The Talent Dilemma Part 2 - Leader or Individual Contributor

The Talent Dilemma Part 2 - Leader or Individual Contributor

In this episode, we get candid about things going on in our lives and how it’s impacted our own talent dilemma and need for reprioritization.

This conversation concerns the Talent Dilemma from the leader or individual contributor aspect.

In this episode, we get candid about things going on in our lives and how it’s impacted our own talent dilemma and need for reprioritization.

This conversation concerns the Talent Dilemma from the leader or individual contributor aspect.

As discussed in the previous episode, we are in a time where everyone needs to become flexible and adaptive to new challenges.

Understanding our own priorities, what fulfills us, and our goals are essential. With that backdrop, we are able to discern the difference between talent and competence, individual contributor and leader, all within the framework of what makes us happy and fulfilled.

Listen to our episode today as we explore the Talent Dilemma and what it means for your identity and your company.

#talentdilemma #dadjokes #thegreatresignation #leadership #howtodecide #decisions #individualcontributor #priority #personalproductivity #discipline #consistency #success #accountability #Communicate #habits #effectiveness #planning #PersonalDevelopment #fatherdaughter #podcast #easylisteningpodcast



Episode 77 Talent Dilemma 2

Welcome to Morning Coffee and Mimosas. I'm Christina. And I'm Joe. We are a father-daughter duo. We come here Sunday mornings, but you can come here anytime you please. We banter about life, about business, and we do it over coffee. And Mims.

Well, good morning, Christina. Good morning, Faj. I am very happy to be here and listeners, you have missed us for a few weeks. Well, 

dad, that's a little bit presumptuous. , we have missed you listeners. We have missed you. Yes. What we can say with full confidence is we have missed you. Yes, Absolut. We haven't really quite missed each other cuz we've still been seeing each 


Well, yes we have. Yeah. On and off, on 

and off. We maybe have missed each other a little bit because it has been a perfect storm up in here. 

Yes. . So, uh, we wanted to be, uh, open this and just, uh, let you know what's been going on because we have not had a couple of episodes, but Yeah. 

And you guys might be.

What the F guys, Are you guys still here? Like Yes. Where has morning coffee Mimosa been? Are you guys starving? Have you eaten 

The coffee? Got cold and we had it heated up. , 

we have eaten over the last few weeks actually. We've, we've eaten quite well, unfortunately. No, actually. Really Well, yeah, Yeah, yeah.

Pounds now need to be shed. That's right. We have eaten. We haven't starved. 

That's right. But, we wanted to just let you know that we're back and we are, uh, back on schedule. And, uh, what had happened basically was, uh, September was a perfect storm of a million events happening all at once. Not only, uh, with our jobs, um, travel was and then travel.

And then, , yeah, for you, I didn't travel, but um, Christina had a heavy travel schedule, uh, my job and so on. But also, , I have community events that all like Kareed into September and, uh, that took up time and then I got covid and did not feel well. And so, uh, 

he never gets sick and I never get sick. So, as you can imagine when it happens, It's like, yeah, the sick of all sick and he's like down for the count.

So it was yes, but, but all highly unusual. Right? Highly unusual, 

but all healthy. And uh, it was just, uh, you know, and what we wanted to kind of open with this is, and I 

got sick and we literally couldn't get together. Right. And we both sounded kind of shitty. . 

Yeah. Uh, and we made a decision and, and you know, we try to use this stuff as a lesson and take it.

as you like. Uh, but we started to get really anxious about the fact that we were not literally physically able to record, let alone even be together, but, but to record. And then with all the other stuff that was going on. And then we realized, you know what, You have to set priorities and you have to make a decision and it's bad enough being sick and being super busy and, and other.

Let's not let that, you know, overwhelm us. And, uh, that's what we did. We, we, uh, we just decided that it, you know, the, we couldn't record. And so that would be it. And we would come back and let you know what happened and move forward. And that's what we're doing well. And 

that's kind of like, I think one of the main things that we, we like to say, and, you know, it's good to be vulnerable.

Mm-hmm. , it's good to be real. . Nobody is perfect. we're not perfect. We don't do everything perfectly. But what I do think we do well is, you know, we, we were starting to kind of be like, Oh shoot, like we've fallen off now like this. You know, we we're not kind of like living up to the standard we set for ourselves and that we think you, our listeners deserve.

