Tag Archives: Talent

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building skills

Building Skills Comes From Persistence

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Are you good at what you do because of raw talent or is your success based on persistence? Building skills may be a combination of talent and learning. Persistence will make you better.

Some people are known to have an eye for art. Others are said to be great with their hands, a fast runner, or have an amazing voice. Is this talent, or skills built?

The person with the fanciest cell phone who seemingly works magic, is that a talent?

A person who knows seemingly endless amounts of historical information is that a talent?

Talent or Persistence?

People are often described as having talent when they have capabilities that appear above average. Yet, sometimes it is not so much a talent as it is persistence in getting better.

Most basketball players are tall, yet arguably, that may not be directly related to their ability to shoot the ball from beyond the three-point line.

Horse jockeys are small, not a talent. Distance runners are not overweight, not a talent.

We often confuse talent with persistence.

Building Skills

Someone who is good with numbers may be related to how they’ve been taught to think about math.

An archer gets better with practice. The same is true for good students, house painters, and gardeners.

What you work hard at, you’ll do better. You’ll build more skill.

In some cases, there are somewhat natural limitations. Being short in basketball is not an advantage, and perhaps no amount of persistence can overcome a short stature.

For most things in life, and for most professional careers, it is much more about persistence than it is about talent.

A great lawyer, works at it. So does a home builder, an engineer, and an accountant.

Persistence makes the difference.

Build more skill.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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local experience

Local Experience, Does It Really Matter?

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Is the best talent in your backyard, or must it come from somewhere outside of the normal reach? Does local experience matter?

In Pennsylvania, people believe they know their beer and potato chips. Popular beers come from Yuengling or Straub. Potato chips are often Middleswarth or Utz.

When you travel to Colorado or California, they’ll tell you about different beer and potato chips.

Who has the best?

It depends on who you ask.

Available Everywhere

In the 1970’s and 1980’s mail order companies started to thrive. The U.S. infrastructure supported reaching beyond local borders. A growing and thriving trucking industry and 800 numbers made a difference.

By the late 1990’s and into the early 2000’s a shift was happening. It was the infrastructure that supported the widespread use of the internet.

Our borders from county to county and state to state seemed smaller and less significant. Highways improved, automobiles got better, and more products began to fall into the category of a commodity.

What’s next?

When it comes to talent and business opportunity what’s next may be closer than it has been in 50 years.

Local Experience

What is happening in 2020 is a shift. A pivot to something different. It is not defined yet but people will shape the shift.

It will come down to who is right. Defined by people.

In Pennsylvania people are right. In Colorado or California, they’re right. The same goes for Texas, Alabama, or South Dakota. People are right.

How will things change for your workforce and talent acquisition? If you are in Mount Vernon, South Dakota how is that different from New Berlin, New York? What about San Diego, California or Boston, Massachusetts, are there differences?

If you are a job seeker, where will you look?

It seems plausible that people will do what they believe is right. Now more than ever.

Local maybe the biggest comeback of this century.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Inspired employees

Inspired Employees Stand Out In a Crowd

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Look around you, do you see inspired employees? While there may be varying degrees of inspiration or motivation how would you size things up?

There are lots of paths that lead to inspiration and motivation. One sometimes challenging aspect is that people are motivated for different reasons.

Fear can motivate, although this is almost never a good idea. Money often becomes a discussion point, yet it seldom has lasting effects.

Are you naturally motivated or can you be inspired?

Here is another question to ponder, “Are leaders born, or are they made?”

I’m hopeful that you believe there are paths to more motivation and inspiration. I’m also hopeful that you believe leadership can be developed and is not just a natural talent.

Natural Talents and Abilities

Are you born with certain talents?

Perhaps it is a talent for music, for art, or for certain athletic abilities.

It may go other directions too.

You may have a talent or connection to mathematical problems, architecture, or be identified as a good book keeper. In still other ways perhaps you are mechanically inclined, exceptional with trade skills, or an incredible cook.

Do you have natural talents, or do you have skills that have been developed across time?

A good answer is perhaps, “Both.”

Developing Talent and Skills

The greatest talents often become recognized because those people work countless hours toward perfecting their craft.

You may be great with numbers, yet if you seldom exercise this capability, in a crowd you may be mediocre at best.

Perhaps you are a fast runner, or can run long distances. If you seldom run, you’ll likely be beat by someone with less natural ability.

Are you or your employee teams inspired to do more?

Inspired Employees

The key for everyone as an individual is to practice honing your craft. You must go all in, be dedicated and committed, and live up to what you are capable of delivering.

Abraham Maslow introduced us to the concept of self-actualization.

Are you all in, one-hundred percent?

When you go all in, and have the drive and determination to go all out, you may find yourself at the pinnacle of talent and skill.

Halfhearted won’t get you very far.

Especially if there is a crowd.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Career paths

Why Most Career Paths Are Unknown

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Working for years to discover your career path is common. Certainly pursuing meaningful work, continuing your education, and even taking some risk is important, but most career paths are not known, they are discovered.

Spirit of Career Paths

SharkTank is in its ninth season. Its popularity represents something that many believe is part of chasing the American dream. Entrepreneurs of all ages, backgrounds, and interests pitch a panel of venture capitalists in an attempt to continue building their dream.

People who care deeply about their career are working towards a dream. It may be doing something they love, trying to build financial freedom, or sometimes it is the final stretch of preparing for retirement. Many will tell you that they didn’t see the path until they started walking it.

Perhaps the most important news for career seekers is that there aren’t any shortcuts. What looks like a shortcut is probably a path that is already taken, saturated, overused, abused, or headed for decline.

