On Sunday, 13th October 2013, Dennis Kimetto, a cattle farmer found himself breaking the tape at the Chicago Marathon. At an impressive 2:03:45, Kimetto crossed the finished line and rose from poverty to podium.
A more in-depth analysis of the Chicago marathon suggest while Kimetto finished the race in two hours, some people took 8 hours to complete that race, i.e., the variance in the performance of the participants was huge. Another interesting fact about the race was that the fastest runners were shockingly faster than the than the rest. The speed difference between the top 1% of the runners to the top 10% runners was 24%. And the speed difference between top 1% and Dennis alone was 23%.
Steve Jobs once quoted, “I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1.Given that, you’re well advised to go after the cream of the cream … A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”
In every field of human endeavors, there are people in companies who do extraordinary things whom we refer to as Transformational Talent. But what sets these people apart? Is it luck, timing, innate ability, effort or perseverance?
Here is something you should know about the Transformational Talent:
Impact of transformational talent in the workplace:
According to Shashi Kumar, Country Head- Indeed India, there are various numbers from top companies such as Google and Apple on how a top performer compares to an average one. According to a Bain & Company’s research, high performers are roughly four times as productive as average performers. A similar statement made by GE suggest the top performers were ten times more productive than the ordinary employees. When Google was asked about the performance difference, it said 300 times difference. The bar apparently can change depending on where you draw the line defining top talent for you.
What does transformational talent have in common?
To understand the attributes and behaviors of transformational talent, Indeed did an in-depth research in India through quantitative and qualitative surveys that accentuate the top five attributes of transformational talent:
While the top three skills are built with experience, the latter two- Passion and Self-Direction are biased to action and are inherent in an individual.
So, in order to find transformational talent for your organization, a recruiter should look out for a candidate with skills which are biased to action and have a good track record.
Building team of top talent:
How can companies find that transformational talent in the haystack of average or unsuitable candidates? Shashi Kumar shares the following three critical steps in attracting and retaining a transformational talent:
- Inspire the top talent-
The motivators for these candidates are different to another talent. Transformational people tend to be more focused on impact, responsibility, meaningful work and they’re significantly less focused on salaries. Identify what inspires them and offer a great employer value proposition.
- Make it easy for talent to find you-
Look at the complexity of the job application process and the information that is being gathered. Simplify your application process, and align it with the markers of transformational talent. Ensure an excellent candidate experience right from the job application to the onboarding experience.
- Provide right environment-
Organizations must ensure that they provide the right environment to retain this talent. A great employees experience, the company leadership and the opportunities to progress are most important. People who are transformational have options, so they’re more likely to need to be inspired to stay.
(This article is curated from the session “Masterclass on Transformational Talent for Transformational Business Impact delivered by Shashi Kumar, Country Head- Indeed India and Leena Sahijwani, Vice President, HR, R&D and Quality and Talent Management)