Your Company’s Got Talent

Make it a priority to view every individual on your team through a lens that focuses on his or her unique gifts and talents.

I admit to being a sucker for those YouTube videos that show extraordinary talent emerging from a nondescript individual whose appearance would have you believe this performance is going to be a disaster. The judges’ expressions clearly cannot hide their skeptical first impressions.

Then, when we are exposed to this magnificent voice that leaves us in wonder, we recriminate ourselves for being so judgmental, and ultimately applaud both the individual’s gifts and courage.

There are gifted people in every arena of life, and exceptional talent is more abundant than generally is appreciated. Talent, however, needs first to be recognized and then nurtured and nourished. Great leaders and coaches understand this, and that is how high-performing companies and teams get built.

When leaders are held in high regard, when their personal brand is strong and positive, common feedback from members of their team can be summed up in these words: “My leader helped me to appreciate that I had much greater potential and ability than I was willing to give myself credit. I was taken to a whole new level of possibility for my career and life.”

Talent is often not obvious because many people don’t recognize it within themselves. Their education was not one that sought to draw out their individual gifts or potential, yet I would argue that this is the purpose of education. Inventor Buckminster Fuller stated: “All children are born geniuses, and we spend the first six years of their lives de-geniusing them.”

So here is a meaningful commitment that could take your team to whole new level of exceptional performance. Make it a goal to learn something about each person that you never knew before and that makes him or her special. Make it a priority to view every individual through a lens that focuses on his or her unique gifts and talents.

At TransForm, we often do something similar as an “ice-breaker” exercise at the beginning of a leadership or teambuilding experience. Even established groups whose members have had substantial experience of working together often know so little about each other’s uniqueness.

At first, it may “appear” this newly revealed talent may not have application in the workplace. Do not rush to judgment, however. Be creative and think outside of the box about what this person has been doing and how he or she has been doing it. Discuss with the individual innovative ways for how this new talent could be applied.

Now follow this process with all members of your team and you will discover fresh new insights for raising individual and team performance.

 “People perform at their best when contributing their gifts and talents to something they believe in.” —From “Even Eagles Need a Push” (Random House)


David McNally, CPAE, is the CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) of TransForm Corporation ( Elected to the Speakers Hall of Fame by the National Speakers Association (NSA), McNally is the author of the bestselling books, “Even Eagles Need a Push—Learning to Soar in a Changing World,” “The Eagle’s Secret—Success Strategies for Thriving at Work and in Life,” and “The Push—Unleashing the Power of Encouragement.” His new book, “Mark of an Eagle,” will be released in fall 2016. His co-authored book, “Be Your OWN Brand,” is used by many business schools to address the importance of building a strong personal brand. McNally’s books have been translated into 12 different languages and developed into corporate training programs that have been released in more than 20 countries. TransForm works with organizations to develop purposeful leaders who build inspired organizations and iconic brands. Clients include Ameriprise, Areva, Conway, Delta Airlines, Pulte Homes, and Thrivent. For more information, visit or e-mail