The Talent Dilemma

The Talent Dilemma

The talent dilemma is an issue in the 21st century. We are in a time where everyone needs to become flexible and adaptive to new challenges. It’s tough hiring the right people right now. If you manage staff, you’re probably worried about them leaving. As an employee, you may wonder if you should move on to “greener pastures.” To meet these challenges, individuals and leaders need to identify who they have and what they need.

Succeeding in this requires more than talent. Understanding the difference between talent and competence, individual contributor, and leader is essential. 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 76 The Talent Dilemma

Welcome to morning coffee and mimosa. 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 mimosa

and the race to say, good morning is on and I beat you so good morning. 

I actually didn't realize we were in a race so you were in competition with yourself, dad at typical. Yeah. Good 

morning though. Good morning. Good morning. Good morning. Love our mornings. And we had a great, great breakfast. 

I am a little full this morning.

Yeah, it was, um, it was a, a heavy breakfast. Mm. Yeah, but it was good. Good. Which is really unfortunate because I started a diet this week. And then I feel like I really went very heavy on the potatoes and the eggs and the rye toast this morning. I'm I'm dragging dad. I hope you're gonna carry this episode.

This is gonna affect our listenership, cuz people are gonna hear that. And then they're gonna stop listening and, and veer 

off and get breakfast. They're gonna be like, you know what, now that you mentioned it, I'm kind of hungry. 

kinda hungry. I'm done with you too. So goodbye. 

Yeah, but I'm dragging this morning.

Dad, you're gonna have to put the team on your back today. All right. 

I got it because, uh, you know, I'm, uh, I'm in control. 

Are you in control? I have to congratulate you dad. You've had a very, very, very busy couple of weeks. I have. Yes. And listeners for those of you that that know, my dad, he has a few things that like your favorite things are probably the work you do with Wayne Day mm-hmm , uh, which Wayne Day is a, a fair that like a day that we have, we live in Wayne, New Jersey, and it.

A day of Wayne, like it's just big 

festival and it's, uh, thousands and thousands of people and it was, it was wonderful. 

And then yesterday you had your classic rock night performance, which is your other favorite thing, which is the Wayne rotary club that you're involved with.

That's a big charity and you get to play. So it was so cool to watch you. Um, maybe I was share a video of you playing Nirvana unplugged. it was right. Even though I was plugged you were plugged. Yeah, 

I was. Yes, but, uh, yeah, the Nirvana version of, of the man who. Sold the world by David Bowie. 

Yeah. So anyway, it's been a very, very exciting busy week for Joe Graziano.

Yes. And the band had a couple of things too. You thank you dad, for, you know, still being willing to hang with me here and do the podcast, even though you've got so many big things 

going on. Well, it's really tough to have breakfast with you on Sundays. And then, you know, I 

know record our great podcast. I do not make it easy.

I'll try and be better company moving forward. It's 

it's all. It's all very good. 

But anyway, dad, what do you wanna talk about 

today? Well, um, I tried to come up with a carpentry pun that would work. Oh, God, I think I nailed it. 

dad, what did I tell you about the dad jokes? In the beginning of the episode, people are gonna just turn this off anyway, what we are actually gonna talk about today is something that I think is very, I told you to put the team on your back and here I am having to carry us forward.

Anyway, anyway, listeners, I am so sorry for that. What we are actually gonna talk about today is something that is very important. We're in the midst of, I guess, the, the latest like buzzword or, , term that it's been coined is the great resignation, right? Mm-hmm we keep hearing about, you know, the talent gap.

We keep hearing about this great resignation where people are, you know, saying, okay, I need to be fulfilled in my work. maybe they feel underappreciated at their job. Um, Employers are having a hard time finding good talent. Mm-hmm because people are being highly selective about where they work, what kind of work they do, how many hours they work, you know, et cetera, right.

Whether or not they're gonna go into an office. So, very challenging time for, people that are on a career path and trying to figure out what they wanna do. Mm-hmm and, employers, and leaders that are trying to find and retain good talent. So what we are gonna talk about today is the talent dilemma and what that means, right.

So let me put it this way. there's person. Development there's personal growth. There's personal, what we want to do and there's organizational. So this will be a, um, a, you know, multi episode thought. But on this talent dilemma, think about this, we are talented or we're not talented in certain areas. Right. I'm gonna use the guitar just as, as an example, there's talent and then there's competence, right?

