standing apart: what quality do we have that really makes us special?

This is one of those flights of wonder moments. An idea that came out of the blue.
What I’d like you to think about is – what places us apart from other animals?
Why doing something for no reason defines us as real people...
Sounds easy at first. Is it our use of tools, how smart we are – even our reasoning.
But those aren’t definitions, they’re just more shades of the same colours.

Every animal will have those qualities to some extent, some smarter than others.
Just what is it we have that animals really don’t – and what should we value?

Just think about it – It might just make you look at people differently…

A talent to disrupt

Looking at someone’s qualifications or previous employer rarely gives a true picture of their capabilities or how they’ll make a difference to your organisation – and that’s really what you need to know.

Ironically, you don’t want someone to “fit in” – you need them to disrupt things. Maybe there is something else you can look for. The clue’s in the heading…

So what does define us as people, if its not how clever we are or qualifications?

I think the answer may lie in a greatly misunderstood and abused word. Talent.

Talent is a creative ability – the ability not just to know things, but to do something that others around us can’t do – or can’t do as well.

You see, talent is the ability to create something. And not just something useful, but something for the Hell of it, for the sense of achievement in doing it.

Talent is a truly unique gift. It may be nothing to do with work, it may be a hobby. But its presence in that person’s character sets them apart. It gives them the ability to think laterally about problems and come up with innovative solutions.

I believe that only those with that “I do it just because I can” ability are truly special people. Because creativity – talent – cannot ever be taught or acquired, but crucially for employers, it can be channelled.

Without talent, any solutions arrived at will be from experience or second hand – talentless people work like animals, for survival – not to be creatively effective.

Talent is the thing that sets us aside from animals. Animals don’t have hobbies. Animals don’t do things without a purpose. They do things to further their chance of survival – it may be something smart – but we should never call it talent!

What to do with that next job applicant

Next time you interview someone, after you’ve studied yet another identikit CV from another corporate clone, make sure you discover what their hobbies are.

Ask them about their spare time, not what they have to do, but just choose to do. Then choose the one with the best hobbies. You won’t be disappointed!