Some talents – such as stage performance – are easier to spot than others – such as Einstein having an idea related to quantum physics.
So, what is a talent?
This is a very hard question, as evidenced by the fact that we don’t have a universal definition although people have been celebrating talents and peak performance ever since we’ve been people.
In 1925 Werner Heisenberg said ‘discard any hope of observing hitherto unobservable quantities such as the position and period of the electron’.
This statement hit our understanding of physics upside the head.
Talents are like electrons.
One of the basic tenets of physics was that every particle has a position and velocity. In other words, your stuff is in a spot and its either moving or not.
Unfortunately this isn’t true, we can’t know position and velocity with absolute certainly, the more we know of one, the less we know of the other. Physics (and therefore reality) is fuzzy and so are talents, you can’t put out a trap and catch them.
Peter Drucker said ‘Most people don’t know what their strengths are. When you ask them, they look at you with a blank stare, or they respond in terms of subject knowledge, which is the wrong answer’.
Notice he uses the word ‘strength’ as opposed to ‘talent’, secondly he tells you what it isn’t versus what it is.
Surfacing your talents
1. Do the Strengthsfinder survey, its been around for many years and you can do it for $10 online.
2. Send me an email with your thoughts
3. Collect data – count your strong moments over the course of 3 to 6 months
4. Send me another email, I’ll respond with some ideas, I promise
5. Stimulate the context
3Minute Strong Moment Stimulation Checklist
1. 2GO In 60 seconds use ‘5 why’ approach and iterate back and forth between Goal and Outcome until you have 1 Outcome and 2 Goals
2. +-S In 60 seconds define 2 signs you’re on the right track (+S) and 2 signs you’re on the wrong track (-S).
3. ?Q In 60 seconds come up with 2 or 3 questions you want to ask when you are in the middle of the challenge
6. 30 second score – After the challenge is over quickly write all the salient points you can think of in 30 seconds
Excellent Performance = [(Talent)**(Skills*Knowledge)]/[(Fear)**threat]