I have a colleague who is doing a doctorate study of managers managing autistic talent. I send her web links and academic references occasionally as I come across them. I found this tale from a young guy particularly impressive about the lived, meaningful experience of this condition. http://www.vox.com/2016/1/29/10860714/autism-diagnosis-adult?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits
It made me think of how talent management practice and writing takes little account of those aspects of the individuals which don’t match the common competency frameworks many organisations work to.
It also reminds me how the telling of personal stories is so powerful in enabling people to make sense of themselves and to provide learning and enlightenment for others.
What talent Martina Navratilova had and probably still has.
I was talking to a woman in Mullumbimby the other day who has had an interesting life. She had been a private school girl with many privileges, including being able to play tennis competitively. She went on with her life and as she got older she had fewer opportunities to play tennis, other than having a knock-about (a playful time). One day, at a house party of a friend who just happened to have a tennis court, she was invited to play by another house guest. On the tennis court it was soon very clear that the other woman had played tennis at a very high level and was getting into the ‘zone’ pretty quickly. Ann felt the talent she had developed over her younger years revitalise. She found strength and power she thought she had lost. Her strategic thinking skills switched on as though it was yesteryear. Other guests began to gather around. They watched in awe as the two mature women powered around the court.
As she told me her story, Ann was right there again. The glory of her victory was remembered through the telling. I listened, marvelled with her and complemented her. Reflecting on her story afterwards gave me hope that, failing illness or debility, we could all continue to feel such power by drawing on those talents we had previously honed over the years. My (sad) feeling is that very few of us identify what talents we have and most of us fail to capitalise on those talents, particularly as we get older.
Thanks for being a role model to us, Ann.