Talent Alone Is Not Enough

Many leaders seem to believe that when they bring together talented teams, success is a foregone conclusion. It’s almost as if talent alone is enough for success to be guaranteed. But talent is the starting point, not the finished product. Identify the talent you need. Bring that talent together. But don’t even think about calling that talent a team yet.

The truth is that leaders need to set up their teams so that they can be successful, even when they are very talented. We need to make sure that the environment is right, that they have everything that they need, that they are well motivated and when we do that we significantly increase the probability of success.

Solo performers focus on what they do. Leaders focus on helping the team succeed. Companies need stars to produce and thereby enable organizational success. Companies also need leaders who can engage the talents of many to achieve intended results. Good leaders also work with individuals to draw out their talents through coaching, so that they grow and develop their skills.

Talent does not always translate to success. Being told you have potential is not necessarily a compliment. Potential is wasted all the time. Teams and individuals succeed in the right environments, ones which allows their talents to flourish. Even the most talented struggle when they are just thrown in the deep end with little or no leadership support.

Summing-up: A leader’s true talent lies in helping others achieve more than what they might have on their own. This is a leader’s reward. It is not a reward that everyone seeks—or can deliver.

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