7 Surprising Ways to Spot Talent

Success hinges on finding and leveraging talent.

talent is for others not the people who have it

Root premise:

Others determine your value.

It doesn’t matter how talented you believe you are.

Talent – like fruit – is for others, not the trees that produce it. What matters is how others benefit from what you bring to the table.

Talent is irrelevant until it brings benefit to others.

#1. Energy and talent:

Talent isn’t simply something you do well. For several years I built shaker furniture. I don’t enjoy woodworking like I used to. It’s no longer a talent.

#1. Find talent behind bright eyes and energetic hands.

#2. Expressing talent is effortless.

#2. Time and talent:

You forget time, when you exercise talent. Suppose you’re good with details, but they’re drudgery. It’s not your talent.

#3. Look for people who lose track of time. 

#3. Value and talent:

It’s pure joy to heat up the oven for a couple of my coaching clients. They love the fellowship that happens around food. Cooking is a hobby. Hobby becomes talent when it brings value to customers.

Look for people who make life better for others.

#4. Talent adds value to customers.

#4. Results and talent:

I was always surprised when people told me that I made them think. I don’t try to make people think. It’s just who I am. I love ideas. No one tells me to connect dots and explore options.

#5. Look for natural inclinations, more than learned skills.

#6. Look for unplanned unexpected benefit.

Unlike skills, talent can’t be taught.

#5. Application and talent:

I work with a leader who is succeeding at sales by using talent. He’s not a hard-driving extrovert. He doesn’t pressure people. He makes customers feel safe without even trying. That’s talent.

#7. Provide opportunity and see what happens.

What questions might leaders ask to spot talent in someone?