Why Do Talented Employees Don’t Reach Their Potential?

If you think you’re under-performing at work, you’re probably right, because few individuals are 100% motivated throughout sustained periods at work. In fact, even if you think that you are performing to the best of your capabilities, you’re probably wrong, as there is generally little overlap between what people think of their performance, and how they actually perform.

Why Talented Employees Don’t Reach Their Potential
Why Talented Employees Don’t Reach Their Potential

The truth is that most people don’t try their best after they’ve been on the job for more than six months. The are four common reasons for this:

1.) Poor fit. Talent is mainly personality in the right place.

2.) Disengagement, often due to poor leadership. The antidotes to this are finding time to be curious and learn, connecting with colleagues, and talking to your boss about the fact that you’re disengaged.

3.) Organizational politics. It’s naïve to think that you can let your talents speak for themselves. In fact, the more talented you are, the more enemies you will make — particularly in toxic and political organizations.

4.) Personal circumstances. No matter how engaged and talented someone is, personal drawbacks and setbacks will often interfere with their career success. In short, you can always assume that your talents are necessary, but not sufficient to excel and impress at work. Optimizing your job so that it fits with your interests, beliefs, and broader life activities, and being alert to the invisible social forces that govern the dynamics of organizations, will ultimately help you perform to the best of your capabilities


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