Identifying and Understanding Talent - Deepstash

Bite-sized knowledge

to upgrade

your career

Ideas from books, articles & podcasts.

Identifying and Understanding Talent

Normally we associate talent with celebrated excellence. Great managers disagree with this definition of talent. It is too narrow and too specialized.

Instead they define talent as a recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior than can be productively applied. The emphasis here is on the word recurring. Your talents, they say, are the behaviors you find yourself doing often




  • Talent interview should stand alone
  • Ask open-ended questions and keep quiet
  • Listen for specifics and top of minds

High performing managers understand that trying to achieve direct control of employees is futile and that trying to change people’s natural talents will not work. The solution is both simple and elegant: define a required outcome and then let the employee find their own way forward, throu...

  • Do I know what is expected of me at work?
  • Do I have the equipment I need to do my work right?
  • Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
  • Have I received recognition for good work?
  • Does anyone care about me as a person?
  • Does anyone ...

First Break All the Rules asserts that the status quo is counter productive, and encourages management to adopt innovative approaches to employee engagement.

Develop a performance management routine to keep focused on the progress of each person's performance.

  • Select people. Differentiate between talent, skills and knowledge
  • Set accurate performance expectations
  • Motivate (recognition and care)
  • Develop the employee 

  • Striving talents explain the ‘why’ of a person: what motivates them, do they want to stand out, and is ‘good enough,’ good enough for them?
  • Thinking talents explain the ‘how’ of a person: how they think, their decision making processes, are they focu...

  • Create “perfect people”  by imposing a “best way” attitude and that you have the right answers. This is disempowering, demeaning and prevents self-exploration and learning.
  • Believe that employees don’t have enough talent, which can be true, but not if your hiring criteria is critical...

We all possess talents within the contexts of these categories. It is important to recognize that talents can’t be taught, they can only be cultivated and encouraged within the work roles assigned to that person. Skills, on the other hand, can be taught (i.e. typing speed, surgical techniques, so...

As a manager, it is your responsibility that your employees reply with an emphatic “yes” to the 12 questions. Positive responses to these questions were strongly correlated to profitability, productivity, employee retention, and customer satisfaction.

Great managers know that every role in a workplace requires talent because there are recurring patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Managers that are able to select for these patters will have more harmonious results on their team.

  • Select for talent (not simply for the experience, intelligence, determination)
  • Define the right outcomes (not the right steps)
  • Focus on strengths (not on weaknesses)
  • Find the right fit 

Employees must follow certain required steps for all aspects of their role that deal with accuracy and safety

  • What did you enjoy most about your previous work experience? 
  • What brought you here? what keeps you here?
  • What do you think your strengths are? Your weaknesses?
  • What about your goals for your current role?
  • Do you have any personal goals or commitments you woul...

  • How would you describe success in your current role? can you measure it?
  • What do you actually do that makes you as good as you are? what does this tell you about your skills, knowledge and talents?
  • Which part of your current role do you enjoy the most?
  • Which part of y...

20 Reactions



created 7 ideas

How do companies –– in different countries and industries –– all achieve breakthrough performance when the odds are stacked against them? The answer: By applying The Three Laws of Performance and thereby re-writing their futures. Authors Steve Zaffrron and Dave Logan crack the code on rewriting the future for people and organizations, elevating performance to unprecedented levels.



8.82K reads

It's time to




Jump-start your

reading habits

, gather your



remember what you read

and stay ahead of the crowd!

Takes just 5 minutes a day.


+2M Installs

4.7 App Score