February 23, 2005

News & Opinion: How important is talent?

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 9:41 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

This is a deceptively simple question. I have always been drawn to talented people. And I have had the luxury of meeting and working with many stunningly talented people. But this is where I must add a critical caveat the talent I am most enamored by is characterized by creativity the ability to see things differently.
This type of talent is needed in every company. However, it is only one kind of talent. For example, the ability to read people is critical to HR, management and sales people. But many very creative people are oblivious to the emotional state of others. And the ability to focus to receive an assignment, understand the limits of its scope and to fulfill its requirements is not necessarily tied to creativity, academic intelligence or management skills. But people with this ability to focus and fulfill make up the backbone of every successful company.
So talent isnt particularly important. Obtaining the right balance of talented people is.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.