Attitude or Talent?

Opera House In Pink
Creative Commons License photo credit: judepics

Sometimes one can conquer the other.

One of the most difficult, but rewarding things I do is encourage people to kick butt and take names – despite all assurances that they  can’t do whatever, can’t reach that rung of the ladder.

There’s a lot of people out there who don’t believe they can do (whatever). Some of them might be right – and if they never try, they are surely right.

But sometimes you encounter someone who is simply off-the-charts amazing. And sometimes you can see it, but coaxing it out of them is crazy hard.

At times, it’s all you can do to get them to step up to the plate and take a swing. But once they do…look out.

One such example

Paul Potts was a not-so-confident cell phone salesperson.

He didn’t want to go, but his wife convinced him that he had to give it a shot. Even then, a flip of a coin almost kept him off the stage at Britain’s Got Talent.

On stage, you worry for him as soon as you see him. He looks nervous. He’s unsettled and not at all sure of himself.

When I saw the opening moments of this video, I wondered how he managed to be successful selling mobile phones.

Despite all that, he begrudgingly steps up to the plate and does this… (sorry, I can’t embed the video – but it’s definitely worth it).

Who is your Paul?

Who in your organization has a talent like this buried inside them? The talent could be anything – not just what Paul does. It could easily be something that you never expected them to be capable of.

I’ve definitely had tech staff come in-house only to find that they were amazing salespeople with an innate ability to create a relationship.  Not what you expect from a tech person.

What are you doing to seek out these talents?

What are you doing to make it easy to step out, step up and be amazing like Paul?

Does your business encourage such things? If a cultural change is needed to make it easier for folks to show a skill that the business could leverage, you have to step up and enable it.

What would it do for your company to find just one person with amazing skills that your company could leverage?

Look around. Enable their amazingness.

If you aren’t sure about the your business’ create-some-amazingness culture, think about how it accepts suggestions from employees and customers. Is that easy? Rewarding for the suggester? Is there a feedback loop? Or is there an abuse loop?

What environment do you need to create to make it as easy as possible for your Paul to step up?

What does your business potentially miss out on if you don’t enable/encourage your Pauls? What do your customers miss out on?

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