Unique Talent

By Darrell Cook

Each of us possesses a unique talent specific to our passions and skills that is truly one of a kind. This quality is the one that sets you apart from everyone else. It can be hard to recognize your talent if you don’t take a good look at what it is that makes you successful.

Business owners are the worst culprits for disregarding their unique talent as they most often feel their role in the organization is best served as a “jack of all trades.” When entrepreneurs begin their quest to change the world with their dreams and ideas, they usually start with only themselves and a few people. This small group tends to work long hours on multi-disciplinary projects, using many different business skills. Over time, this process can lead to stress, inter-company problems, disorganization and, most importantly, mediocrity in the eyes of their customers. Entrepreneurs masquerade this virtue as exceptional service, but it only devalues unique individual talents.

Sir Ken Robinson, renowned author and PhD, recently wrote a book titled, The Element. Its main concept is that natural talent and passion brought together will result in the highest level of personal achievement. He uses the stories of a variety of famous people, including Paul McCartney, Matt Goering and Arianna Huffington, to illustrate his message.

So how do you find your hidden, unique talent? The first thing is to stop and look at your business processes. Ask yourself, “How many areas of the company am I deeply involved in?” If you are immersed in more than one area, ask yourself, “Which do I like best?” This answer should come from the heart and not the head. Even though you like to involve yourself in accounting because you can review the financials, it is the process of doing the act that you need to fall in love with. Some entrepreneurs hate the act of selling, but are excellent salespeople. Usually, this means that they are the real subject matter expert; therefore, they should not be involved in the entire sales process, but be brought into the sales process after a salesperson has qualified the lead.

Dan Sullivan, founder and coach of the Strategic Coach, states that Unique Ability is paramount to success for entrepreneurs. His company coaches over 3000 entrepreneurs each year, all of whom will have a coaching session on Unique Ability. Dan states that there are four criteria for understanding your Unique Ability: a) superior skill that others recognize in you; b) you love to do this one thing the best; c) this one thing gives you tremendous energy; and d) you get better and better at this one thing every year.

A good exercise to recognize your unique talent is to ask your team and your family: what is the one thing I do well? If the answers are consistent, you are well on your way to refining your unique talent. If you get inconsistent answers, then you will know immediately that you are working in too many areas. Turn toward what you love to do and learn to delegate the actions you don’t love so much.

By finding your Unique Talent, you position yourself well in front of your customers, and give them the clearest reminder of why they should select your company over the competition. Mostly, your performance will be greater due to your focus on your passions and best skills.

Darrell Cook is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Conversys. His focus is to steward the North American growth for Digital Promotions Marketing. His career spans a wide range of technology and Internet companies throughout North America and the UK. From small start-ups to Fortune 500 firms, Darrell excels at bridging offline business processes with effective online channels. He is currently a Board of Director of the Retail Advertising and Marketing Club of Canada (RAC), and former Board of Director of the Internet Advertising Bureau of Canada.

By Adam

September 23, 2011