Training ‘Talent’ (III)

Morgan McKinley January 6, 2014 2 mins read

A lot of people criticize the Chinese education system for producing ‘all-rounders’ rather than specialists. Let me clear this up: The Chinese system does not produce so called ‘all-rounders’. If it was actually creating people who were exemplary in every area, these people would be good at whatever they put their hand to.

The so called ‘all-rounders’ produced by the Chinese education system, however, aren’t actually ‘well-rounded’ in any real sense. A famous person said, “There’s no such thing as garbage, there are only misplaced resources.” But where should we place the students graduating from Chinese universities? Only a school campus could produce such a mass of people so well-suited to thriving on a school campus. The fact is, the qualities required to succeed at the workplace are not those cultivated at school, leaving students out in the cold. How to cultivate really talented individuals and employees is a problem yet to be truly solved.

I can’t say how exactly to resolve this complex issue, but I can draw on my observations at the workplace to say that the most excellent workers always seem to share similar characteristics: For example, an iron will capable of dealing with a myriad of pressures, difficulties and challenges; a long-term passion in their professional field, which compels them to continue striving in that direction; a curious spirit and a love of learning, spurring constant growth in their personal quality and professional abilities; clear goals towards which to strive, and a clear orientation with regards to their work, making their efforts sustainable; and one or more excellent rivals to encourage them to continue to strive for constant improvement.

As they say, “No one is perfect, and no gold is completely pure.” No one is a born a perfectly talented person. A tree has to undergo a lot of processing before it becomes lumber; people are the same, they must overcome various challenges and seize multiple opportunities before realizing their full talent. The headhunting industry seeks to address both of these needs by providing challenges along with opportunities. After assuming your new post or undertaking new work, are you up to the challenge?

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