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What makes talent stand out?

I recently went to a CIPD conference and was really interested to hear some views on what determines someone with ‘talent’ or ‘high potential’ within organisations. There are many takes on this but the one that most interested me was that it came down to three things:
- self awareness (knowing yourself)
- understanding others (good interpersonal skills)
- the ability to set challenging goals and remain focused on them.

What struck me was how straightforward it seems. The first two points are the essence of emotional intelligence. The third point reflects the importance of direction, personal vision, and focus of efforts.

I was able to use this in an action planning session the next day with delegates from a large publishing company. It really helped stress the importance of the session within the context of their own development.