10 Things That Require Zero Talent

You have probably seen social media posts or articles around the 10 Things that Require Zero Talent. These are at their very core, a list of principles to achieve success in business and in life, regardless of what talent you may or may not have.

In my previous blog, Leaders Are Made Not Born, we explored how the best leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills. By following the basic principles below, you are on your way to excelling in the next step of your career.

1. Being On Time

Are you always running late to work and meetings? In an Australia On Time Report, over 400,000 shifts were analysed over a 6 month period and showed that almost 40% of people were late.

Whilst it may seem like a quirky and endearing trait, it could be negatively impacting your career, your business, and your relationships with colleagues. Being late tells others you don’t value their time, however being on time signals that you can be depended on.

Start making changes and managing your time more effectively. Track how long your tasks take so you know how much time you will need each day to prepare (download the Time Log). If you are always running late to work, pack your briefcase, lay out your clothes and prepare breakfast the night before. If you are always running late to meetings, give yourself some more breathing space between calendar bookings, and prepare for your meeting earlier.

2. Making An Effort

Many  successful people value effort and persistence over talent. As Angela Duckworth has said:

“Without effort, your talent is nothing more than unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn’t.”

Success in business (and in life) is progressive. It is our responsibility to bring effort to what we do daily, and this will define your success for tomorrow. Start by working out your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and make the effort everyday to work towards achieving this.

Watch: Why Effort Matters More Than Talent 

3. Being High Energy

Having high energy improves the overall work environment. It is contagious and can drastically lift the mood of everyone around you. You can also help to improve your team’s energy levels by encouraging frequent short breaks, laughter, creating an open environment where fresh ideas and creativity is rewarded.

4. Having A Positive Attitude

How you contribute to your professional environment is as important as what you contribute. You may have the experience, knowledge, skill, and a long history of success; however, if you approach a new project, a meeting, an employee, your boss, or a customer with a negative attitude, it will have negative consequences.

Having a positive attitude boosts productivity. It stimulates your brain to make sure it is functioning at its best. It also increases your energy levels (see point above), making you more alert and better equipped to perform your duties.

A key question in the Scaling Up Book by Verne Harnish is “Are the stakeholders (employees, customers, shareholders) happy and engaged in the business?” If you are a leader or supervisor, it’s important to measure your employees happiness and engagement on a regular basis to continue building a positive team culture.

5. Being Passionate

Passionate employees and leaders contribute much more to an organisation than those without. What matters most to you when it comes to work? What makes you get up in the morning? What gives you satisfaction? Answering these questions will help you identify what you are passionate about.

You can also use these same questions when hiring for your team or organisation to gain critical insight into how he or she will perform within the organisation’s work culture and expectations.

“If passion drives you, let reason be the reins.”– Benjamin Franklin

6. Using Good Body Language

Body language is extremely important, especially in the corporate world. Research says that our communication consists of 35% verbal communication and 65% non-verbal communication.

Healthy body language can help improve team culture in the workplace and boost employee morale. It is easier to delegate responsibilities, convey respect and resolve conflicts when using positive body language.

During meetings, you can display interest, reception, and joy with a gentle smile, open palms, leaning forward and eye contact. This helps to build rapport with other people.

Watch: Body Language in the Workplace

7. Being Coachable

This refers to your willingness to improve and accept feedback. Feedback is a gift that most of us don’t know how to unwrap. We get defensive when we feel we are being critiqued, however we need to learn how to keep our ego in check. This will allow us to gain awareness, refocus our goals to create a clearer path to success.

Be willing to learn from more experienced people, be gracious and humble and have an open mind, and this will allow you to evolve in your career or organisation.

8. Doing A Little Extra

Applying discretionary effort in the workplace can pay dividends. No one achieves success by doing the bare minimum. Generally, the more you do, the more people are willing to help you in return. This can create an abundance of opportunities including taking on new challenges, learning new skills, being valued by superiors, and being known as reliable from your team.

9. Being Prepared

The difference between being reactive and proactive is preparation. Being more prepared can help you become more resilient, and better equipped to take on challenges that arise throughout the work day.

Prepare for meetings, by allowing 20 minutes beforehand to go over the agenda and questions. Write things down. We live in the era of information overload, and studies show we remember more when we write it down. Do your most important tasks first.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.

10. Having A Strong Work Ethic

Managers value employees with strong work ethics, which often leads to praise, rewards and promotions. What characteristics make up a good work ethic? Being reliable, dependable, dedicated, productive, cooperative and self-disciplined.


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Strategy and Execution Business Advisors and Scaling Up Coaches in Brisbane & Australia
Ted Bonel – Strategy & Execution Advisors

Need assistance to help your team achieve your objectives to grow your business? Contact me at tedb@strategyandexecution.com.au to schedule a free 30-minute discovery meeting.

About Strategy & Execution

We have been providing organisations and their leaders with facilitation support and executive education focused on strategy development and strategy execution for more than 20 years. Using business models such as Scaling Up, Exponential Organizations, E-Myth Mastery, Outthinker etc, we support organisations seeking to create or refine excellent strategies and execute them quickly and effectively.

Our expertise is based on a mixture of wide business experience, effective tools as well as a great deal of consulting and executive education. Our approach to working with clients is as unique as our specialist focus. We always seek to challenge our clients’ thinking – but equally are unafraid to roll up our sleeves and help execute the ideas we help generate. Learn more about us here or view our upcoming workshops and events.

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