And we thought. Okay, well we could like just keep thinking about that and we could feel shitty about it and feel guilty and ruminate. Mm-hmm. like we've talked about, and then think like, well maybe do people even wanna hear from us anymore? But we thought, you know what, this is something we love. It's something we wanna do.

It's something we've really enjoyed doing together and all we need to do is just keep moving forward. So, yes. Here we are, we're back. I mean, it was only a couple weeks. You guys were probably like, we didn't even realize you were gone guys. so much should do about nothing, probably from your perspective.

but we've missed this and we're happy to be getting back to it. And, uh, I think for now we'll probably stick to, the biweekly schedule that we've kind of set forth towards the end of the summer, just because things are really busy still and we wanna make sure that we're able to.

, put out good content every time that we come to this microphone. Yep. Um, but yeah, so that's kind of where we've been. Mm-hmm. and, you know, we, we like to look for the lesson and things, and the lesson to us is, . No reason to look back, no reason for us to feel shitty about it. This is something we do because we enjoy it and we do, because we've heard from so many of the people that tell us they listen, that it's something that means something to them.

So, um, we're gonna keep doing it and, you know, we're not gonna feel crappy about the few weeks we weren't able to. 

That's right. That's right. But I, I felt crappy about not having breakfast with you and not having, We did still 

see each other here and there. The one we could a little bit, not as much, but.

Yeah, you weren't up to cooking, so I wasn't coming by. You know

That's true. Oh man. Anyway, it's good to be back. We're a little outta practice. So how do we do this, Dad? What should we talk about 

today? ? Well, I have a dad 

joke. I can, uh, no Dad, we have said, we have said that they must be held to the end. Oh, okay. I have a feeling he's not gonna, I'm gonna said anyway, respect that.

Husband says, I want you to have this bracelet. It belonged to my grandmother. The wife says, Why does it say, do not resuscitate


my God. Oh my goodness. All right, so, uh, don't turn off. We're, we're gonna, we're gonna get into this stuff . so we are going to continue the topic that we. From the, uh, our, our last episode that we did. 

So for those of you that listened with us mm-hmm. , um, our 76th episode was where we left off and we were talking about the talent dilemma, and we were talking about it just kind of like a high level as it relates to, uh, you know, You working within a culture and an organization that fits with where you wanna be in your career and your goals.

And we were also talking a little bit about, you know, how do you, um, kind of assess the team that you have and figure out, you know, do you have people that have the competence? And the competencies to do the job, the appetite and aptitude to do them, the skills, can they be learned? You know, is it something that needs to be innate?

And we were talking a little bit about all of that, like just the talent dilemma as a whole. As you know, we, kind of, um, are in a very interesting time in life, like mm-hmm. from a hiring perspective and from, I think an overall career perspective, because people have a lot of options right now and choices, um, because jobs are, it's kind of hard to hire for, for roles right now, for whatever reason.

Well, right now it 

is. I, I do think that, I think that's gonna change pretty rapidly. So, uh, 

Yeah, the talent dilemma may shift in the next six months if we go into a recession, but 

Right. But, but the, the idea of, talent versus, expertise , and so on, you know, and we had used, uh, just a quick analogy of, , you know, if someone is really good at something , and has a lot of skill in it and develops it, that can be because they worked really hard at.

, and became expert. , and then there are people who really take it even further because they're super talented in that area and did that development and did the work and so on. But there are people who are talented in a certain. Vain, but don't put the work in. Mm-hmm. . 

So that's kind of what we talked about last week and what we're gonna talk about now is, you know, kind of like on the heels of what we just shared about where we've been at.

Mm-hmm. , um, what we experienced with kind of that perfect storm over the last several months and the way that we continue to. Juggle and shuffle and try and, you know, keep our priorities in check. Mm-hmm. to make sure that they're aligned with where we wanna go and our, the goals that we have collectively, individually, and all of that.

Um, and what we'd like to talk about listeners is really as we think about that talent dilemma, um, and just kind of pose these questions as, as we're thinking through them ourselves, are you. Prioritizing and working in, uh, in alignment with the goals that you have. So as you kind of think about your own talent and where you wanna go and what your goals are, are you doing the right things?

