Culture by Design is Now ---- The Leader Factor

Excavate Your Talents

Everyone has special gifts, talents, and aptitudes– areas where their potential ability is two or three standard deviations from the mean. The problem is, many of us can’t see them because they are not obvious. No one comes with a list of their talents.

Download the episode resources.

Download The Guide

Episode Show Notes

Today's lesson:
Excavate Your Talents

Key Points:
The National Endowment for the Arts tells us that the average person possesses 500-700 different skills and abilities. Yet, Gallup tells us that only 10% of people are able to identify their natural talents. Everyone has special gifts, talents, and aptitudes– areas where their potential ability is two or three standard deviations from the mean. The problem is, many of us can’t see them because they are not obvious. No one comes with a list of their talents. They’re all discovered. We all require additional self-awareness, awareness that only comes with additional effort, discovery, experimentation, or in short, excavation.

Today's key action:
Go ask ten people who know you well this question: “What do you think I’m better at than 9/10 people?”
  1. Write down their responses.
  2. See if you can find a pattern in the responses. Drill down, excavate, and then put in the work.

Episode Transcript

0:00:05.8 Junior: Welcome back, everyone to Culture by Design. My name's Junior, I'm here with Dr. Tim Clark, for a single point. Listen, the most valuable 10 minutes you'll spend in professional development all week... Tim, what's the lesson today.

0:00:17.1 Dr. Tim Clark: Junior, the lesson today is that many talents require excavation.

0:00:24.2 Junior: Excavations, that's an interesting word. I'll tell you why we use that word, the National Endowment for the Arts tells us that the average person possesses 500 to 700 different skills and abilities. Here's another piece of interesting data yet Gallup tells us that only 10% of people are able to identify their natural talents. Third piece of data, Harvard Business Review tells us that people who lean into their natural talents in their work are substantially more likely to succeed in their careers. So those are three very interesting pieces of data. We all have a lot of skills. Most of us don't know what we're naturally good at, and if we did and we align that with our work, we would be more successful. So that's why we're talking about this today. Everyone has special gifts, special talents and aptitudes, areas where their potential ability is maybe two or even three standard deviations from the mean, but the problem is many of us can't see them, they're not surface level, they're not obvious, they require excavation. Tim, what do you think about that? 

0:01:24.8 DC: So I think that's absolutely true. So let's think about it this way. Some of your talents are obvious, you can tell when someone has obvious talent in a certain area, it's just... Everybody can see it. But that's the first category. Second, there are indications of potential or aptitude as well in certain areas, indications, so that's a little different, an obvious talent is category one. The second category would be indications of potential or aptitude, but then third, there still are totally hidden talents that you'll never find until you start digging, and that's what we're talking about, and I would suggest that maybe a lot of those talents are in that third category, where they are hidden, you can't see them, they're not obvious, you don't even see indications and so you better start digging.

0:02:17.3 Junior: And it's always true that no one comes with a list of their talents, we don't come to earth with a list of our talents. They are all discovered, some are just more obvious than others, so all of this rests on the need for self awareness, but that awareness only comes with effort, with discovery, with experimentation, or in short, the word we use excavation, simple observations, not going to get it done. So we wanna give you a few frames, a couple of perspectives to help you excavate your own talents, and we've only got a few minutes to do it, so here we go. Everyone has a unique job to do. That's the first point that I'd like to make, and there are a couple of quotes that I wanna share to help make it. Nathaniel Hawthorne said, every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not. Viktor Frankl said everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life, everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment therein he cannot be replaced nor can his life be repeated. So I love that aura of uniqueness that these quotes give, that each of us has something unique to do, and that uniqueness may be tied to some talents that we have not yet discovered.

0:03:27.5 DC: Well, junior, what that means is that unless you excavate and develop your hidden talents, you will never understand your own distinctiveness and you won't be able to make the unique contribution that you're able to make.

0:03:42.7 Junior: Many people look at their uniqueness, let's say some unique attributes, unique characteristics, and they might categorize them as a disadvantage, and a quick point that I would like to make is that every disadvantage comes with an advantage, and every advantage comes with a disadvantage. There are trade-offs always in advantages and disadvantages, you cannot be all things and so it's important that if you're inclined to think that a certain characteristic you have, a certain piece of your situation is disadvantageous, well, there may be something laden in that disadvantage that's actually advantageous that you can leverage to become better, improve the situation or do something unique that other people can't do.

0:04:25.4 DC: Very true, very true.

