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Tapping the Talent of the Future

By John Tschohl

We live in a very dynamic world. What we know now will not be good enough for the future. Selecting people to move us forward and who are open to learning is what we need to focus on.

In my book, Moving Up, I tell readers it’s about your life…it’s about succeeding. It’s about taking chances, dreaming big, being proactive and being ready when an opportunity presents itself.

Steve Jobs stated that young people need to “Think about what it is that you really want. Go ahead and put in the time and energy to learn new skills, acquire new knowledge, and experience new things. Invest in building the relationships you will need to call upon when you’re ready. Most people never pick up the phone and call; most people never ask. And that’s what sometimes separates the people that do things from the people that just dream about them.”

According to a survey conducted by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in 2014, 84 percent of talent development professionals surveyed reported that the demand for high-potential talent has increased in the past five years. This has been driven primarily by growth (74 percent) and competitive pressure (61 percent). Almost half (47 percent) of those talent development professionals stated that the current pool of high-potential talent does not meet the anticipated future need. Another 18 percent of those surveyed didn’t know if the current pool of high-potentials will meet future needs.

Making the difference

When we involve and value people, engagement and performance will increase, and profits will follow.

Howard Schultz, chairman and founder of Starbucks, was asked what he would say to a young person who wants to be the next Howard Schultz. His answer, in part, was this: “Define what your dream is. Dream bigger than that and don’t let anyone tell you [that] you are not good enough, not smart enough, that your dream can’t come true. And don’t settle, because you are going to find yourself at 30, 40, or 50 years old saying, ‘I could have done that.’ And you probably could have.”

Consider these five principles and strategies:

  1. Feel good about yourself. The way you feel about yourself is the way others see you. Develop a positive attitude; it’s contagious. Believe in yourself. Build your self-confidence; self-confidence is power. It leads to improved performance, which leads to improved pay. Don’t wait for others to validate your efforts. Concentrate on your strengths and recognize the importance of the role you play in the organization.
  2. Learn. The more knowledgeable you are the more successful you will become. Learn as much as possible on your own time about your job, your industry, your customers, personal relationships, and anything else that will help you move up the ladder of success
  3. Invest in yourself. You can’t wait for your company to send you to training programs; you must take the iniative. Set aside a specific amount of money each year to use to train yourself. Read at least one self-improvement book a month for the rest of your life; it’s the best investment you will ever make.
  4. Set written goals. Those goals don’t have to be lofty but they do have to be realistic. Look at those goals every day; make them part of you. Visualize achieving those goals. As you reach one goal, set another that will have you reaching a little higher.
  5. Deliver what you promise. Do what you say you will do, and do it with quality and speed. If you say you will complete a report by Monday, do it. Manage your time. Get organized. Identify problems and seek solutions. If you go above and beyond the call of duty, you will be noticed, you will be promoted, and you will make more money.

The greatest limitations you will ever face in your job and in your life are self-imposed. Your future is in your hands. You need to stand for something and make a difference in your life and the lives of the people around you. You have the power to choose your experience. You also need to accept that power as a responsibility.

“We all know that no matter what we know now, it’s not good enough for the future, because we live in a very dynamic world.” – John Tschohl

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John Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker. He is founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Described by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru, he has written several books on customer service including Moving Up. The Service Quality Institute (http://www.customer-service.com) has developed more than 26 customer service training programs that have been distributed and presented throughout the world. John’s monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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