Are we doing the right things? And how have we kind of reshuffled the deck to make sure that we're working in alignment with our goals? Right, Right. To make sure that our talent is able to match where we're trying to go. Mm-hmm. . now. Being you dad. It's like just so easy because you are just, the talent is just Zy.

Oh my God, I gotta write her a 

check. I gotta write her a check. You're just so talented, dad, that like, you know, I know you don't have to work at things. It all just comes natural. But for the rest of us, I don't know if you can relate to this, 

Dad. I can't. So you just talk. I'll just sit and listen. 

But for the rest of us that really you commoners.

Yeah. You know, for, for the rest of us that need to kind of like think about and cultivate and decide where we're gonna put our focus, what would you, as you know, somebody that's really mastered it, what? Say , what would you say is, uh, you know, a good way for somebody to kind of like think about their goals and then start doing the right things to, you know, prioritize and make sure that they're able to meet them?

Right. So, . Um, and, and we're doing this in the, in this, in the vein of your career or your job, Right? Or your life. Yeah. Or, 

or your life. Yeah. I mean, I think people have goals in a few different areas, right? Right. You have life goals, you have career goals. Mm-hmm. , and then, I don't know, maybe there's two areas.

You have life goals, career 

goals. I'm gonna speak, I'm gonna speak from the career, you know, I think from the career side, you know, and so on. Um, Uh, and, and, and it'll get into a decision that I made. Because you don't have any life goals, right? No. I just wanna make money. That's it. So, No, but, uh, you know, you want to be, you wanna be fulfilled, you wanna be happy, and you wanna work in a job that, that, um, dovetails with that and, and coincides with that, you know, if, if possible, uh, a decision that, and I'm, I don't know.

I. Well, I'll just mention my, my decision that I made, uh, if that fits right now at this point, 

or what do you say? Sure. Yeah. I mean, I don't know what you're about to say, but Sure. About the band. Oh yeah, definitely. Okay. 

Um, so a, anyway, it's, 

it's a big, it's big news actually that 

I, uh, I retired from the band that I was in for nine years, I think. And, um, One of the reasons I did that is that my job, my career and this podcast and my community involvement, uh, the, my band involvement became actually more of a stress to me, uh, than, than any of the other things that I do.

And, and I realized that if that wasn't an, Although I loved performing and I loved being on you. Uh, playing the rest of it around it just became a little too much. And, um, I'm very focused on my job and I wanna do a great job, you know, at work. And it fulfills me. And in many ways, and then also my community involvement and volunteer work fulfills me also.

And, uh, part of the reason that things cascaded and crashed. When I say crashed, everything worked out. But it took a physical and a mental toll on me this past late August, September into early October or into, Yeah, into mid, uh, through mid-October was because of all that. And I made a decision, you know what, the one thing that, uh, I can give up that A won't cost me any money, and B uh, Helped me focus in the other areas of my life was to give up the band.

And it was a tough decision, but I did it. And, um, I'm using that as an example in this episode to say that you, it's imperative. I think that we make sometimes what we think are tough decisions, but decisions that allow us. , um, do the things that we then realize are fulfilling us and are, you know, helping us to, to work in concert with how we like to work.

Yeah. And so on. 

Well, and I, I think it's been really like, When you first told me that you were, that you, you know, retired from the band mm-hmm. or left the band, I was like, Oh my God, dad. I was like, That's big and how do you feel about it? And because it's been such a thing that's brought you joy for so many years.

It's been, it's become such a. Like just way of life that every weekend. Yeah. There was, you know, different gigs that you had and that would be kind of like a social event where, you know, so much kind of centered around it. But it was kind of interesting cuz it was almost like when you said it, you were very resolved in that it was like the right decision and you really haven't seemed to have any regret in that decision.

No. Like you almost seem like be, because sometimes. things that we love and enjoy, depending on what our goals are and what we, what we prioritize as being most important in that moment. Those things all of a sudden don't bring the joy that they used to bring. 

Right. And it became, there was more stress involved with it.

It, it, and, and not, I'm nobody put the stress on me. It was my own stress, but it became more stressful than everything else I do. And, and my job. Um, you know, as a responsible one, but I love it, and I, and it, it fits me. Y you know, and so does my, uh, community. You know, volunteer work and so on. So, uh, I felt that that's where, plus my, the podcast plus Beautiful family and the podcast.

