Which Gets You Further At Work: Effort Or Talent?

Most of us have no trouble admitting that some people are more talented than others, yet we believe everyone can work hard. Not quite, says one psychologist.

Twenty years after McKinsey researchers declared a “war for talent” under way, organizations and leaders appear to be more talent-obsessed than ever. There are endless conferences, books, and C-level roles all geared toward mastering the mysteries of talent: finding it, attracting it, rewarding it, developing it, and of course retaining it.

But while this obsession rests on a correct premise–that talent drives individual performance and, in turn, organizational success–it’s belied by the way businesses typically spend their money. As I discuss in my latest book, on average, organizations actually spend less than 20% of their talent management budgets on talent acquisition, compared to 80% on training, learning, and development. This is consistent with the popularity of effort-related traits, such as “grit” and a “growth mind-set,” which are widely regarded as malleable catalysts of high performance. In other words, organizations seem much more willing to bet on effort than on talent.

So what do we actually know about the relationship between talent and effort? Is it ultimately more important to be able to get better at something than to be naturally good at it to begin with? Or, put in employers’ terms, would you rather invest in exceptional skills or in disciplined, relentless workers?


Written by: Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic


Read the full article here: https://www.fastcompany.com/40500995/which-gets-you-further-at-work-effort-or-talent