A Few Thoughts on Talent Spotting

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In terms of accomplishments — we can all be a bit “star struck”.

We gravitate toward proven winners. This is for good reason. (Success isn’t optional.) But, while proven competence is one way to discern talent, we fail to consider that opportunity also plays a crucial role. If an individual isn’t afforded the opportunity to shine, their potential will be left undiscovered.

Enter this HBR post, discussing the importance of potential when hiring team members.

However, while we may under-estimate new hires — we also routinely overlook individuals already in place. People right under our noses that have what it takes. Curious and flexible. Ambitious and resourceful.

I like to call them “explorers”.

You must first focus intently and identify them. Consider behaviors that might signal potential. Is an individual always ready for new experiences? Adept at handling unforeseen circumstances? Particularly open to feedback? Able to write a “script” when one does not previously exist? After reflection, offer them opportunity — sponsor stretch assignments for example, so “explorers” on your team can be discovered.

Let’s start out 2018, with a campaign to find and challenge them.

Dare to look beyond your established high potential program.

They could be right there, at the ready.

Please note: I’m sharing more frequently — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

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