And that's the other thing. 

You haven't mentioned the podcast. I'm a little concerned, we just, were talking about how we're rein. We just, were saying we're reinvigorated for this. But listeners, I, I'm not sure right now, he hasn't mentioned the punch. 

No, I was getting to that and the podcast. Perfectly, and I want to build the podcast and build the, everything that the podcast, um, around it, you know, that, that, um, to continue its growth and let it, you know, go where it's gonna go.

And I know that it's gonna, you know, we will eventually, you know, continue to get bigger and bigger and bigger. So, no, I wanted to have the time for this and do the promotion and. You know, continue to have quality 


Yeah. So it's, it's just like a good lesson for us. And I, I've, you know, I haven't had the, I think, pivotal moment that you had, um, over the last few months, but I have certainly like refocused and reprioritized things that like I want to be, um, different in life, right?

Mm-hmm. . . I wanna make time to be proactively, proactively organizing things in my life, whether it's my house and my, you know, just. My inbox, you know, like, whatever it is. But you need time for all these things. I need time for all these things. So, you know, it's like prioritizing less, you know, not saying yes to everything as far as like even social things that are fun and that you wanna do, but, uh, you know, some of it, it's, you know, putting it off or, you know, doing less.

And I think, uh, the band, I didn't have a band to drop out of. I think it, there's 

an opening in one of yours, . 

I don't know what I would bring to the table, but 

Yeah. But, but, so this is, this is the point, you know, with, uh, your, uh, your career, your work, uh, think about what you are doing in that job and is it what.

W does it, does it meet where you, your goals are and, and the reason you might say, Well, okay, that's fine, but just as I did and went week after week, month after month, whatever, you know, um, handling everything. There comes a time when you, you might wanna say, Okay, am I working? Uh, at the, I'm not saying that the job isn't right.

Is it going in the way I want, or am I just working every single day and hoping for a change? Like, think 

about that. What, yeah, what action are you taking to actually impact a change? Because otherwise you're just on the wheel and we get stuck on the wheel sometimes where. We have a routine of the things that we do and the commitments that we've made, and we just sleep a little less, or we mm-hmm.

you know, your personal, like, you know, maybe things that you once did to relax and things like that, that suffers because you have no time for any downtime anymore. Right. But, um, how do you, like, so thinking about like how you set those goals, what. How did you land on dad that, like aside from the fact that you wanted to make sure that nothing you sacrificed was something that was gonna take money out of your pocket?

Well, we have to pay bills, right? You have to pay bills, right? So everybody has, you know, few of us have the, uh, probably, uh, luxury of ma making no decisions that are, aren't financially motivated in some way, right? But, um, how do we make sure that, like, as we're looking at, you know, our, our talent, where we wanna go, how we want to grow as professionals and people, how do we make sure that the goals, like how did you land on making an impact at work, continuing to make an impact in the c.

and most importantly, continuing to grow and expand this wonderful podcast that Wes right, started. That's, how did you land on those kind of being the, um, you know, the, the core goals that you wanted to focus on? 

Um, well, I can, I mean, I, I, I like, uh, Well actually, I'm gonna, I'm gonna say something. One of the reasons I was hoping you might.

Yeah. Otherwise, it's a podcast. 

I'm basically interviewing you on this episode. If you didn't, you didn't know that you're the guest 

evidently. Uh, so I actually, I'm gonna, I'm gonna say something. I had a, I had a dilemma earlier in my career, which will, which will phase up to where I am now. But I, I made mistakes early on because, um, I liked being the expert.

I liked knowing everything. everything and being the quote technical expert. And I, as you know, with technology, I love knowing everything there is to know about the, the computer, the phone, this and that, all this other kind of stuff. Similarly with what I did, I liked being the expert, how, However, I also wanted to be in control and I wanted to have an impact on the decisions.

My company or the jobs, when I had my own business or a job I took, or my clients, I wanted to have an impact in their decision making to grow their businesses. There's a, there's a difficulty with that because if you are the doer, the technician, the. , then it's, it can be difficult to set the direction because you're doing so.

This is, this is gonna be weird, but this is the difference between the individual contributor and the leader. And they're not, they're not incompatible, but very often you have to give. The fact that you're not the best technician or you're not fully knowledgeable about something. In order to move past that, to set a direction and to think about strategy and where we're gonna go to grow and so on, Does this make any sense?

