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What Does “The Talent of Individuals” Mean?

“Talent” is one of today’s business buzzwords. Business leaders often discuss their need for talent, the development of top talent or their lack of a talent pipeline.
But when I talk about talent at My Big Idea™, I am referring to the unique talents each of your individual employees possess.
What is Talent?
Talent is more than just having an aptitude for a skill. It is the realized value that an individual brings to an organization, both tangible and intangible. Often, it is not until a truly talented individual takes over a position that management realizes the difference talent can make.
How will you recognize a talented individual?
They have long-term goals. Talented individuals are excited about opportunities and have a plan to reach their goals.
They’re resourceful. Thinking (and acting) on the spot are a sign of talent. They are ready to react at a moment’s notice and are prepared for anything.
They get results. Talent brings success. Employees who consistently produces excellent results are driven by a need to succeed and will work to ensure they accomplish their goals.
They bring passion. Passion is an intrinsic value that can’t be quantified but is a key indicator of talent. When an employee is passionate about what they do, it sets them apart from others with mediocre abilities.
How to Develop the Talent of Individuals Within Your Organization?
Be a role model. Regardless of how much talent an individual has, there is still a need for development and learning. Demonstrate your commitment to talent development through transparency about your own learning process. Be open about any struggles you may have, success you’ve experienced and the value of the training you received.
Focus on the importance of learning. What goals do your individual employees have? What do they want to accomplish? Help your employees strategically develop their talents through workshops, seminars, and conferences. Align their goals with their talents and help them to move forward on their journey, and show them how their unique talents can help your organization reach its goals.
Provide opportunities for development. Allow employees to take on challenges that will stretch their abilities. Allow room for failure, and for learning from their mistakes. Use coaching to reinforce skills as necessary. Celebrate the process of learning – even if the outcome wasn’t as expected or desired.
Is it Possible to Have too Much Talent?
According to a study released by Organization Science, yes. They studied more than 6,000 analysts to find out if having too much talent in one location could be detrimental to the organization’s results.

They used the example of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team. Dubbed “The Dream Team”, the roster was full of NBA players who were expected to outperform the other nations. However, they turned in dismal results, and barely won the bronze medal. How could this happen to a team full of superstars? The superstars, it turns out,

were more concerned with ego than teamwork.

They failed to work as a team effectively, and the results reflect their difficulty.

Business leaders are often focused on hiring “top talent” individuals but fail to recognize the importance of having a team. Individual talent should support the overall work of the team, not supersede it. Focus on individual talent, but also be aware of the overall talent of the team.
Talent is important – both for individuals and for teams. How can you develop the talent within your organization?
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.

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