Some people are sources of pure talent and just give it away for free.
That happens because it’s abundant (which is good) and takes no significant effort (which is also good) but is perceived as having little value (which is bad and may be wrong).
The result is highly visible but often unseen.
Our organizations are filled with workers that perform acceptably or good and sometimes with a significant amount of effort. Few are excellent or innately skilled.
It’s not unusual to be surprised by unexpected talents from our fellow colleagues. Talents that have little opportunity to be revealed in their daily activities.
We could easily blame the recruiters for some blindness to natural talents that don’t match the required profile for a specific function. We are not so aware of our self-handicapping mechanisms that keep us from using, extending and exploring our natural talents.
I can identify three possible reasons for this to happen. If you want to share your opinion I’ll be very thankful.
1. Somewhere in the educational process we learn that only things obtained with sacrifice and hard work are valuable. So, if something is easy and pleasant for you, then you’ll probably tag it as play, not work.
2. Some organizations (I am aware that this may sound absurd to some readers) value workers more for their effort than for the results they produce. I must explain that in my country many employers care more about the extra time their employees give after schedule than about the work they really did during schedule.
So, If the boss values effort let’s show him/her effort.
3. Sometimes the natural talents define us and are lived as part of our identity. If you underperform in something not crucial for your identity is bad but the risk of failing on something that defines you is really frightening. As a result, many people avoid exposing themselves to that risk and prefer to dedicate their efforts to areas where failure is easier for them to accept.