How Great Managers Define Talent
Normally we associate talent only with celebrated excellence with a strong emphasis on the word. Great managers disagree with this definition of talent. It is too narrow, too specialized. Instead, they define a talent as “a recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied.”
The emphasis here is on the word “recurring.” Your talents, they say, are the behaviors you find yourself doing often. You have a mental filter that sifts through your world, forcing you to pay attention to some stimuli, while others slip past you, unnoticed. Your instinctive ability to remember names, rather than just faces, is a talent. Your need to alphabetize your spice rack and color code your wardrobe is a talent. So is your love of crossword puzzles, or your fascination with risk, or your impatience. Any recurring patterns of behavior that can be productively applied are talents. The key to excellent performance, of course, is finding the match between your talents and your role.
This definition of talent is deceptively neutral, almost bland. Nevertheless, it guides great managers toward a momentous discovery: Every role, performed at excellence, requires talent, because every role, performed at excellence, requires certain recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior. This means that great nurses have talent. So do great truck drivers and great teachers, great housekeepers and great flight attendants.
Successful talent management requires a sustained, three-pronged effort to recruit, engage and retain the best talent available. To succeed, a company needs strong, supportive leaders and a caring, innovative culture.
Competitive advantage and business results depend more than ever on recruiting, engaging and retaining the best talent.
“Regardless of the role and regardless of whether the excellence is celebrated or anonymous, great managers know that excellence is impossible without talent” said the president of Grupo Denim Salomón Juan Marcos Villarreal.