You may see that our business name is Talent to Strength, because that describes the essence of what we do. We provide people with the tools, knowledge and resources to learn and understand their talents and apply them to become a strength. Now, why didn't Dr. Clifton just create an instrument that could tell you what your strengths were? As I mentioned in the last issue, there's an infinite number of activities and there's various performance levels among them, so it would be impossible to create an assessment to identify your unique strengths. So instead, he focused on helping people to identify talents, because Dr. Clifton came to realize that in order to perform something consistently and near perfectly, in other words a strength, we needed to harness our talents.
It's our talents that really energize you and cause you to engage in certain activities in such a way that you find them enjoyable, you want to learn more about that activity, you enjoy it while you are doing it, you show glimpses of excellence, you show signs that you were really good at this and you want to become better at it. You are willing to invest the effort needed to become good in that activity, because that's what is required. To be good at something, you need to practice, gather knowledge, and develop skills. By first identifying your talents, you can harness them to various activities in your lives more deliberately and effectively.
A strength would be like a cake, a nice, delicious and appetizing cake, and our themes of talent are like the flour- a critical ingredient to making a cake. No matter how good the flour is, without adding a couple of other ingredients, the flour by itself is not the same as a cake. The other ingredients that Dr. Clifton talked about were knowledge and skills. For him a formula for strength would be strength = talent x investment. Investment in what? Investment in growing your knowledge and cultivating skills.
Knowledge: Think about any activity that you have to perform on a regular basis. Knowledge in that activity would be what information do you need to perform that activity better, to understand the nature of that activity, and relevant information that if you knew it, would help you make better decisions about where to focus. This is the role of knowledge and we'll do a separate issue on that.
Eggs is to Knowledge
Skills: Every activity requires you to perform steps, and when you perform those steps well through practice you're performance improves. Let’s go back to the formula for what leads to a strength. In order to harness your talents effectively and invest in growing your knowledge (whether it's book knowledge or talking to experts, or experiential knowledge) you add the necessary skills, which are the steps of the activity needed to perform well. We'll also do a separate issue focusing more on skills. But this is the basis for the relationship between a strength and a talent.
Sugar to skill
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