Cultivating Talent

Good Evening!

First apologies for being a little light on the dispatches lately, truth told I have been a little bit spent creatively, and physically to some degree if I am being fully transparent.

(I was going to say busy too… but I don’t believe “busy” is a real thing; its just a question of motivation, priorities, and timing of which mine has been slightly off)

But we are back!

Today I want to talk about something that, without sound like I am blowing my own horn, I have always been quite good at in 3 of my 4 careers (it didn’t really apply to the other one). That is identifying, and cultivating talented people.

What do I mean by that?

Talent doesn’t just mean the skills required to do the job, though there needs to be some level of those as well I suppose. But talent is more of a natural ability that someone has… that maybe they aren’t even aware of. I wish I could get a more specific or logical way to make it actionable for you… but you really just need to look for personality traits, and behavioral cues., get a sense of what kind of person some one is, and if they have the character and traits that will be needed to do what you are going to need of them.

Then it becomes your job to encourage and grow those traits to make them into a… wait for it…

… Legiit Superstar!

Let me give you some real life examples.

When I was the Warehouse Manager at Circuit City (RIP) they would often transfer people that were under performing in other departments, or hire people that may not have been the most skilled for electronics retail, and first put them in the warehouse. One kid, Mario, was super awkward, had a hard time talking to people, and… well they put him in the video games section so he got made fun of a lot. But I had talked to him and realized he was really smart and had a great work ethic. So they transferred him to the warehouse. I put him in charge of coming up with a way to reorganize the entire warehouse to maximize space… and he did. He also started to socialize with the rest of us and came out of his shell a lot. They eventually transferred him out to the TV department where he became a top sales person.

Another example from when I worked in politics.

I primarily worked in “field” which is the people that knock on doors, make phone calls and so on. The people you see around your neighborhood. Recruiting volunteers was the main job. We had this one lady, Martha who was older and didn’t get around well, but wanted to help. There was this computer program we were supposed to use to log the results of a call but she didn’t feel comfortable with that either. So I found a way to print off both the script and the sheets form the program so she could record the results that way…

…and she turned out to be a natural on the phone and became one of our best volunteers getting more people to join our side than anyone else we recruited… she just needed a little bit of nurturing and cultivating.

And I saved the best for last.

Many of you know Djordje, the Director Of Operation (DOO) at Legiit and one of the hardest working people I know. I met Djordje when another contractor I was working with took vacation and asked Djordje to stand in for him for a week. During that week Djordje absolutely CRUSHED the other contractors performance that week, because he was clearly more organized. When it got to where I needed someone to help me with my services business in general, Djordje came recommended by that other guy. He started with a small task and I found him to be quiet and a little awkward, and very worried about upsetting me (to this day, when I give him grief we joke about how 2017 Djordje would have freaked) but he was doing a tremendous job and his position and responsibilities kept growing and he allowed me to focus more on other things… like launching Legiit. There would be no Legiit without Djordje. Today he has about 15 people working under him and handles my entire services business and various other things for me while also running his own services, and is one of my closest advisors and friends.

This ended up going a lot longer than I expected but I think it is super important if you plan on having any kind of team and growth. Look for people who have the rudimentary skills that you need, but have the drive, passion, hustle, and intangibles to really grow into something epic.

That’s what I saw in all the folks I mentioned here.

That’s what I see in a couple people I am currently bringing on board.

That’s how you build a winning team.

If you have any questions please let me know.