Just In Time Talent

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
-Stephen King

Who is the most talented person you know?  

Think about it for a minute…do you have an answer? 

Maybe you thought of a friend or family member who was the valedictorian AND the all-American athlete.  Maybe you thought of someone you know who is the Top-Doc in your City or a 4-Star General. Maybe you thought of one of your kids?  

If you thought of someone who seems good at everything they touch, you are not alone. If your follow-up question was “talented at what?” you are on the right track.  

So often, we confuse the word “talent” with “natural ability”…that person was “born to succeed.” Don’t get me wrong, Michael Phelps was born to swim, and Tom Brady was born to win, BUT how did they get there?

Not to the top of their sport but to the environments that allowed them to maximize their talent? After all, would Michael Phelps have won 23 gold medals if it wasn’t for Bob Bowman? Would Tom Brady have won 7 Super Bowls if it weren’t for Bill Belichick?

The answer is…maybe.    

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about and researching talent. How do you identify the best talent? How do you recruit them? How do you capture the excitement that comes with joining a new organization and ensure that person is onboarded and integrated? How do we train and manage them?  How do we avoid micro-managing them? How do we give them enough rope to “fail forward” but not so much that they feel lost?  

Talent management and Strategic Human Resources are HARD WORK! And in the consulting world, where our people are our brand AND our product, it’s really hard. And in small business, where we might not show a clear path to “upward mobility” (because we are growing the upward mobility), it’s really, really hard.

This week, I was reminded by this WSJ article that finding talent and uncovering talent is leadership business.  As said by Brene Brown, she de­fines a “leader as any­one who takes re­spon­si­bil­ity for find­ing the po­ten­tial in peo­ple and in pro­cesses and has the courage to de­velop that po­ten­tial.” 

So…How are you finding talent? Developing talent? 

BJ Kraemer, President