0:04:28.2 Junior: So here's the complication, talent isn't everything. Talent is just a starting point. Stephen King said, talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work, do you believe that Tim? 

0:04:44.0 DC: I love that statement. Yeah. So what that does Junior, I think, is it puts things in perspective, so what's the first job to be done? Identify, excavate and develop your talents. But yet, you've gotta put your talents to work, so that's gonna a lot of work, a lot of effort, a lot of focus, and if you don't do that, then you've got your table salt, but what have you done with those talents.

0:05:14.3 Junior: Edison said genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. I love this quote as it relates to talent, because talent's the 1%, the 99% that needs to follow is perspiration, it's work. So how do you excavate these talents in the first place, there are a few things that you can do, the first is self-reflection, and the question that I would ask is, what can you get lost doing such the time washes away. What are you doing when you feel in flow? For me, that's been an excellent indicator of what my talents are, what my aptitudes are, is when time seems to go away and I melt into what I'm doing, that flow state, I think is a wonderful indicator. The second is feedback. And feedback is what we're gonna lean into a little bit right now, it's a unique way to discover your talents because self-awareness will only take you so far. You can only see what you can see and you don't know what you don't know. What do you think about feedback, Tim, as it relates to excavating your talents? 

0:06:06.9 DC: I think this is the most under-utilized opportunity that we have to help us identify and then start excavating our talents. We don't take advantage of the opportunity to solicit feedback from those around us to talk to us about our obvious talents, the indications of aptitude that we have, and maybe even some potentially hidden talents, and so I wanna talk more about that.

0:06:31.8 Junior: Yeah, we'll get to that in our call to action. Next, we've got trying new things, you will never discover a talent unless you try something that is the thing or something really adjacent to the thing, and so it's important that we're constantly doing this. And it's also true that that doesn't stop at a certain point in time. It's something that we should continue to do over time. The next one is to reflect on your accomplishments, obviously, if you have a track record doing something, and maybe that's unbeknownst to you, maybe you're ignorant to that, but if you take some time to reflect on what you've accomplished in the past, what's come easily, what's been very difficult that may help you tease out what some of those talents are. Then there's this idea Tim and we were talking about yesterday of distant early warning signs, and you changed some of that language and related it back, tell me about that.

0:07:19.8 DC: Well, I just think that we need to take that concept and turn it into a positive... Look at it from a positive standpoint, so that it becomes distant, Early, promising signs. So what do we see that might indicate a sign of an aptitude or a gift or a talent? The earliest possible indicator. I think that's a very helpful concept.

0:07:46.5 Junior: So we've got self-reflection, feedback, trying new things, reflecting on your accomplishments and distant early promising signs. So after you use those tools to identify one or two talents, you need to then go to work through deliberate practice. So to sum it up, we all have talent and aptitude in areas that are two or three standard deviations from the mean, and it's worth spending time identifying those talents and then deliberately developing them. So Tim any final thoughts as we wrap up and get into that call to action? 

0:08:16.4 DC: I just wanna jump into the call to action because I think it's so powerful.

0:08:20.8 Junior: Okay here it is. What's the single thing we would invite you to do to help put this into practice? Go ask 10 people who know you well, this question. What do you think I'm better at than nine out of 10 people? Write down their responses, see if you can find a pattern in those responses, drill down, excavate and then go to work. But Tim, what do you think about that question? Why do you feel like that's an appropriate call to action? 

0:08:43.3 DC: It's an incredibly powerful thing to do. If you go to the people that know you, and you ask, where am I in the top 10%? Where do you think I'm better than nine out of 10 people? Most people that know you well can give you a meaningful answer to that question, and if you ask enough people, if you go ask 10 people that question, you're going to start... Let's talk about pattern recognition. You're going to be able to see very clearly where your aptitudes lie, now, you may already know to some extent, but this is going to solidify where your obvious talents lie, maybe where your potential lies in other areas, and they may even give you some indications of hidden talents that you don't even know you have. So I can't think of a more powerful question to help you excavate your talents.

0:09:37.7 Junior: So there you go. Everybody go do it. I'm gonna do it too.

0:09:40.1 Junior: Well, thank you everyone for your time and attention during today's single point lesson, we hope that this was 10 minutes well spent. See you next time.

Show Notes

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Episode Transcript

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Recent Episodes

The Coaching and Accountability Matrix

Published
May 20, 2024

Micro-coaching Pt. 2: The 3 Levels of Accountability

Published
May 13, 2024

Micro-coaching Part 1: The Coaching Continuum

Published
May 6, 2024