LOOKING FOR TALENT...........THE LAZY WAY OUT!
In a recent interview for a well respected hospitality educational institution, I was asked to provide my opinion on the strategic need to find the most talented people for further educational development. It is apparent that the future is brighter if they could only find talented individuals and then work with the cream, regardless of their financial ability.
After careful thought and a lifetime in the industry, it occurred to me that this is certainly the best and easiest way to produce talented management material but obviously is the easiest route. That is ....start with the most talented raw material and then claim full credit for their brilliance on graduation.
However, it occurred to me that as clever as I am at spotting future winners after a lifetime in the industry, this approach greatly handicaps those whose talents are not so obvious from the start and perhaps even overlooks those who might remain in the industry longer and subsequently develop their skills more effectively.
Taking that thought even further, I realised that in fact we are all surrounded by latent talent. Even in the most modest of corners, one will find a person whose talents are just longing to erupt, a person whose command of the language may at first be limited, or whose knowledge of a work process or the mission is non-existent. A person who, with the right guidance and motivation, will demonstrate extraordinary capabilities putting the most naturally talented individual to shame. There is no shortage of talent, only the ability to recognise it, nurture it and enhance it. Our patience gets in the way because we want it now, we want it easy and we do not find time for the development process.
The time has come I believe to recognise this fact. The time has come to step up to the plate. The time is ripe to recognise that virtually all individuals on earth have the talent necessary to help us excell, to take our business and our industry to the next stage, one where exceeding expectations is a fact of everyday life, not only for our guests and owners but for our fellow workers and students.
One in which management at all levels inspires, thrills, leads and develops the talent that surrounds us. Because this is a 'pyramid scheme'. One in which the franchise for further development of talent is passed on to others who pass it on to yet others.
And while I would like to think that I am wholly and totally responsible for the successes that I have enjoyed in my professional career, I must admit that the only people responsible for any successes that I have had are those that inspired, led, taught and guided me. They excited me with their ideas, their language, their passion and their commitment. My talent is a product of their work and commitment.
More or less 50% of all graduates of hospitality educational institutions go into other industries. I believe that it is time to review our approach to the recognition and development of talent and to focus more strategically on those that we rely on for this development.
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