Dance between Talent and Roles

There is nothing very special about talent. If talents are simply recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior, then talents are rather commonplace. Everyone has certain recurring patterns of behavior. No one can take credit for these talents. They are an accident of birth, “the clash of chromosomes.” However, each person can and should take credit for cultivating his unique set of talents.

The best way to help an employee cultivate his talents is to find him a role that plays to those talents. Employees who find such roles are special. These people are naturally able to do what someone is prepared to pay them to do. We rightly label these people as “talented.”

The talent alone isn’t special. It is the matching of the talent with the role that is very special. It is like the performing arts, the secret to great performances is all in the casting. It is therefore not enough to say, “This person has a talent for assertiveness; I must hire him to sell.” You have to know very specifically what kind of selling you are going to be asking him to do.

As manager your job is not to teach people talent. Your job is to help them earn the accolade “talented” by matching their talent to the role. To do this well, you have to pay close attention to the subtle but significant differences between roles.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact