How To Be A Talent Magnet

Sep 04, 2015 1 Min Read


Magnets have a powerful, yet invisible force of attraction. Talent magnets have a similar impact as they attract and retain “A” players, who then attract more talent.

Notice I didn’t entitle this article, How to Build a Talent Empire, which is much less subtle and far less effective.

I’ve built a career based on attracting people way smarter than me to do the things I couldn’t possibly do.

Liz Wiseman calls this approach, being a talent magnet in her book Multipliers. I call it common sense, or perhaps heredity. My dad carries the same jump-into-things-you-know-nothing-about gene.

The 4 practices of the talent magnet

“Empire builders seek to surround themselves with ‘A’ players. But unlike talent magnets, they accumulate talent to appear smarter and more powerful. The leader glosses over the real genius of the people while placing them into boxes on the org chart. The players have limited impact and start to look more like A- or B+” – Lis Wiseman

Wiseman’s research found four common practices among talent magnets.

1. Look for talent everywhere

My favourite part of this context is ignore the boundaries. They’re less inclined to look for traditional qualifications than looking for the right cocktail of talents just right for that role.

2. Find people’s native genius

Liz explains, “A native genius is something that people do, not only exceptionally well, but absolutely naturally. They do it easily, without extra effort and freely, without condition”. Tap into that.

3. Utilise people to their fullest

This is all about connecting people to the right opportunities and shining the spotlight on them when it’s time.

4. Remove the blockers

‘A’ players have a low tolerance for nonsense. Talent magnets get that, and do their best to move the unnecessary stuff out-of-the-way, so the native genius can get to work.

Karin Hurt is a keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and MBA professor. She has decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR which she uses to help clients turn around results through deeper engagement. She knows the stillness of a yogi, the reflection of a marathoner, and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders. To know more about talent assessment, email us at For more Thought Of The Week articles, click here.

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