Somewhat. Totally. Okay. 

So I'm a very creaky chair 

also. Yeah. Earlier people earlier in, in my career, that was. For me now, I'm not gonna say that I don't know how to do anything . 

Now that you're not the expert in 

anything. When you get into a position where you have people reporting to you and you are, you know, more running things, you realize I don't have to know how to do x, Y, and.

But you do have to have enough knowledge to not be duped by anybody, number one. And also to know, can it be done? Will it take this time? Do I need a vendor to do that? Do, do we have expertise here to do it? And so on. And also to use that ability to say, what, what will it cost to go in this direction?

Should we do this? What's the cost benefit? And so on. So the reason I'm saying this is, is. . I, I feel fortunate enough now that I've reconciled all of that with myself and, uh, you know, I can be in a position to know just enough that I need to know and also to help guide and hopefully make correct strategic decisions going forward.

And that's what I've. with, uh, the organizations. That's why it's a podcast. I let you be the resident expert, cuz I don't know what I'm talking about. , 

you are currently bullshit . 

Um, but, uh, and no, and what the podcast does for me, what I love about this is that I can, we can share my experience being one, you know, generation from you.

And I love hearing your experience cuz you are where I was 30 years ago, 

right? You're probably struggling with the things that you've come to terms with in some cases, or, 

or you are way ahead of me at your age and you are, you are already past that. You know, where, where I just had this stupid thing cuz I liked being, I liked to knowing everything, you know?

Does that make sense? Yeah. And I, but 

I think it's something that people like, like I, I, I feel like, you know, when you, when you make. Transition from individual contributor to leadership, and especially in roles where like, you know, you can straddle both lines in a sense. Mm-hmm. , like there are still some opportunities that I individually will sell, right?

Correct. So, So I still, in some cases am individually contributing, but leading right. And I think the balance is, and that's. , I've kind of, um, had the, I, I think it's interesting, right? Where you, you start to say, Okay, is the opportunity to individually contribute? Is that aligned with my goals and where I wanna go, Right?

Mm-hmm. , it is aligned with goals from financially, you know, being able to make more money. Mm-hmm. , Um, it is aligned with making an impact on an organization. I've had to look at is it aligned with being a good leader, and to the extent that I can use that to better be able to put myself in the shoes of the people that are on my team and really understand the perspective in current, current state.

It's a yes, but I look at it and I try and put through that filter, will this particular opportunity put me in a position to better empathize and understand what my team is going through? Mm-hmm. and give me knowledge that can help them. Right. Versus just, you know, trying to make a sale . Yeah. You know? Or can I help a client, obviously, I think that's a, a big piece of it because to me, one of the things I always said was, I do, I don't wanna sell individually if it's going to limit my ability to, you know, really do what I believe is, is, is the main goal of my role now, which is enabling my team to do that.

Yeah. And that, that, and tell me if this hasn't happened, you, you sometimes wanna. , uh, bite your tongue sometimes because you, you might want to, especially if you're doing a presentation with a potential client, y you, you can't step on the toes of your team and make them look mm-hmm. subservient to you. Uh, they may not be going in a direction you think would be the right direction, and yet you, there may be nothing at that moment you can do, but then sometimes you find.

Yeah. I wouldn't have gone that direction, but we got the deal, 

you know, so, Right. Or Or maybe they, Maybe I learned something. Right. You had a better approach. Yeah. And sometimes it's also like, you know, Sometimes it's like, okay, well if we can work on strategy behind the scenes so that they can go out and mm-hmm.

you know, have a, I found that the most exciting things is when somebody says, Oh, you know, like, we prepped and, you know, I incorporated what I was gonna do and, you know, some of the feedback and mm-hmm. and like, it was super well rece. They were able to be the freak, you know, the, the freaking the star star, which is so cool.

Like, and that's what I've found to be the most fulfilling. Right. Um, I've actually felt worse when I'm on a call and I feel like I step like overstep sometimes and, you know, I'm like, okay, that's not, not helpful. Right, right. Maybe in that, in that moment or meeting it was helpful. Right. Not 

in the long term.

