Cracking The Secrets Of High Performance

In the ongoing quest to unlock the puzzle of high performance, researchers are continually on the lookout for new insights.

Ex-footballer (soccer) and performance specialist, Rasmus Ankersen is one such person. He spent six months living and training with athletes to understand why clusters of high performance occurred in certain parts of the world. He wanted to find out why the world's best middle distance runners have grown up in the same Ethiopian village, why 137 of the world's 500 best female golfers are from South Korea, how one athletic club in Jamaica, produces most of the world's best sprinters and the secret behind Brazil's mass production of soccer super stars.

His insights have culminated into what he calls the goldmine effect lessons on how anyone business, organization or team can defy the misconceptions of high performance and learn to build their own gold mine of real talent.

Ankersen recommends three simple lessons to dramatically improve your ability to spot talent:

  • Great talent is not necessarily right talent
  • What you see is not necessarily what you get
  • Never overrate certificates and never underrate character

He also advocates separating performance from potential. In his view, there are two types of talent, talent that whispers and talent that shouts.

We all know talent that shouts, the Usain Bolts of the world who show extraordinary promise from early on. Those with whispering talent are harder to identify. They are the people with potential but who might be stuck in the wrong job, under a wrong manager or just not at the right stage in their life to commit more. 

Ankersens findings support our talent identification approach at Leadership Talent Australia where we look beyond the veil of assumptions about individuals within the business to truly unearth potential. 

While it might seem to take more time upfront, it can save a lot of heartache down the track. Ankersen quotes Capital One CEO Richard Fairbank saying at most companies, people spend 2% of their time recruiting and 75% managing their recruiting mistakes.

For further information on the goldmine effect, visit Ankersens website to see an animation of his ideas or watch his talk on TED. Alternatively, you can also read his book.


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