Alternative MethodsConventional Methods


September 2

Talent Doesn't Blossom Overnight

Reading time 5 min.

When I was in the 3rd grade I was pulled out of my class and taken into a small room with two strangers waiting to ask me a bunch of questions. I didn't know why I was there. No one explained anything to me. They put me through a barrage of weird tests and then sent me home.

A few weeks to a month later upon her arrival from work, my Mom sat me down and told me what that process had been all about. "You're gifted, son - special. You are reading on a 10th grade level in the 3rd grade. You have made it into the gifted children's program and will be attending a special school for other gifted kids once a week."

Sure enough, the very next week, on a Wednesday, I was carted off from my elementary school to a middle school on the other side of town. We played chess and solved logic problems and read cool books and gave oral reports. I remember having two distinct emotions at this juncture of my life 1) increasing confidence in my mental capabilities versus other so-called gifted kids as I was holding my own in most areas and 2) a feeling of otherness back at my regular school with my friends and classmates. The more I progressed in the gifted program, the more I simultaneously didn't want any of my friends to perceive how much I was changing and growing. And I wondered why they weren't being given the same opportunity.

It didn't seem fair.

At the age of twenty-five, I started my first full-time corporate job after graduating with my MBA, and was given a very different assessment by my manager at the time. I was supposed to read a book called Now Discover Your Strengths and take a 45 minute questionnaire that was supposed to spit out my top 5 talents. As someone who had been intensely groomed around my talents since the age of 9, I didn't know what I would get out of this exercise. But as I read the book, the old feeling that I remembered having in the 3rd grade returned.

The author spoke about how our educational and corporate development system was broken. By focusing on developing weaknesses and espousing the theory that anyone can be anything they want if they work hard enough at it, society was doing a great disservice to children in their prime developmental years and demotivating young adults emerging into the workforce.

Only by discovering and honing one's dominant talents could a person maximize their true potential - to be as productive as possible and happier every day.

So I took the assessment and learned about my top five talent themes and dug into understanding these themes better and found them to be true patterns of behavior and thinking for me. And I dedicated myself to improving myself in these talent areas and being the best version of myself I could be. But more than that, I committed to sharing this philosophy with everyone I knew.

I had always believed that everyone was unique, special, and talented. And if given the opportunity, anyone could achieve their maximum potential.

So I passed it on to friends and family members and as my career grew I passed it on to the teams I managed. All the while, I continued investing in myself and my development - reading books, taking courses, and capturing experiences that pushed and stretched me out of my comfort zone continuously.

Now, some thirty years after learning I was "gifted", I recently completed reading two books that led to my reflection on this topic. The first was Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke and the next was Boys Among Men: How the Prep-to-Pro Generation Redefined the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution by Jonathan Abrams. Radical Focus is about the results oriented process being employed by companies like Google and Oracle to drive breakout performance. Boys Among Men chronicles the story of a generation of young American basketball players like Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James who decided to jump from high school into the professional leagues and forgo college.

On the surface, it would appear that these two very different books have nothing to do with each other. But actually, I found that they have EVERYTHING to do with each other. Companies and sports teams alike want to hire top talent and then leverage that top talent to breakout results. But not every company and sports team wants to commit to the sometimes arduous process of cultivating potential. Unfortunately despite significant evidence to the contrary, leaders don't seem to understand that talent doesn't blossom overnight.

And it's not just the leader's fault. We as individuals rarely work as hard as we need to in the areas we have to in order to maximize our own potential.

Take me for instance. Even with the significant focus on my "specialness" imbued in me from a young age and the investment of time and money put into me from extra classes to unique development experiences - I arrived at my first corporate job largely unshaped, unmotivated, and disengaged by my early roles. It wasn't until I almost lost my job that I began to take my career more seriously and start investing in myself (with the help of the Strengthsfinder philosophy to guide me). It wasn't until I was put to the ultimate test that I knew whether I had the work-ethic and mindset to match my talents.

Superstar athletes like Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant had the talent, will, and most importantly work-ethic from an extremely young age and were bound to succeed regardless of the circumstances they were put in. Other super-talented high schoolers detailed in the book lacked some of these important attributes beyond talent alone that contribute to success AND found themselves in inhospitable environments when they arrived in the NBA. They, like me, were told how special they were from a very early age, cultivated, and groomed for the big leagues but wilted under the pressure for a variety of reasons.

This is where the philosophy of Radical Focus comes into play.

Nothing special can be achieved without discipline.

You've got to put in the work, hour after hour, day after day, until the desired results are achieved. The book talks about breaking down large goals into a series of OKRs or Objectives with linked Key Results. Each quarter an individual or team should set a very few master objectives and then detail the key results or indicators that the objectives are met. These key results are then broken down further into the required actions necessary to achieve them, prioritized, and tracked on a week to week basis until the quarter close; after which a full review of all the actions, KR's, and Objectives accomplished is conducted. This process never ends.

Just as talent requires knowledge, skills, and application to develop into strength; objectives require planning, prioritization, and purposeful action to be fully realized. As leaders it is our simultaneous job to cultivate talent into strength and leverage this collective strength to achieve our organizational ambitions. We must not underestimate the amount of time and investment it will take to develop our people or the amount of focus and discipline required to achieve our objectives. It starts with asking and answering these questions: How invested are you in your own development and how disciplined are you in achieving your own objectives?

If the answers are not what you expect then how can you possibly hope to convince others to commit to their development and objective achievement?

