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March 29, 2006

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Nancy Gray-Starkebaum

Great post Jeff. I love how you're defining talent because it doesn't have anything to do with superstar status. I've been re-reading a lot of material on the McKinsey study and the War for Talent and Enron. At that time and in that War for Talent companies were hiring candidates that had superstar status that was bestowed on them in some way - it could have been a fancy ivy league degree, a list of impressive companies on their resume etc. What they weren't focusing on were actual results that produced value - in fact in the aftermath there are many anecdotes of people who were promoted who continually decreased shareholder value by running their divisions into the ground. So, where am I going with this? I love your definition of talent because I believe it leaves room for good, solid citizens (and teams) who spend every day producing results. These people are the backbone of most companies. They're reliable, trustworthy and they know how to get the job done. Unfortunately many companies use a performance ranking system that gives preferential treatment to the percieved "A" players, typically labelled by a manager who has evidence of only a loose correlation to "delivered" (the objectives have no doubt changed several times since they were written), "Specification" and "Resources". I think that as the new War for Talent continues, companies need to look long and hard at your definition and figure out how to use it as a catalyst to change their HR systems and processes.

Nancy

 yusuf  titilope

Hi,
Am a Nigerian and i just read your defination of talent.It's really good.i have a presentation in my department{mass communication} in school by next week wednesday and i need the names of people who are talented like bill gates.
i would love to hear from you before wednesday.
thank you.

Tarek Alwan

Well done, you have described in a simple way, I think that no-one else did.
I have learned a lot from you presentation.
Thank you

Hania

Thanks Jeff. Your definition of talent follows (quite aptly) the modern perception of it. Thanks for that! It clarified few things in my mind.

I was often wondering why insitutions and even goverments in the immigrations schemas measure 'talent' by the amount of money one make or can make ('the more you make the more talented you are'). Even though many people who I see as really talented in the traditional sense (in the same way as Michelangelo or Newton) don't necessarily make the money to support the 'talent' requirement - some of them are actually quite the opposite, sitting in labs or studios and living on next to nothing, waiting for the people to understand outcomes of their research or the art they produce.

Thanks again. Really good article!

peter

pls mr jeff, im a student in nigeria and im to head a seminar on "usin your talent to make a living".i love what ive read so far.but i still need some scripts on the topic.i will be grateful if u can help me by sending it to my box.thank im grateful.

SIPHO

great article
well done

Raj

Hi Jeff,

Good post. Talent is a combination of many intrinsic abilities that go to deliver the job expected, much better than most people around. Yes, talent certainly is not refered to a person, although it's often misconstrued to be so.

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