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Talent: Smart Heart Or A Well-Bred Head?

Posted Jun 03 2010 3:36am
We are enamored of intellect and expertise. Yet, when we look at those who are asked to leave organizations, it's often the people who are "brilliant."

The problem? 

That "light of brilliance" shines down on the individual but isn't reflected in a way that adds warmth to the system as a whole. When that happens, it's not life-sustaining.

Heart&Head  My experience is that such folks do get a lot of feedback from their bosses and others about being "more collaborative." No one really wants to see these people fail and lose their expertise as a result. However, some combination of unwillingness and inability to adapt to the needs of others ultimately becomes organizationally untenable. The person has to go. 

Talent Implications

Few would dispute the importance of learning in organizations, and that's what this is all about. So, here is a question:

Is your organization deliberate about identifying--up front--people who have the heart to learn about themselves and the humility to make changes accordingly?

There are plenty of college grads out there who have managed to absorb a particular body of knowledge. You want to land the ones who want to learn how to use that knowledge in the service of those around them. You want people with a "smart heart."

A well-bred head lights up a single office. A smart heart lights up the organization. 

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