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TALENT. A supposed superhero in the corporate world that comes with the power to perform under pressure, outdo tough opponents and deliver under unpredictable settings and a demanding M (I meant Management). This superhero is the most sought after and looked after character in the real world of suits and meetings and targets.

But can you imagine James Bond walking to M and saying I quit as I am getting better cars and gadgets from the CIA. However that may be a reality with our Talent. And so he is pampered just like the only son of an Indian Mother. And voila after some time you realize that he no longer can be cast in the next 007 movie as he has lost the plot.

So let’s talk about Death By Talent

  1. What got you here, won’t get you there

Imagine a batsman that has scored tons in India, decides to play in the same way on a pitch in Australia. Every career phase comes with a need to use a different approach. If he is not alert to the change in the environment and doesn’t accordingly adapt and alter style, he could remain just a Ranji Player.

  1. Excessive S Complex

He starts believing he is Superior and everyone else is Stupid. And that is always the beginning of abused relationships, incompetent teams and impaired judgment. Even though all his well-wishers would advise him against another surgical strike, his ego blurs the line between being bold and being stupid. And God help you if you have to give him feedback. He will be mostly cynical, aggressive and sometimes plain deaf.

  1. The Fast Tracker Abhimanyu

Very often I have seen people climb the ladder at a tearing speed with the wind of luck pushing them up. And in the hurry they don’t have the time and intent to gather some skill sets important for the future. And suddenly they realize that while they got into the Chakravyu, they didn’t learn how to get out of it.

  1. The Burning Point

Since we usually confuse Talent with superheroes, we don’t expect them to suffer from any illnesses or stress or marital issues due to lack of work life balance. But since these are real heroes, a burnout is more rampant than visible. With great power comes great responsibility, passion and ambition. And an excess of these can be injurious to health and performance in the long run.

  1. A Bad loser

Neuroscience says that a winning spree releases hormones called dopamine and testosterone which over a period of time can change your brains structure and make you smarter, confident and open to challenges. Dopamine can get addictive and so those who haven’t been lucky enough to face a failure earlier in their life tend to be habituated with winning. And when suddenly the tables turn and they realize they have lost the game of Shatranj, it may result in absurd behaviour like betting a kingdom and wife or a lowered testosterone that can make one meek and timid.

While Talent has to be mindful of all the above pitfalls, I think the most important thing is to learn, adapt and change. Let’s understand that there are stages in a person’s career growth. First he has to prove himself as an individual performer. Then he must perform as a Manager and then as a Manager that manages Managers. Each stage requires a different skill set, a different approach, a different stroke. And if you don’t learn, adapt and change, you stagnate.

The tough part about being a corporate superhero is that you have to quickly change from the cape of superman to the mask of Krrish and all the time carry the charisma of Bond. I for one am a big fan of such heroes.