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Writer: Jeanette Britan, Business Manager, Barona Sweden

I was recently at a seminar for behavioral scientists where the question was asked if talent was innate, shaped by the environment or if there was something else that could be the basis for it. We discussed the concept back and forth in the group and concluded that it is a mixture of both heredity and environment. When I left the seminar, I wanted to know more and I began to look up the definition of talent online. The concept itself may be vague, but by searching for it, there are clear synonyms such as aptitude, endowment, a promising person and gifted.

Where does talent come from?

Was Zlatan born with an extraordinary ability with the ball, or has he had the opportunity to play soccer so much that he has become a soccer star? How come his teammates, who have also played soccer equally as much, have not reached the same level? The lecturer at the seminar, said that everyone has the compentence potential but that some traits makes a person capable of doing certain tasks better than others. However, just on the basis of this internal potential, there is no guarantee that the person reaches a high level.

There is no evidence that a person with certain personality traits automatically becomes a brilliant surgeon, pilot, artist or politician without spending much time and effort to reach his or her goal. Previously it has been said that, if you put in at least 10 000 hours in order to be good at something, you become a talent. But if there are not the right preconditions and a certain combination of personality traits, then the road will be much longer.

Preconditions also affect talent.

Apart from the biological attributes, it can also depend on culture, relationships, economy and, not least, attitude. These factors also affect the talent at work. We have the opportunity to influence which path we choose and which level we are motivated to achieve.

At the workplace talent can be promoted by giving employees good opportunities for development and simultaneously striving for an open work environment. If you have the chance to perform tasks that motivate you and for which you have the right personality traits to perform the task, you can develop into a new workplace talent. Much rests with you as an individual. Your ability to take advantage of your talents is very much based on your motivation and will to use them to their fullest.