#leadership #leadershiplessons #talent #talenttostrength #potential #executionalexcellence #discipline #productivity

Comments

Leave your questions here

To write a comment you must
or
Services
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter
Sort
 
All categories
Oracle Cards Reading
$22 USD
Clarity Session

Hello from Eclectic Healing & Wellness. Thank you for this oppitunity to connect with you. This private clarity sessoon we will take a deep dive to discov…

Tyisha Morris
United States of America flag icon
Spiritual Healing
$270 USD
One-On-One Healing Session

I connect with your higher self/soul to channel the messages, blockages, guidance you need to hear for all life issues. From chronic pain, anxiety, depression,…

Dawn Cady
Australia flag icon
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Your Missing Manual for Health & Life!

Are you constantly reading books, blogs and listening to podcasts trying to figure out what to do to be healthy?

With so much conflicting information out ther…

Pamela Malo
United States of America flag icon
Positive Psychology
$10 USD
Initial Video Consult

Explore the fit and hear how I would address your therapeutic goal

Alex Guthrie, LMFT
United States of America flag icon
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
HEALING / Life- Coaching Session

When you aren’t sure which way to turn or who to turn to for help in making decisions, I will help you come home to yourself and forge a plan to manifest your …

Dr. Michele S. Zirkle
United States of America flag icon
Life Coaching
$50 USD
Transformative Coaching Session

You will receive a private 1:1 transformative coaching session, focused on the area(s) in your life which you are most looking to improve, expand, and/or trans…

Tyisha Morris
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Tarot Reading - Checking in with the universe

“What does the universe want me to know?” is a common question. During uncertain times, it may be difficult to identify a single topic to focus upon. During th…

Jessica Karels
United States of America flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$120 USD
Spiritual Life Coach Session-Personalized Session

Personalized Sessions

Because Everyone Is Unique

Sessions are based on the area of focus requested by the client.

Each session is a LIVE Session Goals will…

Deborah Lucero
United States of America flag icon
Chakra Balancing
$60 USD
Soul To Soul Reading Session

Energetic Reading

Complete Chakra System Reading to identify energy blocks. Techniques are provided to restore balance.

What Is An Energetic Reading?

Debo…

Deborah Lucero
United States of America flag icon
Channeling
$50 USD
Healing guidance session

You prepare your questions and I channel the root cause of the issue, as easy as that!

Every session looks different. We dive deep into the root and heal it f…

Nanna
5
Sweden flag icon
Spiritual Healing
$20 USD
Compassionate energy healing

For those times when we feel we need the energetic space to let our whole being restore itself. The healing is meant to give you a sense of safety and feel lik…

Nanna
Sweden flag icon
Distance Healing
$10 USD
Reiki and Energy Healing (Distant)

Reiki and energy healing is done by distance while a client is resting and the practitioner sends healing energy to the client. Clients have found that the en…

Beverly Lynn
Canada flag icon
Spiritual Healing
$80 USD
Soul Healing and Spiritual Advice

If you need a change in your life, if you are stuck and really want to move forward, if you see unwanted repeated patterns of life events or people’s behaviour…

Yavenirie - Spiritual Witchery Practice and…
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
Initial consultation for Spiritual Advice or Soul Healing Journey

You can book an initial spiritual consultation with me to touch base on your struggles and ways we can work together. The session will be online for around 15 …

Yavenirie - Spiritual Witchery Practice and…
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Shamanic Healing
$10 USD
Light the Path to Your Desired Life

If you want find what is that in life that makes you happy and fulfilled you need to heal all levels of your existence- Body, Mind, and Spirit. We are all ener…

Change Naturopathy
New Zealand flag icon
Emotional Freedom Technique
$10 USD
The Power Of Emotional Healing - EFT Program

“The Power of Emotional Healing” is energy psychology education in the Emotional Freedom Technique with the perfect balance of information, instructions, video…

Dawn Cady
Australia flag icon
Art Therapy
$50 USD
Artist Teacher Workshop Or Tutoring

“Life Force” guiding our history, our body and spirits. Self portrait art, life drawing from the live model, gesture, and plein air painting. And extended cont…

Bryan Prillwitz
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$100 USD
Timeline Reading

EGYPTIAN TAROT READINGS using unique methods developed by Nelise Carbonare, a Brazilian healer with more than 40 years of experience in tarot consultations, as…

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$120 USD
THE SYNERGY OF THE PYRAMID

THE SYNERGY OF THE PYRAMID focuses on a specific relationship: One side for the consultant and one for their partner. (the partner does not need to be present …

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Pick one card

Many questions can be answer with just one Arcane.

Do you want to try?

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$50 USD
Spiritual Coaching - Removing Energy Blocks - Expansion

> “Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside awakens.” Jung

Spiritual coaching is about moving you into a profound state of empowerment and involution m…

Kimla Rose (Kim Desrosiers)
United States of America flag icon
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Life Purpose and Soul Wisdom

What is your deeper truth, your deeper knowing, your MOJO, your deepest desires, those feelings that you can’t explain but that are so pure and so clear…or may…

Anna Beale
United States of America flag icon
Nutritional Therapy
$150 USD
Nutritional Therapy Consultation

Hi my name is Aria and I am the founder of Heal with Nutrition. I am a registered Nutritional Therapist and a Naturopath who has a passion on Nutrition and Hea…

Aria Alexandrou
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
THOTH AND HERMETIC DECKS READING

With a deep knowledge of hermeticism and being introduced to the kabbalah tradition of the emanation process from the tree of life, I provide a deep insight co…

James Marchiori
Ireland flag icon

Related Articles