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Talent is Just a Starting Point

Talent has been talked about for a long time, but in this period more than ever, being a resource that appears scarce and in great demand.

In general, when one thinks of the concept of talent, one imagines a person with extraordinary gifts, with extraordinary qualities.

Even in the business world, talent is very often associated with people with extraordinary skills or great individual skills. Many are convinced that one or two of these talents are enough to bring the company to success.

According to Wikipedia, talent is “a person’s natural inclination to do a certain activity well”. We can find a similar definition in the vocabularies.

The problem with these definitions is that they give genetics the power to decide whether an individual will be a winner or not, without emphasizing the fact that talent, if not properly cultivated and helped to emerge, will hardly be able to express itself.

Talent is not “knowing how to do”: what I know how to do – and often what I choose to do – is rather the consequence of my talent. Excellence in one field is not the talent itself, but the expression of him: the same person could, under different conditions, express his natural inclination and ability in other fields.

The truth is that talented people are able to change a company if they bring added value in terms of ideas, attitude, and skills. It must translate into that industriousness that, as human beings, we are naturally inclined to have in order to realize ourselves.

Emile Zola (writer, journalist, essayist) used to say: “The artist is nothing without talent, but talent is nothing without work”.

This is a key concept when it comes to talent; having a predisposition is often not enough if it is not trained correctly.

The phenomenal basketball champion Michael Jordan argues that: “Many are talented, but expressing a skill requires hard work: many people believe that my way of playing was a gift from God, while in reality, it is mostly the fruit of hours. of work in the gym “.

It is not enough to have talent, you have to train it, every day. Excellence cannot be improvised, even if the stroke of the wing, when you are already well prepared, can decide the fate of a career or a life.

The reality is that, in itself, the expression “talented person” has the same meaning it had 10 or 100 years ago, that is, a person with above-average intellectual, cognitive, artistic, or manual skills. Not necessarily all together, but at least some. Equally obviously, however, talent or natural talents are of little use if they are not cultivated, applying them to knowledge and skills that must be acquired.

Even the so-called geniuses need good knowledge and a lot of work. In fact, talent without application does not achieve great results. The extraordinary abilities of individuals commonly believed to be geniuses are the result of a skillful combination of personal skills, top-notch education, and hours of study and application. Almost always, these people do not necessarily have an IQ out of the ordinary, but rather excellent teachers, an environment that stimulates them to continually improve, and above all a desire to commit themselves: this is truly extraordinary.

The formula for genius, according to the Cambridge manual, is 1 percent inspiration, 29 percent excellent training, and 70 percent hard work.

We can then agree on the fact that we can all have a talent for something and we must learn to recognize it and orient it, but that even those who are apparently lacking in talent can over time build qualities in their field, with study, reading, curiosity, and the strong incentive to go further coming from a favorable environment, ready to support and sustain our change.

We can all find a little talent within us and make it grow, if we have the strength to develop it and, especially as young people, the good fortune to meet a teacher, a mentor, a reference, a guide, with a critical spirit that makes us find our talent.

I have no doubts about the importance of talent, that is, but I think that tenacity, application, and the desire to succeed are determining factors even in those who do not have natural talents.

In fact, I think that work and the attitude to sacrifice are factors that in the long run can bridge the gap that is generally believed to exist between a talented individual compared to one who is not, but who has a strong predisposition to sacrifice.

Application, effort, and practice are fundamental aspects that cannot be ignored.

Today, like yesterday, the concept of talent evokes a positive predisposition that can be specific or general and which nevertheless requires an enhancement and a favorable environment to translate into tangible results.

So, all that remains is to roll up your sleeves, bow your head to the books, open your mind to curiosity, and make up your mind to become the best. Wanting is power!

Comments are really appreciated! 

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Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

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