“Talent:” a term used regularly to refer to the “high potentials” that every employer is desperately trying to attract, the social sector included. But who and what are we really talking about when referring to this ambiguous group and how does one go about getting hold of them? These are the questions that my cofounders and I have been asking ourselves since we started The Changer—a career platform designed to help nonprofits and mission-driven businesses attract and keep the kind of people that they were missing, those that were going to be able to help take these organisations to the next level, to help them live up to their lofty ambitions of changing the world and even turn around an entire economic system on a crash course for collision.
Archive for category: Careers
No job is filled with creativity and stimulation 100% of the time. And yet we’re all born with passions that should be fully explored in the search for fulfilling careers. They’re out there; are you rushing to find them? Do you squeeze the most juice from each day? Maybe you love the outdoors; choose one of countless jobs that has you experiencing sunlight over fluorescent lights, breathing natural air rather than that from filtered air conditioning. Maybe you love food; choose one of equally countless jobs that has you preparing, cooking, creating, serving, owning. Do you get the idea? Choose!
In my decades of training and coaching, I have helped many leaders harness storytelling to bring about success. In his observation that good leaders “define reality,” Max De Pree’s important insight is that reality does not define itself. Experienced leaders recognize that truths obvious to them may not be widely understood throughout their organizations. Reality requires interpretation, and narrative work animates that effort.
Once upon a time, in childhood and high school, my days stretched out like weeks and my weeks stretched out like months, and a summer vacation was like a year. I had endless hours to play with my art and be creative, and time moved slowly in a good way as I discovered the world and my own creativity.
Each of us is born with distinct gifts, to be developed and expanded through discipline and desire, or to be left to fade through apathy and anxiety. They encompass the kaleidoscopic range of human experiences, from construction worker to concert violinist, from doorman to doctor, from gardener to golfer, from proctor to president.
The 8:30 a.m. conference at your downtown office will emphatically not wait for being held up in rush-hour traffic, for getting the kids ready for school in time for the bus, for finishing your preparation for the pending presentation, for putting gas in the car, for stopping at the ATM, for… for… for.
What happens after you get laid off from that desk job, the one that was doable and steady but never all that exciting? Or perhaps you just had your fill of getting the morning coffee, going in to the office each day, fulfilling your responsibilities with efficiency if not much enthusiasm, and eagerly awaiting that lifeline and timeline du jour: 5 o’clock.
For so many teenagers, it’s simply not an option. Their grades must be exemplary. Their SAT and ACT scores must be in one of those coveted eat-sleep-and-drink percentiles. Their college applications must be loaded with everything from athletics to community involvement.
That seems like an easy question to answer: the morning radio show, the news, the car horns outside my window, my boss giving me directions for the day. We spend much of the day listening, and yet, do we know how to truly listen? Lately the message I have been getting is, no, we don't.