For nearly 30 years I have been focused on the research and discovery of the "difference-making" attributes of truly high performing talent that produce great results and who are simultaneously 'team focused' and not inwardly centered. Think of those 'blue chip' hires that seem to ignite teams, lead innovation, drive sales, encourage others, and accomplish great feats. Now it is true that sometimes bright and gifted talent operate best when working alone, such as individual contributors; and they may be called the individual contributor because of their inability to work with others; However this group is not my focus in this article.
What I have been most interested in exploring in my research and training is that small super minority of talent that is highly talented, able, pleasant, team building, coachable, with sufficient humility and emotional intelligence to work through and with other people to achieve great results. What I am contemplating is something much more than being 'engaged' in good work; it's the unique ability for difference making talent to produce, drive, and bring others along to make the teams better in the process. Think of it as my search for the "Michael Jordan's" in everyday life and many spans of careers and business contributions.
In my pondering about difference makers I have reviewed scholarly contributions of human resource and industrial psychology research covering a span of over 110 years. Research has much to say about talent, ability, acumen, persistence, performance, and many other variables. Additionally, I have I looked for examples of high performing athletes, business leaders, entrepreneurs, inventors, and difference making team players, and it appears to me that there are clusterings of noticeable traits among these talented individuals that I have grouped into a paradigm for teaching that I call the difference makers "Talent PaletteTM".
The Talent PaletteTM is a useful paradigm and teaching tool for helping train business leaders, entrepreneurs, coaches, teachers, and other individuals interested in the attributes of high performing difference making talent. Importantly, many of the attributes above can be learned, indeed lifetime learning and curiosity are vital traits of the difference maker.
So follow this blog in the coming weeks and months as I roll out additional information, research, and tools to help coaches, leaders, and students use, understand, identify, and coach these difference making attributes in others.
I am personally ignited by the concepts here in the Talent Palette and much looking forward to pushing forward this paradigm in this new year. Here's to a memorable and great year!