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Unleash The Power Of Greatness – The Truth Behind Talent Revealed

Unleash The Power Of Greatness – The Truth Behind Talent Revealed

All of us have access to a higher form of intelligence, one that can allow us to see more of the world, and use our talents to impact it in some way. Whether you believe talent is a rare gift born within, or seek to go above the talents you already possess, this article will reveal the hidden truths behind talent, and how we can all access it for greatness.

“Everyone holds his fortune in his own hands, like a sculptor the raw material he will fashion into a figure. But it’s the same with that type of artistic activity as with all other; we are rarely born with the capability to do it. The skill to mold the material into what we want must be learned and attentively cultivated.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Introduction

Talent isn’t something we are taught. Talent, is something we recognize within ourselves as a result of practical application in a particular chosen field. Some of us do well in our pursuit of greatness, and some not so well. We may try very hard to perfect our attempts at mastering a certain activity, yet, seem to fail timelessly. As a result of our failures, we can easily rationalize those doing better as born naturals; we see them as people with natural gifts, and we can easily reduce to feelings of inadequacy, becoming uncertain about our own capabilities. However, science teaches talent isn’t a gift born within, and instead, developed in a series of stages. And with time, patience and consistency, does one come to master his field of endeavor.

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Myelin: The True Mother Of Skill

Every human skill, whether it is playing an instrument or kicking a ball, is created by a chain of nerve fibers that carry a small electrical impulse. Myelin, which is a mixture of protein and phospholipids forms a sheath around our nerve fibers; the thicker myelin gets, the faster and more accurate our movements and thoughts become. Every human on the planet can grow myelin, and we do so more swiftly during childhood, but also throughout life; it’s growth allows all manner of skills, mental and physical. Skill can be defined as a cellular insulation that wraps neural circuits, and grows in response to certain signals. The more time and energy you put into practice of what you are trying to achieve the more myelin you create; this process applies to all those we consider talented.

Entering The Unknown

Before attempting to accomplish any skill, we are firstly outsiders to it; we have prejudgments and an element of fear about the process and our minds have not yet established a relationship with it. Although we may have excitement and enthusiasm for acquiring a new skill, most of us become uncomfortable as we become aware of the hard work ahead of us. If one can manage these uncomfortable emotions and allow time to take its course, one will find something remarkable begins to shape. Myelin get’s thicker, and the brain develops a strong relationship with the process at hand. In time, what was once unfamiliar and vexatious becomes a process we can do effortlessly.

Unlocking Inner Greatness

Every man and woman desires to acquire great skills to affect the world around him or her in some way. However, many often feel trapped by their limitations of consciousness. Simply put: If one is unaware of his own capabilities and the power of his own mind, he may find it easier to try and short-circuit the learning process by the use of drugs, incantations and prayer. Those who are more aware of their capabilities and have a self-belief in what they can accomplish, usually devote themselves to mastering the subject.

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It is common for people to lose themselves in a fantasy of becoming talented by the use of shortcut methods. Ancient wisdom reveals a change in attitude can attract the right energy, allowing us to achieve greatness by the virtues of thought. However, the true power we possess and mostly ignore – the same power used throughout history to build  magnificent buildings and paint works of fine art – is of course: the power of practice, patience and persistence (PPP).

”Do not talk about giftedness, inborn talents! One can name great men of all kinds who were very little gifted! They acquired greatness, became “geniuses” (as we put it), through qualities the lack of which no one who knew what they were would boast of: they all possessed that seriousness of the efficient workman which first learns to construct the parts properly before it ventures to fashion a great whole; they allowed themselves time for it, because they took more pleasure in making the little, secondary things well than in the effect of a dazzling whole.” Friedrich Nietzsche 

The Work Of Six-Million Years: Our Mind

People have come to believe talent is inaccessible. They see it as a product of the privileged or something magical within. But this idea is only imaginary, because the real secret of talent is supported by six-million years of development. Our brain, is in fact, designed to lead us into developing great skills and to become masters of our chosen field. Now, if all of us are born with essentially the same brain, why does the world show a limited number of talented people you may ask? Well, the truth is: talent is everywhere, it is just unrecognized. People across the planet have developed skills no different to some of the great minds we have admired throughout history. We must consider in order to become truly great, practice, patience and persistence must be applied, and it is a rare faculty among the average population.

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The Facts Of Myelin

Myelin – mentioned earlier – does not respond to vague information; the mechanism is built to respond to actions; it responds to urgent repetition. Myelin is universal and cares only for what you do. It does not unwrap, meaning: once a skill circuit is insulated, you can’t un-insulate it. And this is why habits are hard to break. The only way to change habits is to repeat new behaviors. Age also accounts for myelin, as it arrives in a series of waves when we are young. This is why the majority of world-experts start off young. However, we still continue to experience a net gain of myelin until we are 50. But as you may know, those who try to learn a new language or try to pick up an instrument later in life have a much harder time.

”People get the mind and quality of brain they deserve through their actions in life.” Robert Green

Before Attempting New Skills

Before attempting new skills, we must first, see it as something necessary and positive. Relying on genetics and technology will not allow us to become more efficient in our attempts to master new skills. We must realize we all get the brain we deserve through our actions. The amount of work we put in is precisely what we get out of it. We must be willing to go the distance. This is what all great achievers have managed to preserve. Lastly, we must never see ourselves as accomplished, but always remain in a state of learning. No person is ever accomplished at great skill, for there is always room for more. Thinking we are skilfully accomplished because of one single dose of appraisal from an outsider does not make us so. We must be willing to always strengthen the skills we have to become truly great.

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What We Have Learned

We learned talent and skill are not something magical born within, but a series of stages that take place. We learned skill is built by a chain of nerve fibers that carry a small electric impulse, and myelin is the key to its strength. Practice and devotion are needed to become great, and most people are ready to give up once they become aware of the work involved. We also realize talent is always around us, yet goes unrecognized. The bottom line is: If you wish to become better at what you do, or wish to develop new skills and reveal the signs of what outsiders call ‘talent,’ this will require you to devote time and patience to mastering the process. And if you wish to be truly great, you must live for it.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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