In my work as a coach with business leaders I’ve discovered four meta-talents that are essential for success. Organizations, and especially teams need all 4 meta-talents to implement work projects and change initiatives.
Here’s a snap shot of these 4 talent types. I have nicked named the meta-talents ‘Diamond, Club, Heart, and Spade’ talents so they are easy to remember…
DIAMOND TALENTS imagine what’s possible. It’s the Diamond talent who sparks change and imagines the next best thing. Diamond talents are innovators and out-of-the-box thinkers. Steve Jobs is a Diamond talent. His innovative ideas have skyrocketed Apple Computer to the front of the pack and driven up the stock value.As an innovator, Steve Jobs says, “Why join the navy when you can be a pirate?” His revolutionary ideas are challenging competitors and changing the game in the computer industry.
Diamond talents are essential at the start up phase of new projects. They create a fresh approach. Diamonds also suggest innovative solutions to challenges throughout implementation.
The challenge for others working with the Diamond talent is they can wreck havoc when it’s time to standardize the process.
CLUB TALENTS champion a vision and create the systems to ensure long-term success. Club talents are the architects of change. Bill Gates is a Club talent. His deal-making abilities have turned Microsoft into a market leader. Many business owners have benefited from his structure and market savvy.
As a Club talent, Bill Gates says, “Our success has been based on partnerships from the very beginning.” In typical Club fashion, he set up partnerships and agreements that allowed both Microsoft and collaborators to win big.
The challenge for others working with the Club talent is they can run roughshod over others in their efforts to succeed.
HEART TALENTS focus on relationships. A Heart talent champions the underdog, encourages and develops others, and expresses appreciation. Princess Diana exemplifies a Heart talent. She was a compassionate champion of the poor and reached out with kindness. As a Heart talent, Princess Diana is quoted as saying, “Whoever is in distress can call on me. I will come running wherever they are.” Heart talents help team members get along, ensure everyone is included and motivate individuals to contribute their best.
The challenge for others working with a Heart talent is they can take on too much responsibility for the emotional angst in the organization and burn out.
SPADE TALENTS like to dig in and get things done. They are the practical realists on the team. Spade talents like to organize the project and drive it across the finish line. They will leave no stone unturned to achieve their goals.
Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of England is a Spade talent. She refuses to rest until she makes progress and checks off her list at the end of the day. In typical Spade fashion, Margaret Thatcher says, “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.”
The challenge for others working with Spade talents is they sometimes forget to look up and recognize changing priorities.
Work projects require all four meta-talents to ensure success. Make sure your team has the right mix of talents to achieve their goals. Orchestrate these 4 meta-talents. Recognize each talent has a different role to play at various stages of the project.
Help team members use their talents wisely and at the right time. Encourage team members to respect talent differences. For extraordinary results, focus on talent strengths and watch each other’s backside.