Talent – Hiding in Plain Sight

Spider Web

If I had to pick a favourite season Autumn would probably be that season.

From the vibrant colours in the leaves, to the crispness in the air, everything takes me back to being a kid. I can remember collecting conkers, in a place (lot of imagination used here) called Conker City.

I would spend ages throwing sticks up into the trees, or searching for the best conkers among the sludgy brown leaves on the floor. Even now the smell of damp grass and mud takes me back to coming home covered in dirt trying to execute the perfect slide tackle, playing football.

I went for a walk, recently, with dampness and moisture was hanging in the air. The type of weather where you can instantly see your breath.

I will often pass a wooden where plants and creepers will slink around it. For the last few days it had not caught my eye, but today it did.

In the corner of the gazebo, I could see multiple spider webs.
The webs had tens, if not hundreds, of little water droplets reflecting in the light and the damp weather revealed them all perfectly. I took a closer look at the webs, being careful and ensuring I was not cocooned and carried away by the Spider General.

I think everyone is aware of what a spiders web looks like, but if you get the chance I encourage you to take a closer look.

I’m always amazed by the structure, the intricacy and the design of a spider web. I could see the webs every single day (regardless of the weather conditions) if I chose to do so. In this case I only really noticed because something caught my attention.

It got me thinking about how we observe the world and the choices we make.

We constantly use filters, we are affected by bias and choose to see what we want to see.

The real shame about this is the talent we don’t see.

You will interact with many people who have incredible talent or, at the very least, the potential for incredible talent.

Our filters mean their talent will be missed and without the right level of support the talent could fizzle out.

Whether we are in a leadership role or not everyone has a responsibility to encourage others, to insist they showcase their talent and to make the most of it.

There are many ways in which you can achieve this, the first part is simple switching down the filters.

Doing this will increase your awareness of the talent out there.

If you want to help others there are many ways in which you can do this.

For me, the two most important and powerful techniques are listening and giving them a voice.

Spend some time with them, understand what they want to achieve or what support they require.

Give them a voice to express ideas and new ways of working.
Give them the responsibility of making this happen. Watch them go.

There is opportunity with every interaction you have – you just have to choose to see it.

Don’t wait for the obvious to present itself, go searching – you might be amazed at what you find.

Hopefully it won’t be the Spider General.

Believe and take action.

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Ian Ruane

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