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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gifts & Talents: Know Yours and Those of Your Team

Leadership is not about one-man shows.  If anything it's about being a conductor of an orchestra.  Helping to  bring together the talents of of others to make things happen.  The gifted leader knows his/her own limitations and realizes that there are members of his team that have diverse interests that can be put to work in creative ways to help reach business goals.  One of the best ways to find out about hidden talents is simply to ask team members about their interests and abilities.  One of the Gallup Poll questions you will remember from an earlier posting was whether an employee got to do their very best every day.  What better way to help people do their very best than to incorporate their known talents into their work?

Knowing others talents helps me know who to delegate to.  If I know a particular employee is good with spreadsheets or databases, that's who I call when I have needs in that area.  But remember, before I can delegate, I have to get past that nagging feeling that I have to do everything myself if I want it done right.  I can accomplish more by recognizing others talents.

1 Peter 4:10

New International Version (NIV)

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Let's get things done, examples of how other's gifts and talents can be used in the workplace:
You have vehicles to maintain. One of your employees used to be a mechanic and understands about parts and billing by estimated time. They may be good to enter your preventive maintenance records into a computer tracking system.
You have an employee who is a part-time minister. He/she is interested in calling on your sick and injured employees to make sure their needs are being met.
You have an employee who is a singer. She would be happy to provide entertainment for the Christmas party.
Another employee loves to plan get togethers. Would a summer family picnic be right for your team?
You really need someone to take the lead on planning for disasters. One of your employees is totally into preparedness. What about delegating these responsibilities to this employee and having less meetings with him/her so that you can be updated.
Keeping your policies up to date is a chore. You have 5 employees who are very detail oriented and concerned about the policies. Is this an opportunity for a small workgroup to advise you on the policies?
OK, let's face it. You are not good at community outreach, but you have employees who get a lot out of doing that. What a great tradeoff.

I have seen such powerful examples of quality work done by team members on behalf of their organization that have been value added when the leader has empowered the individual to go for it.

How To Identify A Gift or Talent
You can do it or learn it easily
You feel strong when you do it
It comes naturally to you
It brings joy to you and others
You look forward to doing it
You feel like you’re “in the zone” when you do it
Time seems to fly when you’re doing it
After you’ve expressed your talent you feel fulfilled
After you’ve expressed a talent you look forward to doing it again


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