This is the Leadership Minute. I’m Rose Marie Sloan with today’s topic – Unlocking Your Talents.
Gallup defines talent as, “natural, instinctive, and recurring ways of thinking, believing, and behaving.” Talent reflects how you are hard-wired, resulting in consistent and repetitive patterns of thought and behavior. It dictates reactions to your environment, as there is an instinctiveness and immediacy implied.
Knowledge and skill, on the other hand, imply learned behavior. Actions require more active cognitive processing. What you know reveals more about your experiences and education than about who you are. Behavior derived from knowledge and skill can be changed far more easily than talent-based behavior, as new information subordinates old in an individual’s consciousness. Talent can’t be subordinate; it is constant and enduring. That’s what makes it talent.
Talents are potential strengths, and they often have something in common – a theme that connects them. Gallup’s Clifton Strengths 34 Assessment measures the presence of talent in 34 general areas or themes, highlighting dominate and supporting talents that can be developed into Strengths.
The purpose of Strengths development is to unlock talent, converting talents into Strengths so they are leveraged to a specific goal. The key to building fully developed Strengths is to identify your most dominant talents and then complement them with acquired knowledge, skill, and investment.
The most effective leaders:
• Always invest in their talents
• Surround themselves with people whose talents complement theirs
• Understand that people are not well-rounded; teams are.
To identify your talents through CliftonStrengths 34 and learn ways to Name, Claim, and Aim your Strengths, attend one of our leadership development programs found on our website,