Talent Matters But….

Do you hire solely on the basis of talent?

When I am looking to hire, talent is a key requisite in the selection of a candidate. But I pay equal attention to other attributes such as team-playing ability, honesty, integrity, stability etc. 

If I have to decide between a smug super achiever full of vanity and a moderate achiever who is a dependable team player, I’d opt for the latter. Partly because the profession I work for is a complete team game where teamwork comes in great use.

But equally, I place a lot of emphasis on such traits which help in forming a culture of collaboration. As I do for innate values of trustworthiness and sincerity.

I also look for stability and therefore prefer those who will be invested in the organisation for a long-period. I must confess having let go some very talented applicants for a lesser talent with superior work ethic.

I often come across very ambitious job-seekers who switch jobs in a year or two to quickly scale the corporate ladder. And some of them are very competent. I wish them well and move on to the next candidate.

I have experienced first-hand two talented members in my team who could not rise to the top despite their superior intellect.

Both have a good eye for detail.

Both express themselves better than most others.

Both are very good in what they do.

Both have a mighty sense of self-worth and at the same time underestimate the ability of others around them.

Both struggle with inter-personal communication.

Both rose exponentially for a few years before hitting a plateau.

I tried to counsel them several times and show them how they could flourish if they paid heed to my feedback. But their vanity takes over everything else. And it appears to be congenital which makes it tough to shed. Every such effort made me feel I am hitting a wall.

What an ideal team composition looks like?

Here’s my take:

  • Every team needs at least one or two superstars. These are the big hitters who can change the game when they walk in to the crease. Once you have them, you don’t need to look for more such talent.
  • What you also need is a balanced team. You will need a couple of those who may not have the ability to score big but can tire out the bowlers in the opposition by standing their ground at one end.
  • You need great fielders who can save the certain boundaries and hit the wicket from the boundary line, running out the opponent batsman.
  • You need quick running batsmen who can steal a single even when there are six or more fielders within a 30 yard circle. And convert the singles into two, and doubles into three.
  • You need players who will sacrifice their wicket running to the danger end if they find their partner at the other end is better placed to win the game for the team.

You need all kinds to make a team.

What you certainly need is for most, if not all to be complete team-players, who put the interest of their team above their own. You need the players to back-up for each other, take the pressure of one-another, play to each other’s strength, etc. That’s why team work is at a premium.

Not just while hiring, I have always considered these traits at par with talent during annual performance measurement, promotion and career growth.

I have also met a few who are self-aware of their amazing talent and feel that’s enough to carry their weight. And often, many organizations are okay with that. I differ. Unless I find someone who is God’s gift to the profession. In which case, I give some slack. But only some.

Published by RG

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Published by RG

A Thinker at all times and Storyteller at heart. I see, I think. I hear, I think. I read, I think. Sometimes I write. Let me know what you think

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