Besides talents, you must have the skills to see long-term success.
Talent is defined as having a natural aptitude. And, Skill is having the ability to do something well; expertise.
I like working with talented people. People that have a raw and natural ability to accomplish and accel in their chosen craft. I also admire and enjoy working with skilled workers. These are two different groups of people. You may not always see a crossover of talented people that groom their skillset. And likewise, skilled people that play to their talents.
Here is why I think that is. People that possess a talent for a task often don’t have the discipline (or desire) to slow down and develop the skillset around their talents. And it does take them slowing down. Slowing down to read about WHY they may be a natural and to learn the steps associated with their craft. Or to seek a mentor… why would they seek a mentor for something they are already good at? It can be boring and may seem mundane. It can also move them from being good to being great!
Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up.
For example, If you have someone that is comfortable and natural when they speak, they have charisma and are able to connect with people. They may be an excellent salesperson because it is in their DNA… but they may not understand why they are an excellent salesperson. So for them to have to slow down, and read a book on sales OR on the process of communication and further understand or develop the skills that they already have a talent for, that can be tough. It can seem ridiculous, as they may think, “I can already do this!” This is a key element, the most successful people are able to understand the steps involved, and they are able to deliberately make them repeatable. These people can define their own success. They can almost write their own ticket.
Skilled position players have to work hard at it.
On the flip-side, when someone gets into a position that they are not “wired” for. These people MUST take the time to learn the skill to excel in that same position. Let’s continue on the sales position discussion. The sales process can be taught; communication can be learned. They must practice, drill, rehearse, study and repeat to get really good at something like a sales process for example. Even if they don’t possess a natural talent, doesn’t mean they can’t learn to do the task well and accel as well as the talented person. It just will take more work. But, because of the discipline involved, especially in a business environment, people that develop skill are normally more consistent in their production. Because once they have learned a skill they continue to repeat it the same way every time to try and reach perfection.
When talent meets skill… fireworks!
The highest achievers are the ones that understand what their talents are, and take the time to develop skill sets to complement those. So in the case of the salesperson, maybe they are very talented at understanding the sales process. They understand the psychology of it, they have charisma and charm. AND THEY ALSO learn complementary skills, such as filing, accounting and maybe phone skills for follow-up. This type of salesperson could be a force and likely be a leader that others look to for mentorship on their talents or skills.
Vice-versa, let’s say you have a salesperson that is more of an introvert and logical thinker, maybe they are very talented at retaining product information. They know every in and out of the mechanics of the product, but don’t start with great intrapersonal skills. They have to take the time to LEARN process, they read books on body language and communication and work hard to pick up skills such as negotiation and closing. This salesperson also could lead, they would be a leader in product knowledge and the “go to” person on it.
If you want to win more and see more success remember… you groom talent and you teach skills.
This is especially true if you are in the leadership of an organization. I’ll say it again, groom talent… and teach skills.