I want to share an idea with you that can completely shift the future of your company, an idea so important that without it, there is virtually no way to build a great organization. Unbelievably, far too few businesses understand the importance of this very simple fact: the future of your company is directly tied to the quality of talent you can attract and keep.


I know that doesn’t sound particularly earth shattering, sexy, or revolutionary, but it underlies one of the most powerful business paradoxes I have encountered. Every business book I buy, every business magazine I read, and literally thousands of research studies clearly demonstrate that no organization can survive unless one of their major strategies revolves around talent management. Yet it has been my frustrating experience that not nearly enough businesses take it seriously. Oh, some pay a lot of lip-service to the “it’s a war for talent” story. But I have found that it is the very rare company that truly embraces the idea of finding, hiring, and taking care of only the very best people they can possibly bring into the organization. This is great for you, because if your organization makes talent acquisition and development a core competency, you will have a huge competitive advantage.


The word talent can encompass numerous meanings. So here is what I mean when I think about what constitutes real business talent:


1. Competence.

At the very foundation, to be “talented,” a person has to be highly competent in an area that is valuable in the marketplace. This person must possess skills, abilities, ideas, and information that others are willing to pay for. Truly talented people are fanatics for lifelong learning. They have an insatiable desire to increase their skills and knowledge at every possible opportunity. Through books, magazines, CDs, podcasts, seminars, and mentors, every successful businessperson is a sponge for new ideas.

2. Character.

You can have the smartest person on your team, the very highest performer, yet if he or she isn’t completely trustworthy, you have a liability, not an asset. It is absolutely essential to business success that the talented people you hire conduct themselves with complete integrity. Honesty, transparency, and living a values-based life are the elements that build professional and personal character.

3. Collaboration.

The world is too complex, with too much information, and moving at too high a velocity for any single individual to handle it alone. (Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto.) For talented individuals to be effective in any organization, they must be superb at collaborating with others. They must work well with teams and engage widely in knowledge sharing. In fact, talented individuals must be willing to submerge their personal egos for the success of those around them. Teamwork is mandatory, not optional.

4. Communication

Every talented business professional who succeeds at a high level is an expert communicator. But on contrary, it is not great skills of oratory or persuasion that are the most important. It is the ability to ask superior questions and then listen to the answers. Truly great communicators are curious. They watch everything, listen to every word, look for the meaning and emotions behind the words. Talented business professionals make the person they are talking to the very center of their universe at that moment. They are adept at laying out simple, clear, and logical arguments- all while connecting emotionally. To clarify, talented businesspeople understand to succeed you have to constantly improve and develop communications skills like clear speech, focused listening, asking questions, body language, motivation, and conflict resolution.

5. Commitment

No great success is ever achieved without great effort. Highly talented businesspeople are committed, driven, and passionate about what they are doing. They do not see their work as a job, but instead as an adventure, a quest, a higher calling. They have a positive can-do attitude, embrace risk, and see setbacks as opportunities for learning. More than charisma. It is their focused and disciplined commitment to excellence and their personal integrity that inspire those around them.


To succeed in the future, you must become a fanatic about finding and recruiting top talent. Therefore, you need to be obsessed with discovering highly competent people of impeccable character who work really well with others, are great communicators, and have a driving commitment to excellence.

If you want to get in contact with me, I’d love to hear from you. Please visit my site at https://johnspence.com/contact/ and let me know how I can help.

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