How Do You Develop Your Talents?
Our free monthly e-newsletter is read by hundreds of professionals and business leaders across Australia and around the globe. We welcome your comments at any time and invite you to share the enewsletter with friends or colleagues who may also subscribe at www.lamplighter.com.au/subscribe.
How Do You Develop Your Talents?
Perth’s Belmont Forum was the host of world-renowned street artist Kurt Wenner last week. For years, Kurt’s work has astounded people on the streets of Europe, North America, Asia and now here in Australia for the first time. Working with his own hand-made chalks, Kurt turns pavement into Renaissance scenes of incredible perspective. Search for his name on the internet and you will find numerous incredible examples of his work. In Belmont, he created a nativity scene worthy of a chapel ceiling in just 5 days.
Using precise geometric calculations and a tremendous artistic gift, his paintings can be eerily 3D. Even on the internet, where many millions have seen his work spread through viral emails, one can see the prodigious talent that has gone into his work.
I was able to speak with Kurt for a few minutes after he finished his piece and asked him about his work and his talent.
“It started for me in 1985, when I was studying painting in Rome. I saw how they had painted with this perspective on curved surfaces and wanted to copy that on the street, so that people could see the flat image from their viewpoint.”
Fascinatingly, he said that over the last 25 years he has been working on developing and relearning these lost techniques that artists used hundreds of years ago, but are virtually lost today. He went on to speak about the fact that he still learns every time he paints one of his works. One of Kurt’s goals is to continue to teach others how to accomplish what he has learned and is creating a repository of source materials – written, photographic and video – that he can use to teach others in person and via the internet.
Think about it: already a brilliant artist, twenty-five years ago he decided to take on this challenge. Using his established gifts he has developed this immense talent over the decades and continues to develop and improve his abilities.
Most of us are happy when we get something down after a few tries. It takes great dedication to develop our gifts and our talents. I encounter this sometimes with coaching and workshop clients where they say after one or two successful attempts at a speech, or working with their staff, that now they’ve “got it” and they’re “good”. While, yes, they may have achieved their initial goals, to think that they have gotten to the top and have all they need after a few tries is deceptive thinking. Talent takes years to develop – even for the prodigies.
On the other hand, what about the people around us? How do we handle their gifts and talents? Imagine if someone had restricted Kurt and told him to "Stop fooling around with that 3-D perspective chalk drawing stuff – heck, it washes off with a hard rain anyway!" and to get back to some nice illustrations of the space shuttle (his previous work). Imagine what would have been lost. In my studies of professionally gifted individuals, I found that they were able to contribute so much more than other professionals because part of their background had included stability, where a manager or employer would give them latitude and freedom to develop their talents because they saw something in them. Those leaders knew enough NOT to try to hold those people to the same kind of processes as other staff. These people also worked hard at developing their skills and had role models – exemplars and guides – whom they looked to as they grew in their gifts and talents.
Great leaders and great organisations effectively activate the gifts and talents of the people within the organisation. While I'm not suggesting that we must give our factory workers 2 hours during each working day to learn to paint classical art, we should ask ourselves whether we are developing people's talents for better results. Google famously sets aside 20% of their people's time for their own pet projects - often saved up by those staff and taken in bursts over a number of weeks, producing a wealth of innovations and products.
How are you working with the gifts and talents of those around you? How are you building on your own gifts and talents? Are you happy with a couple of tries? Do you have ongoing guides for yourself and your people? If you’re like Kurt Wenner, you won’t settle for being “good” and are hard at work developing those talents.
Authentic Speaking® - Feb 10-11 2011 Workshop
After a packed October workshop, we have scheduled our next Authentic Speaking® workshop for Feb 10-11 2011.
Visit www.authenticspeaking.com.au/Workshops.html for workshop details or email email@example.com to register your interest.
"People Performance for Profit" Seminar
Our "People Performance for Profit" seminar in November was a great opportunity for leaders for learning how to apply the 7-Step Lamplighter People Performance Improvement System and to gain further valuabvle insight into the impact that their leadership and people systems can have on the bottom line of their organisations.
I appreciate the input of many members of the group, who shared some of their own experiences, initiatives and exposure to ideas that have helped businesses succeed in bringing out superior productivity in all their people.
We will be running the "People Performance for Profit" Seminar again in 2011. We look forward to seeing more businesses participate in the new year. More details will be forthcoming.
Murdoch Uni EEC, Productivity-Driven Leadership™ and more
I'm pleased to announce that Murdoch University’s Executive Education Centre has invited me to create and deliver a 2-day middle-senior management communication course in the coming year. This course will help managers to be extremely effective in all their communication. The first course will be run from March 10-11, 2011.
I will provide more details once the course has been finalised by Murdoch EEC. Feel free to contact me directly if you would like to find out more in the meantime, or to register your interest.
We will also be launching our Productivity-Driven Leadership™ workshops next year. This is our unique model focusing on how to bring out the best in yourself as a leader and the best in your people, so that you can drive great results. It is based on decades worth of experience and research into the factors that create great results in people and will be a tremendous experience for all leaders.
We are also planning to offer webinars, a new blog, an online forum and other means of creating greater success in your business and professional life.
We're very excited about the workshops and the services that we will roll out during 2011. I look forward to providing you with more details in the new year.
I was delighted to recently donate some time to St Mary's Anglican School for Girls in Karrinyup. I spoke to the 120 Year 8 students about Public Speaking and debating and gave them tips and ideas for using their passions and other skills in speaking. It was interesting how many of the concerns that adults have in their speaking were reflected by those young students: "What do I do with my hands?", "How do I calm my nerves?", "What do I talk about?" and more were all part of their concerns. But we have to have confidence that despite the fact that it may be difficult, if we push ourselves to try then we can accomplish great things.
Thus, I led one of the girls (she volunteered) through creating an impromptu speech on stage in front of her peers and teachers. Within 3 minutes she'd developed the general gist of a speech and turned around and delivered it with relish. What a great job she did!
My wife, Mary (a director in our business), and our two older daughters performed in “The Wizard of Oz” during the month of November. Mary wrote, organised and directed this "bigger-than-Ben-Hur" production, involving students from Years 2-4 at my daughters’ school (and scores of parents and students who did everything from making props and costumes through to acting multiple roles). One of the key joys of the play was seeing, once again, kids stunning their own parents by getting out there, giving this play their all and creating sheer magic night after night.
Let's do the same with our gifts and talents.
As we get closer to the end of the year, have a safe and happy Christmas break and New Year!
Copryight 2010 Lamplighter Performance Consulting - all rights reserved