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Just Talent Is Insufficient

I was listening to a faculty member of a Theater Department provide an overview of their philosophy in the preparation of students. I was struck by a particular phrase he used:

“Talent without discipline is unreliable.”

I can lift that out of preparatory education and insert it directly into any client organization without missing a beat.
Execution is essential. Not only are we asking professionals to be knowledgeable; we are asking them to have skills. Your talent is what every organization wants to leverage. It is what fuels employee engagement. It is the cornerstone of talent management. It is what makes you a desirable asset.
We don’t want you to simply know ‘stuff;’ we want you to show us what you know in the actionable skills and behaviors you use on the job. We are looking for your ability to execute.
However, I have very few clients that are OK with a onetime implementation.
No one wants to count on luck. Luck can’t be replicated. Luck can’t be taught to others. Luck can’t be passed down as a performance standard. What one person calls ‘luck’ another may call ‘a fluke.’ You can’t really build an organization of any solid substance on luck.

You may refer to your talent as a gift. It is ability or an aptitude that you have that someone else may not. Unbridled, it can be recognized but may not be useful. The control and discipline that you bring to the talent that you possess allows you to develop and hone sense memory. It allows you and others to be able to rely on the talent, rather than hope for luck. It creates a consistent expectation.

Organizations have some interesting choices these days. Finish these sentences stems:

  • An employee with talent and little discipline creates –
  • An employee with discipline and little talent creates –
  • An employee with talent AND discipline creates —

Which one do you prefer?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 3:31 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.