Not in the long term. And, and, uh, now that's, that's us, right? But we all have, uh, different roles in different things. And so some of you listening might, might say, You know what? I'm happy with how much money I'm making. I don't want the responsibility of managing other people and being responsible for other people.

I like the fact that I come to work. I am the expert. I do my. And, And I go home and so on. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And we need everybody. But 

also then your goal is different, right? That's correct. Your goal is to continue to maintain your expertise, to make sure that you stay at the top of your game so that you can continue to be that subject matter expert.

And your goal is, is to continue to shine there and do what you need to do to Yes. You know, learn and develop so that you stay at the top of your game mm-hmm. and put yourself in a position so you don't end up taking on too much or different types of oppor Correct. You know, of, of. Opportunities. Yeah. The, and maybe your goals are different personally, Right?

Right. Like maybe, maybe your goals are more aligned with what you want to accomplish outside of work. If, if it's that you know you, well, you are where you need to be in your corporate 

environment, right? Or your goals are. To continue to, to be better and better and better at the, at the work that you accomplish.

Mm-hmm. . And so we shouldn't force people to then take on management roles because they're a superstar in that compensate them properly to stay in that role and be the superstar and get the job done 

well. Exactly. And I, I also think, like, as part of that talent dilemma, how do we look for opportunities for people that, like, it shouldn't be that the only way you can advance in an organization is by managing people.

Mm-hmm. , like there should be opportu. To advance by just doing what you do really, really well. Right? Maybe doing it on a broader 

scale and, and make yourself so valuable, Right? You know, in that, and, and so, you know, that's what we're hoping to convey here is that think of yourself and what satisfies you internally.

Is it to be. You want to continue to hone your expertise, be better and better, and, and be more accomplished in that task, then God bless you that that's exactly right. If you find that you're leaning to well, I wanna make that decision. I didn't, I, I I want to help set direction. I, I want to help, you know, uh, steer the, the steer this ship and not be the person on the sale unfolding the sale, because I'm the best person to do that.

Only you can answer that question and, and you make yourself valuable by moving in the direction that would advance that. However, that is whichever way you want to go. Yep. Very good. 

That is good. 

So what do you think? Are we back. 

We're back as long as you, as long as you're committed Faj, 

we're back. I am committed.

I, of course, I could be committed in . Different multiple ways. 

depends on your goals. . But yes. So I think, you know what, that kind of puts a bow on it. Guys, we're back. Thank you for giving us some grace. Yeah, thanks for your patience and, uh, being, you know, uh, Well, hopefully you're giving us some grace. If not, you know, put it in the comments.

Let us know. Hang how angry you are about this little hiatus we took, or angry that you're back, that we're back. How angry you are to hear our voices pop up on your Sunday morning podcast channel again. but we really appreciate you and, um, you know, I know I'm gonna continue to put a lot of thought into my goals personally and professionally and, 

this is something we can check in together on, some of it on a regular basis to say mm-hmm , how do we make sure that then all of the things that we're doing from a talent and, you know, investing in ourselves and the types of things that we're getting involved with, how do we make sure that they're in alignment with the goals that we've set?

That's exactly. And you know, since Halloween is coming up, I just wanted you to know that I think ghosts are just people who died trying to fold a fitted sheet. . 

I actually really resonate with that because how the hell do you fold a fitted sheet? It is never, I know that was a dad joke. Man, it's like if anybody has a hack for folding a fitted sheet and you wanna come on the podcast as a guest, , I feel like that is very, very, uh, that's information that is highly in demand.

could you imagine if, if this whole business podcast like grows, you know, uh, uh, you know, uh, what do you call exponentially? People wanted to, had a 

fold fit sheet. I'm sure someone solved, had a fold fitted sheet, but I know I do it different every single time and every time it looks like a absolute just ball of cotton at the end 

of it.

Yeah, I've never done that. So anyway, Thank you. 

Anyway, listeners, if you liked what you heard, like subscribe, share with a friend, let us know if there's anything else that you wanna hear about and we will see you in a couple weeks. 

Yep. Wherever you are, whatever your. Thanks for spending time with us this morning.

Now go and make a difference in your world.

So happy to be back. 

Me too. Felt like, uh, you know, like a void. Yeah. In the week. 

Exactly. Thank you all again and we are 

back. Have a good week everybody.