Each of us has a talent. Few properly identify their talent. Fewer still correctly use that talent in their lives. Those that do can soar with the eagles.
From this idea, I learned that you cannot teach talent. As a manager I often believed that I could take anyone that was ambitious enough and make them into a great salesperson. I knew how to train them effectively, how to coach for success, how to build a team, so I was convinced I could make everyone around me acheive greatness. The truth, however, was that I could make better salespeople, but unless there was some underlying talent, I could not make them into great salespeople.
Coaches in most sports know that there are players on their teams that have more talent than others. Having the most talent on a team does not ensure greatness; this is why coaches continue to make all their players practice constantly. Talent without honing the required skills for success is merely wasted talent.
Skills are essential to learn, regardless of a person’s level of talent. As opposed to talent, skills can be taught. As a manager I learned that I had to focus on teaching skills, not talent.
The first step is to identify the talents that you need to make a successful team and go recruit them. Secondly, you must be involved in the hiring process; not being involved creates a handicap in your management potential. If this is not possible, your recruiter should understand what talent is needed to complete your team. Once you have gathered the talent you need, practice and drill the essential skills each team member needs to fulfill his potential.
Understand one thing, not all talented people have the desire necessary to acheive greatness. Sometimes it is necessary to cut a team member, even a talented one, if they are not executing the skills you have taught them. Remember, too, that most people don’t recognize their own talents, You must be the expert and provide the mirror for them to see their potential.
Never believe what someone tells you during an interview regarding their intrinsic talents. Devise your own style of identifying the characteristics of the talent you are seeking.
*Thanks to my new editor, Michelle Moravec, she is the Booklady!