Thursday, June 7, 2007

i-TFTD #20: Motivation + Talent = Strength

i-TFTD #20: Motivation + Talent = Strength

Motivation + Talent = Strength
From Newsletter

Hydrogen and oxygen are distinctly different elements, but sometimes they combine to form water. Something similar is true for motivation and talent.

Motivation is what we LIKE to do naturally.  Talent is what we DO well naturally. They can exist independently, but when they combine, they create something special. They create motivated talents.

People often are naturally good at something (talented), but it just doesn't turn them on. For example, Heather is good with numbers, but she doesn't go out of her way to find tasks calling for that talent. Most people have such talents. But then there are those talents that we really enjoy using. These are the motivated talents, and this is where the magic is.

We use motivated talents every chance we get. Most of the time we don't even think about it. For example, Larry has a motivated talent for conversation, and he naturally engages both friends and strangers in dialog. He doesn't consciously determine to do so; it just happens. It's natural and unforced. He enjoys it, and he's good at it. That's the hallmark of a motivated talent.

Motivated talents tend to be irrepressible. They find expression. In fact, if you've ever tried to stifle a motivated talent (either yours or someone else's) it probably felt like you were trying to hold two dozen ping pong balls under water at the same time. Motivated talents pop out, even if no one else is asking for them.

This is a continuation of the theme outlined in i-TFTD #10: Abolish SWOT Analysis. My observation is that many of us are not even aware of our motivated talents, our strengths. If the above two examples do not find resonance in you, here are some more. Some people tend to challenge assumptions, question the problem statement, while other like to think of implementation issues of a given mandate. Some like to research, gather facts and feel comfortable with evidence before jumping into action while others are good at quickly starting work on a positive belief. Some like work that requires extended concentration while others are good at rallying around the team, talking to different people and working as a team.

Whatever our talents are, the trick is to be aware of them and tune our style accordingly in any given situation. In my view, it is idealistic to expect our work to always be in sync with our perceived talents. I say perceived because many of our talents are not yet discovered.

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