6Talent Still Matters

AS DISCUSSED, THE foundation of a world-class championship culture is its “best” people, those who are defined by the organization’s Core Values: values that are representative of what it means to be “us” at the organization. The founder or CEO determines them. The organization’s leadership team defines them. The people who embody them, though, are not necessarily “best” for our organization unless they are also very talented in the role for which we are hiring. Core Values are vital to an organization’s culture and long-term success, but so is talent.

Without talent, we simply are not going to be able to compete, let alone win, on any battlefield. We may have wonderful people who embody our culture fully, but without talent, our chances of winning consistently are still going to be near zero. Thankfully, for those of us living in America—one of the most affluent nations in the world (the U.S. represents 4.5% of the global population, but 30% of the world’s total GDP)—there is a wealth of talent on every battlefield. Many of us fortunate enough to be born and raised in America have an almost unlimited choice of educational opportunities as well as cultural, spiritual, and athletic activities. We live in a society that provides us with numerous opportunities to develop our natural talents and passions, and to do so from a very early age.

As one example, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), an organization dedicated to the promotion and development of amateur ...

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