Talent is Never Enough - 13 Factors to Maximise your Talent

Talent is not something that is gifted at birth. Of course there are a few exceptions that make things look so easy and we tend to believe that they are born with a certain gift. However if we go deeper they reached their Everest by harnessing their talent and get the best out of themselves.
Talent is never enough by John Maxwell is one of the best books I have read. It is quite motivational and inspirational. He identifies thirteen factors that can help maximise your talent. Here is brief overview of them with my take on each.
Belief lifts your talent   – The first step is to believe in yourself. You can’t go far without believing in your talent. We can all agree that we have enormous untapped potential and we have to believe first before we get the most out of ourselves. Have a personal mission statement that is exciting. My mission statement is to maximise my potential and help others maximise theirs.
Passion energizes your talent – Obviously if you want to make the most of your talent you need to be passionate about your life. Passion gives you the extra energy when the going gets tough. Passion can be ignited by getting excited about your life. You may be passionate about playing the violin but if you are not good at it there are no easy ways you can make a living. So marry passion with competence to make the most of your talent.  
Initiative activates your talent – I take this to mean that there is no way anyone can do it for you. The only person who can make the most of your talent is you. So take the initiative to make the most of your talent. Identify your areas of strength, work on your weakness and be always continuously learning.
Focus directs your talent – No one who has achieved greatness directed their focus in multiple directions. Instead they focused on one or two goals and worked relentlessly to achieve that. Set goals which are specific and focus only on those. Eliminate non value adding activities.
Preparation positions your talent   – Before any competition the athlete prepares for the event. You need to understand your strengths and focus on those. Also identify learning opportunities related to the event you are preparing for. Identify role models and spend time with them.
Practice sharpens your talent   – It is obvious that even if you have all the talent you can’t achieve greatness without relentless deliberate practice. Even the great Roger Federer despite all his talent practices daily to ensure he is always at his best. You need to practice to reach the heights of your talent.
Perseverance sustains your Talent – You will hit roadblocks when you go after your dream so you should persevere until the end. Never give up on temporary setbacks. Always have the big picture in mind. When you encounter roadblocks keep focused on the dream. Again this is where having a personal mission statement is the key.
Courage tests your talent – Winston Churchill is the best example of a courageous person. Some of his quotes I liked are “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” This quote is also great "Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others."
Teachability expands your talent   – I take this to mean that you need to be always on the path of learning. Never think you have made it and become complacent. Identify experts in your field, read their blogs, listen to their podcasts, document what you have learned and share what you have learned.  
Character protects your talent – We have so many talented people destroy themselves by a single mistake. We have seen organizations taking short cuts which ultimately cost them. So protect your character and don’t get carried away by success. Define a set of core values by which you will stand.
Relationships influence your talent – Basically associate with people who are encouraging you and share your values. Be wary of people who are always critical or jealous of you. Develop an abundance mentality as there is enough credit to go around. Having strong relationships will enable you to take the right risks to make the most of your talent.
Responsibly strengthens your talent – You alone are responsible for making the most out of yourself. Take 100% responsibility for your life and take all the actions needed to get the best out of yourself. No one else cares as much about you as yourself.  
Teamwork multiplies your talent – While you are responsible for everything you can’t make it alone. You would need the help of others to achieve anything significant. Be a great team player and share credit wherever it is deserved. Ensure everyone in your teams feels great to be part of it.
There you have it the 13 factors that will help you make the most of your talent.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.


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