“I’m not as talented as they are.” Whenever I hear someone say this, I always point out that there will always be more talented people around. I then add that there will also always be less talented people around. Rather than focusing on other people’s talent, I encourage the clients I coach to focus on what they can control. And several of those things take absolutely no special skills. In fact, anyone can master 10 things that require zero talent.
Derwin Gray, senior pastor of Transformation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, posted the image below on Twitter. I believe it contains important life lessons for today’s young people—and for anyone wishing to improve their social interactions, leadership skills, and Christian witness.
This succinct list echoes and effectively captures the essence of what I coach people. In other words, talent isn’t everything—and it’s rarely even the main thing.
Because these 10 things that require zero talent are so important, let’s briefly explore each of them. We’ll also take a quick look at what the traits and actions reveal about someone.
10 Things That Require Zero Talent
1. Being on Time
This shows that you are mature and responsible. It also indicates that you respect other people’s time, schedule and needs.
2. Work Ethic
Do you give focused effort every single day on the right things? Are your priorities in order?
Ideas often come easily, but doing the work is where accomplishment takes place.
This is the most valuable contribution you bring to an organization, class, team, group or church. That’s why people are drawn to doers.
5. Body Language
Generally, this is considered about 55% of all your communication. So pay attention to eye contact, hand movements and other gestures.
This trait gets described in many different ways. I define it as owning the result.
7. Doing Extra
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary involves giving just a little extra. Do you go above and beyond on a regular basis?
8. Being Prepared
If you don’t spend time preparing, then you’ll end up spending time repairing.
9. Being Coachable
This shows humility and the self-awareness to know you have things to work on. It also makes you more enjoyable to be around!
Attitude determines your altitude. Your attitude largely determines how high and how far you can go.
Regardless of a young person’s particular talent level, they can implement these zero-talent traits in all settings. With practice and encouragement, teens can become leaders and Christian examples wherever they go.
Bonus tip: My book Timeless: 10 Enduring Practices of Apex Leaders helps teens and adults of all ages become the leaders God created them to be. It combines practical leadership lessons from biblical heroes such as Jesus, Daniel and Joseph, along with contemporary leaders such as Bill Gates, Nick Saban, Kobe Bryant and multiple pastors. Discussion questions in each chapter help you develop your skills so you can influence the people around you too.
What one item from the list of 10 things that require zero talent can you improve? How might that affect your leadership and your opportunities to share Jesus with others?
This article about 10 things that require zero talent originally appeared here.