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Trust Beyond the Boardroom’ published: Ethical Boardroom

Hidden Talents:

Well the main reason hidden talents are thought of as hidden talents is because, when we are really talented at some things – not everything, but something that’s a real, real talent – it comes so blooming easy to us we don’t actually value it as a talent.  So in a way it is as if we are masked from it; if you are not sure about your hidden talents then ask people around you, “what is it I am good at?’ They will tell you some stuff and if you are not careful they your response could be, “yeah, yeah, but it’s easy!” And they are looking at you saying, “no it’s not. It might be easy for you but it is not for me.” It’s a hidden talent.

Embrace change.  So many people like to be in their comfort zone and are reluctant to change. I suggest you embrace it – it is in change mode that we grow.

Dare to dream – the world is good.  You, like everyone else are aware of negative things in the press. You have your concerns.  Can I tell you this is nothing new – look back through history, and look at generations – barriers have always been there all the time.  So dare to dream. Dream big. Think big – and when you are thinking check in the mirror to see if you are smiling… if you are not smiling then go back and dream again because you are not dreaming properly.  The way that helps you is by dreaming, and knowing what you want, means that you will end up getting what you want.

We always get what we focus on. So focus on those dreams and ambitions and that is where you will go. I loved it when I heard a politician say, and then a local businessperson, say, “Recession, what recession. I am not participating in any recession.” You can choose your attitude. I think the world is good – I think there is lots out there for us to be excited about  – smile, embrace it and dream.

Listen. You know, I was never taught how to listen – many of us have not been taught how to listen. I am not even sure how listening is embraced in education today.  For many of our clients – the biggest challenge for them, working within their staff and with their own clients, is learning how to listen.  If we listen to other people then we can be influenced by who they are, what they are saying and what their interests are.

Avoid the need to always be in control.  I think of Christmas and birthday presents.  Because it is very close to my heart, we even as a family have fallen into the habit of …, yes we ask people what they would like for presents, but then it is easy to say, “If we give you the money then you can go and buy what you want.”

I think part of finding hidden talents is being exposed to the influence of other people.  As a teacher I was given quite a few gifts. Over the years, I have been in our house for over 25 years, so I have things that have been bought for me by other people that I wouldn’t dream of buying for myself. But they have given me great pleasure and in themselves they have revealed hidden talents, or interests, that I would never have even know about if I was totally in control of things coming my way.

Another thing about hidden talents is to know that with no peace, you have no power. So always try to protect peace in your life – seek a peaceful life as it will help you be exposed and embrace external things.  This will help feed the hidden talent aspect of who you are.  Lastly I just want to share 2 hidden talents that I have used. 1 is music and the other hairdressing.

Our son at the age of 5 took up the violin. I was on the verge of selling my piano., I had learned to play the piano briefly at school – but could now barely play any notes…but decided to keep the piano realizing I could use it to tune the violin.

What happened then was at the age of 7 Daniel went on to take his grade 1 exam, I looked at paying for an accompanist and ‘couldn’t believe’ the extortionate price (that was my reaction back then) and then thought – they are not examining the accompanist, they are examining the violinist – so I decided to play for him.

What happened through this sense of service, supporting someone else (I wasn’t doing it for myself) was I played for him in his next 3 exams – he got distinction in all of them (including grade 1) – I then went onto teach music, to teach privately at home and even ended up playing for church services.  All because, my motive to begin with was, I started out helping someone else.

The other one was hairdressing. I was a girl who had everything – my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas – I said I have always wanted to be a hairdresser so why don’t you buy me a hairdressing kit. Which he did.  It came with a cassette, that’s how long ago it was, with the title, ‘How to cut hair’. It came with a pair of scissors with plastic handles, and he sat in the chair and said, “Cut!”.

So, I watched the little film. I stood there and put the apron around his neck. The first haircut wasn’t that bad because obviously I had a model of his previous haircut to follow. I can tell you, by the third haircut he looked like he’d had a fight with a lawnmower.

So I said to him, “For goodness sake, you are tax partner in a firm of chartered accountants, please go and have your hair cut properly, you are looking like your wife’s hacked at it”. But he refused telling me to keep practicing. So I did. I then started on the kids… Then the children from school, some of my pupils would come to the house for haircuts – I remember one year I did 150 haircuts. I know, and to begin with the joke was, was that I was so ill prepared,  that there were only 2 styles to choose from. You could either have a short haircut that looked like ‘this’ or a long haircut that looked like ‘that’. So you literally just had a choice of 2 haircuts, and that was it.

Anyway, I started to charge.  I remember being sat in a Marquee – Beach Dreams – years ago, donating cuts where anyone walking by could pop in – people donated. I raised a lot of money. I used it as a way of developing something I always fancied doing, I get great joy from doing it, but all the money that I earned or raised I gave to a good cause. Either the church or a charity… for me the poignant moment was when my grandfather was so ill in hospital. He actually looked quite bright on this day, but had come from the nursing home – I don’t know who had cut his hair but enough said… it was awful.

It was wonderful for me to tuck the paper towels around his dressing gown and tidy his hair up for him, making it nice for him. He actually died a few days later. For me it was just a wonderful gift – it was a hidden talent that I believe not only did I acknowledge it, but I think I ran with it.

So ask people about your hidden talents, be exposed to the influence of other people, find these talents and run with them – and share them.