Have you ever walked away from an interaction with someone thinking “I bet they would be great at (fill in the blank)!”? Did you walk away with mixed emotions between being impressed and thinking “If they were only given a shot, perhaps they would really make something out of themselves.” Instead, this said “hidden talent” remains in
a job that less than capitalizes on their natural talents. It’s really a shame.
So, what’s the solution? How can we actually open doors for people in such a way that they are able to utilize their natural talents/strengths as opposed to wasting away in careers that miss the mark. Is there a solution?
Before writing this, I tried to think about some of the objections:
- It takes more than talent to succeed.
- Perhaps they are good at something, but maybe they don’t want to do it.
- They don’t have the formal education to perform the role that coincides with their talent.
To these and the fifty other objections that can surely be created, I agree. Talent is not the have-all-end-all of success – that’s true, but, it doesn’t hurt… and, if someone is going to reach their fullest potential, it would more than likely be a requisite.
While the person may not want to do the job that coincides with their talent, it’s also very possible that they lack awareness. I find it hard to imagine that someone who aligns their talents with their job would be unhappy performing the role.
As for the education, that’s a matter of benchmarks set by an old system. More than likely, the people previously evaluated for the role were trained to have the skills necessary to perform the role. In that case, formal education would be extremely helpful – probably an absolute necessity!
I’m referring to the natural talents… the people who don’t require four to six years of education in order to do well performing a function. It’s just who they are!
Unleash The Monster
I consider my career thus far and a few things are blatantly apparent.
- I always performed better in roles that were more closely aligned with my natural talents.
- When pushed into directions that didn’t take advantage of these natural abilities, I would grow unhappy and perform at lower-than-optimal levels.
- The people I’ve managed along the way have always done better when aligned with tasks that took the most advantage of their natural abilities.
- My most successful recruiting engagements were always due to placing a person who had the natural talents for the role… experience has played a much lesser role.
The recruiting industry and hiring norms of Corporate America will not change overnight. However, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be pushing to shift our hiring cultures – a shift from experience and longevity to that of talent.
So, think back to your work heroes.
Who were they and why were they successful? Discipline, responsibility… or, is it possible that they were great at what they did because of how well their talents aligned with their chosen paths.
Are you taking advantage of your talents? Are you helping others to do the same?
Photo Credit, Bex.Walton