Are We Missing the Talent Right Before Our Eyes?

Are We Missing the Talent Right Before Our Eyes?

Are We Missing the Talent?

Like much of the USA, we’ve been awaiting the “snow storm of the winter”. Last night it arrived. As I stood in my kitchen watching the snow fall, I noticed things in my garden that I had never noticed before: the detail on the back of the swing, the outline of the magnolia tree, the birds nestling below the fountain.

I was struck by the fact that after all these years, I had missed seeing these beautiful things right in front of me.

And that reminded me of a conversation I had several weeks ago with business owner I’ll call Christina.

Our Conversation

For months she had been trying to find someone to lead one of their key divisions. Despite the fact that her company employs thousands of people, has a robust career development and succession process, and many talented leaders; she said she could not find anyone who was up to the job.

It wasn’t that she wanted to go outside the company to bring in a different perspective. In fact, she could identify people within the company who had mastered similar jobs. It was just that she couldn’t “see” any of those people in this particular job. Knowing some of her leaders as I do, I was a bit perplexed.

Seeing the garden covered by snow last night though reminded me of how easy it is for us to develop blind spots, especially when things (or people) are right in front of us. Perhaps, because we’re busy and often multi-tasking, it’s just easier for us to “see” people as being a certain way. In our haste, we take snap shots and grab sound bites of our interactions with them and then "type" them.

A Fresh Perspective

Not until something happens to cause us to reframe or see them differently can we actually appreciate the broader talents they may have but have not been allowed to.

No wonder American business is so concerned with finding “the right talent” these days. Sometimes there really is a gap between what a job requires and the talent pool, but sometimes we also are blind to the talent right before us.

All this makes me wonder:

  • What talents/skills do I miss seeing in those around me?
  • What talent talents/skills might you miss seeing in those around you?
  • What do we need to do to reframe our views of our colleagues?

Photo courtesy of Rich Moffitt.

Sallie Sherman is the CEO of S4 Consulting. She is an expert in helping organizational leaders transform the way they approach critical B2B relationships and implement the complex changes needed to manage those relationships as strategic assets. Sallie has written two books.