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Bay Jordan


Another great blog - as ever! I couldn't agree more with what you say, and your comment about "what you will do when you grow up" certainly struck a chord.

The answer lies in the recruitment process and is implicit in your "they need to go" example. Recruitment has to look at the total person when hiring, and not just job-descriptions and the "fit for purpose" match of individual to that job description. Life is about progress and if employers recognise that they are partnering in the life of the people they are recruiting they will recruit for talent and then work together to help the person develop their talent. It is not about "jobs for life" but "employment for life." Of course that does not have to be in the same company!



Hi Steve, Nice post as always.
We all have talents but as we grew up, became old we forgot about them. when it comes to our jobs; we forgot our dreams we realized that in corporations whoever was the closest to the boss would get the promotion, it was a matter of creating a "yes" society. It is really sad, I see at my own company where the "yes men" get the promotion no really the people that is getting the job done, however this is not just in my company this is across most companies.

Unless you decide to go on your own; that's the best way to develop your talents.
Where is the talent? Is there, we need management innovation to awake the giant.

Mary Jo Asmus

Hi Steve,

Nice thought provoker!

I'll offer another side of the coin. If you work in a large organization, and discover the fit isn't right, you (as the talented individual) may have the opportunity to stay within the organization by moving to another part of the business.

Case in point: I hired into a large pharma as a bench scientist right out of college. Loved the work, hated working alone. Was able to move to some very different business areas several times and use my talents. In most cases, I took the initiative (in a couple, I was recruited). It was a rich career in which I was able to seek out other opportuniites within the same company what would be good fits for me and the organizations I moved to.

Goodman Ager

Great post -- companies that find ways for their people to fit in when circumstances change are generally thought of as more "family like", and have a more loyal workforce as a result.

Dan Erwin

Steve, I agree with you completely. What you are going to be when we grow up is tied tightly to the old view of IQ, to the notion that personality tests will give us important insight into our future, to the idea that if we follow our passion we'll be successful, happy creatures, and to the idea that our identity is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered at the core of our being. Once we find that treasure we'll also find a related job. The problem, of course, is that the job market changes all the time, putting the "real me" on the streets.

All of that very conventional wisdom fails to stand up to research scrutiny. Today's research, especially that of Hazel Markus, tells us that we have many masks that we can wear from setting to setting. Who I am at 3M is not who I am as an MBA teacher, or even as a Christian minister. I have had three evolving careers and am now into my fourth.

That places a lot of responsibility for growth upon me--and my organization--but talent, as Daniel Coyle writes so eloquently, is grown, not born. Actually, it's been a lot of fun, and I expect it to continue to be so. I've got several blogs on the issue. Try this one: http://bit.ly/pCxHP

Steve Roesler


Glad this hit home. You have an observation that really struck me: "if employers recognise that they are partnering in the life of the people they are recruiting they will recruit for talent and then work together to help the person develop their talent."

That viewpoint would deeply impact the overarching approach to what employment means in the context of a more committed relationship.

Thanks for that one. . .

Scott Allison

Very nice ideas here. I like the idea of matching our talents to prepare us for life's transitions. Developing talent means flexibility, keeping an open mind, and remaining optimistic. Check out my blog on Today's Heroes: http://blog.richmond.edu/heroes

Scott Meske

Steve:Right on the button. I would offer another button. If YOU change and adapt and grow, but the organization remains stagnant, it is another Aha! moment for your career. Having a core inner circle of trusted friends and family will help identify when you as a leader or as a person have outgrown the organization.

Steve Roesler

Scott A:

The longer I'm in this business, the more I believe that it's all about transitions. Changes will happen regardless of what we want or don't want. The result: How we learn to transition becomes important to the journey, personal and professional.

Steve Roesler

Scott M:


Can't believe that was missing; thanks for filling in the blank.

You know, I think that's one of the most difficult. You address it with the solution.

When things become uncomfortable we often tend to validate our own growth last. Even then, we hear the voice "Well, everyone else seems satisfied so there must be something wrong with me." This is when that trusted circle is so valuable; those folks will be able to provide the examples of all the things that are "right about me" and that it's legitimately time to move on.

For everything there is a season. . .

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