Talent is overrated and frequently misunderstood. When people achieve great things, others often explain their accomplishments by simply attributing everything to talent.
But that’s a false and misleading way of looking at success.
“If talent alone is enough, then why do we know highly talented people who are not highly successful?”— Dr John C Maxwell, Talent is Never Enough
Many business leaders place too much emphasis on talent alone. Some think talent is the answer to every problem. Many companies put finding people with talent ahead of everything else.
Talent is Never Enough
If talent were enough, then the most effective and influential people would always be the most talented ones. But that’s often not the case.
- More than 50% of CEOs of F-500 companies had C or C- in college
- 65% of US Senators came from the bottom half of their schools (some we think are from the bottom half of humanity)
- 75% of US Presidents were in the lower half in school
- More than 50% of millionaire entrepreneurs never finished college
Clearly Talent isn’t Everything
I believe in the importance of talent. Most successful leaders understand this. As a hockey coach I know its importance.
“I’ve coached teams with good players and I’ve coached teams with bad players. I’m a better coach when I have good players!” —Lou Holtz, Legendary college football coach
The more talent that a sports, business, or service team possesses, the greater potential it has—and the better its leader can be.
I believe any business or start up should follow what we do in sports… and have a talent map.
Talent in Perspective
Talent is a God-given gift that should be celebrated. So next time you observe a talented person, consider these 3 things and if talent is overrated:
1—We should marvel at their giftedness
Business leaders, musicians, athletes, or clergy. They were born with extraordinary gifts. Talent can enable people to do extraordinary things, and we should acknowledge people’s talent and marvel at their accomplishments.
2—We should recognize their contribution to society
When we observe talented people, we should note their impact. Where would America be if it had not been formed by talented leaders? The course of history the world over has been changed by talented men and women who have maximized their skills.
3—We should separate WHAT they can do… from WHO they are
The talent of some people is greater than other important personal attributes, such as character and commitment. As a result, they often fail to rise to the level of their talent. Talented people are always tempted to coast on their abilities. Or they want others to recognize their skills but overlook their deficiencies.
Talent is Overrated. What do you think?
What are your top 5 talents? Are they getting better?
Come back as we explore “Is talent ever enough”, “do you have what it takes to succeed” and “how to maximize your talent.” See you next week.
Get ready to reach your potential!