Develop Talent, Don’t Buy It

April 8, 2013 — 2 Comments


There seems to be a trend in today’s workforce towards always trying to find new talent. There is battle for the top performers, and if you’re not in that top 1% then good luck developing and moving beyond your entry level job.

Yet as I sit here lamenting about opportunity and the future, I cannot help but wonder whether this talent race is really worth running: Would I be better off if I could develop a new skill? Learn a new program to make me more valuable? Show off a new hobby to get me recognized more around the office? Or is it even worth it to invest all this time in the unknown?

Maybe instead of attempting to pursue a new talent, cultivating an old one might be a better place to begin. I can’t help but wonder whether some of the best talent is already on my team or inside of me, just waiting to be recognized, to be developed, and simply desiring to be given an opportunity.

“The people who spend the most time complaining about the lack of talent are the ones who don’t recognize talent to begin with.”

-Michael Hyatt

As I catch myself complaining, I realize that oftentimes, I am unable to see the talent that is already around me. This then reveals my task as a leader to not seek some new or amazing talent to impress others, but rather to build upon the talents that are already present in both me and my team. The fact is that people get better at what they do. If you want to become more talented at something, start doing it. Don’t look for it elsewhere. And on the same note, if you want your team to be better at something don’t just look for a new addition, but rather begin to nurture that needed aspect within the team that you already have.

Some of the most talented people I see are problem solvers. I realize that what makes these people so talented is not always having the the right product to address the challenge, but becoming the very thing needed to overcome it. The talented people do not rely on outside resources, but thrive on moving projects forward by their own fruition or with the help of their teams.

This then gets me to the point of exactly what I’m trying to say: Talent is not something that can be sought elsewhere. Talent is something that is developed within the individual by his own motivation and the support he has around him. See, Talent doesn’t exist without purposeful cultivation. It is grown, not learned.

Talent Does Not Exist

With this in mind, I then urge you: Develop the talents in yourself and your team. Seek to cultivate your talents rather than purchase new ones. Give yourself and your team the freedom to push boundaries, to try, to fail, to grow, to learn. In this way not only do we develop our own talents, but we can begin to look around and see how we can develop the talents of those around us.


2 responses to Develop Talent, Don’t Buy It


    A wise small business owner once told me that he went to a college class to learn a new skill. Sitting in front of him was an individual who had that skill and really didn’t need the class. The small business owner decided to hire this individual, and not waste his time on the class.


      Thats a good story. I agree there are times when hiring is the right move. Unfortunately hiring isn’t always the right move. There are a lot of people who serve faithfully to a company but often get overlooked because their manager wants to higher someone new rather than invest into developing people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s