Navigating the Pivot

The business climate is shifting. Technology has created opportunities that no one knew existed ten or twenty years ago. The people who are on their own journey will shape what is next. It is the path not yet discovered but one that is unfolding over time.

When your career is important to you, you’ll take the appropriate steps. You’ll do the work, put in the time, learn the skills, analyze the market, and jump in. All of that is good because standing still won’t make much happen.

Your Plan

Will it go exactly as you planned? Probably not and for a really good reason.

That reason is that your best work develops from your talent. It develops from your interests, the things others have suggested you do well, and from doing the things that feel natural.

That isn’t all though, your talent also develops from the twists and turns, the in’s and out’s, and how you performed and endured when things turned upside down.

It seldom is how others described it, how someone forecasted it, or what the text book suggested it would look like.

Most Career Paths

Your best work, the work that shapes your career, will come from your heart. It’s where the best work occurs, it creates luck throughout your journey.

There is a good chance that most career paths are unknown because you don’t really train for it, you become it.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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cheap customer service

What Happens When You Have Cheap Customer Service?

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Your organizational culture will develop from habits, traditions, and symbols. What value are you placing on customer service? Do you have a culture of cheap customer service?

Being Cheaper

Recently I ordered something from eBay. The shipper shipped the product in the actual product box, not the typical brown box that most shippers would use, probably because it was cheaper.

About a month ago, I wrote a note to a vendors contact page, in return I received an automated message. In the long run no one ever returned my inquiry. This feels like they may be using their resources for something else, something that feels more important. Perhaps, they are just too cheap.

Businesses often don’t answer the telephone, return calls, or respond to email messages because it is cheaper to do less. The culture avoids expense, employees are a tool, and their customer service is an afterthought. They do this mostly because it is cheaper.

The big box stores, the superstore on the web, and your local (Dollar General) dollar store don’t have the best price because they are cheap. They often have the best price and good service because they have appropriately scaled. In other cases, their brand sets expectations lower. In either case, this is strategy, not a feeling of necessity.

Sweatshop Mentality

Businesses that try to underprice their competition in the hope that they’ll build momentum have a strategy too. The problem may be that they lack scale and when they lack scale, they are going to use resources to either gain scale or accept less profit.

Accepting less profit sometimes means paying the workforce less, so they then become a sweatshop. The sweatshop model not only lacks customer service but it also typically lacks talent.

A lack of talent is often a condition associated with cheap customer service. Not just because they don’t pay well, but also because it is part of their culture to just not pay. The underlying principle is money out, never equates to money in.

Cheap Vendors

A culture that insists on the concept of, the lowest price wins, probably also seeks the cheapest vendor. Cheap vendors are probably also using the strategy of low price builds volume. Therefore, the cheapest vendor is cutting every corner living just on the edge, somewhere between failure and survival.

What happens next? The vendor provides bad quality or poor service. Now the business who hired them must reject the work or else they face with delivering an inferior product or service. Often they choose to deliver inferior quality because it is cheaper.

What happens when you have cheap customer service? Some may survive, living just on that edge. Others may be bought by an organization that is improving by building scale.

Cheap Customer Service

Cheap customer service isn’t really a strategy. It develops from a strategy and becomes part of your culture.

There is an alternative. Don’t become a culture of cheap.

I think the alternative is much better.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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being everything appreciative strategies

Why Being Everything Doesn’t Matter Much

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There is a simple concept that many follow in business, “If we don’t have it we can get it.” That may go along with; we can build it, create it, or do it. Does being everything matter?

It seems logical, feels intuitive, we don’t want to lose the customer or the sale so we broaden our offering. On the job, we’re mostly taught to fill in, lend a hand, and learn something new. Does this make us more valuable, or less?

Like many things in life, some of this may be situational. It probably helps a lot of people most of the time, but when we really want to stand out or do our best work it may be the wrong approach.

Focus and Risk

We may call this our focus. What are the things that we do really well? What are our core competencies? In what ways or areas do we deliver our best work, build the best product, and set higher standards with our talent?

Focus feels risky. When we say we can’t do that, get that, or make that, it feels like business lost. It may be, and most can’t afford to give up anything, or so that is the feeling. On the other hand, when someone needs an expert, a specialist, and the best who will they call?

There are plenty of analogies about why focus makes sense. For example, for those who are industrial minded there is the torch that cuts metal. A broad flame isn’t concentrated, it doesn’t get as hot, a finer flame focused on a specific spot will cut through the metal.

Depending on backgrounds, industries, or even rural versus urban demographics there are analogies of the shotgun approach, spray and pray, or stories of you can’t be all things to all people. Is being everything smart?

Being Everything

When your focus is too wide, when you try to be everything to all people and all situations you might be lessening your value. In fact, you might accomplish much less. You may start a lot of work but you can’t seem to finish anything.

I’m certainly not suggesting you don’t lend a hand, build something custom, or order the one thing that is hard to get for your valued customers. At the same time, keep in mind that hauling a wider load doesn’t make the trip cost less or get you to the destination faster.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours!, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Build More

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Colgate, Tide, and Pepsi, all are brands. Brands have a reputation built on trust, tested over time, and likely recognized as a leader in a category of product or service. Yet there are other brands, brands that stand for low cost, convenient, or ease of use.

AppStratPhoto-Brand

Do you remember something that you paid too much for six months ago? If it wasn’t a major purchase, you probably don’t. Do you remember the brand that let you down? Do you remember when your trust was violated?

Your brand, your image, your product or service are all built from your reputation which likely starts, and ends, with trust. People will pay more, or pay less, and in the long run they probably won’t remember if they overpaid, but they’ll always remember what they trust.

You can build your brand, your talent, and your reputation, but if you don’t build trust you’ll likely build very little.

Build more. 

– DEG


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