation that
empowered her with the courage to step
on to the stage and sing in front of
that huge audience was not fame.
Instead, Susan was motivated by a desire
to pay tribute to her late mother, whom
she had cared for during her final years
In the spirit of growth,
P.S. If you'd like to learn more about
how to identify and align human capital
for better job/talent fit, see our
Chuck Reynolds is a Principal and
Chief Performance Officer with
Group Development, a Performance Solutions firm that assists
organizations in enhancing management and team effectiveness. He can be reached
indirectly by emailing our
admin group. Insert 'ATTN Chuck' in the subject area. Visit them at www.ExcelGroupWorks.com
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