Talent is Never Enough
Adams and Jefferson, Founding Fathers of the United States, didn’t always like each other. Toward the end of their lives they came to appreciate and respect each other but for much of their political careers they were rivals. Jefferson’s skilled compromising skills offended a dogmatic Adams, for example.
They were at odds but they invested their lives in a shared mission.
Committing to shared mission
and vision binds talent together.
I constantly hear, “Find great talent.” But, fools think talent is enough. Leaders miss the point when they focus on talent and neglect shared mission.
Talent without shared commitment
is disruptive and dangerous.
Off target interviews:
Job interviews miss the target when they focus on what people have accomplished and neglect what they believe. Spend more time talking about organizational vision and values. Dig deep into belief systems. See if their eyes light up when you share your mission.
- Binds diverse people and groups together.
- Builds connections where people respect each other even if they don’t like each other.
- Enables a context where people rely on the performance of others.
Great talent strengthens organizations as long as everyone deeply commits to a shared mission. Apart from that, diversity is paralyzing chaos.
Don’t just tell me what you’ve done, tell me what you believe.
Some are too good to deeply believe in an organization’s mission. They’re too talented, too smart, or too proud. They have their own agenda. They feel they lower themselves if they “drink the kool aid.”
“Company men” are looked down on by aloof elites. I’ll take a true believer with average talent over a disconnected hot-shot any day.
Talent is overrated – belief is underrated.
The leaders who founded the United States believed and because they did, they committed. These are the people who change things.