So I can be talented playing the. But I don't spend any time with it and I barely, you know, study it and whatever, and that doesn't make me competent. It just means I might have a talent for it, but I have not developed that talent. And then you have competence. and ourselves, and in other people that we work with competence has to do with the amount of practice and work we do to build a skill set and become competent and skilled in that.

Right. so for example, if I'm not really a talented guitarist, but I've studied and I work hard, I could be pretty good guitarist. I may not. great. Maybe that talent pushes you with the little nuances, but so anyway, just using that as an example, and 

there's a great, I was just gonna say, there's a great book.

I don't know if you read this dad, but it's worth reading if you hadn't. There's a great book. Um, I think it was the tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell mm-hmm and he starts to. Really like, , dissect that whole topic, looking at like pro athletes and people that not even just pro athletes, but looking at people that are at the absolute top of their field mm-hmm or at the top of their, you know, career or sport, whatever it is.

And he breaks down, you know, kind of like the innate skill or things that like, what, what you innately are good at, right. Versus like, like how is, how does Michael Jordan become Michael Jordan? is it that he was just born with an absolute gift or is it that from a very young age, he was so disciplined and put in you.

A hundred thousand hours, right. Or how many hours does it take for somebody to be at the top of their game? Right, right. So it's a really interesting book. I read it years ago, so I'm having trouble remembering all the, all the gory details, but it basically dissects that, like, Is it skill or is it what you, your discipline and, practice? 

Well, I think to, to make the top of the top of the top, it, it, you have to have all of it. Exactly, 

but that's, I think the talent dilemma, right? 

There's a balance of, you know, what you're born with and then how hard you're willing to work to get there. Right. And you can flex either way. You can be born with less talent. And if you work really hard, you can be just as good as somebody that was talented. 

Yeah, well, I'm I'm and I'm only using guitar just because I'm not a great guitar player and, and all that.

And I know whatever I know but, well, I mean, it's kidding, you know, I work at it and I'm in a band and I play and I'm learning from others and I listen and I, you know, pick things up. So, and I'm competent and, and, you know, I play, but there's no way I can't. I am, I'm not at the level nor anywhere near the level of anybody that could really make money at it professionally.

you know, and, and that type of thing. Okay. But where I'm going with this is I don't need to, because where I play, you know, having fun in a band and we do get paid and we we're, we're good enough that people keep coming back and places keep hiring us. Well, I'm not trying to. and Eric Clapton or, or anything, I'm just, I'm just a guy that has a job and a beautiful family.

And I like to perform music on the side. Right, right. You see, know what I'm 

saying? So, so you have to kind of establish what your goals are and then match your, the level that, of, of what you put into it, right to that. So now, 

now take that professionally. Um, we have jobs. Everybody has a job right now. Some of us have jobs that we've really cultivated and we've wanted to be at and so on.

And some of us have jobs to pay the bills because they want to travel or they need to, you know, raise their kids. And you, you know what I'm saying? So, well, 

I think that's like, is it, is it a career and a passion or is it a 

job? It's a job that right. Exactly. If, if, and where we're going with this is is that, uh, we want to take this reason.

We said multi episode, 

we actually don't know where we're going with. This is no, I know exactly where 

I'm going. I'm just kidding. I know what I'm saying is it's, it's, we're gonna do this in multi episodes because there is the personal, what is Joe R Christina want to do professionally? And how do we blend your talents and your competence and your skills?

if you manage a team well, you've got, now you've got multiple people and people with varying levels of investment in their job. , is it a job for them or a career? Are they competent skill wise and do great work in that job? Are they also able to become leaders and managers or are they better off? as an individual contributor, but doing a darn good job at that.

, so these, these are the things that you have to think about. One of the big mistakes people make is that someone is a superstar at what they do technically skilled. And then we say, you know what? I don't wanna lose them. We'll give 'em a promotion, make them a manager and you all of a sudden put them in charge of some other people.

And you, and then you don't train them for it. Mm-hmm and then you find out that, you know, they're not that great really at managing other people, but they were really, really good at what they were doing and what did we just do 

well, and, and part of it is also sometimes, you know, every, a lot of people are looking for that next thing mm-hmm, just because they're, you know, sometimes they're just, um, a little bit.

sometimes it's, it's just, you know, antsy, right. Mm-hmm like, it's just having an itch for something else. Like people. Bored of con sometimes people get bored of consistency, right. Or, you know, they feel like there's some expectation that, you know, you have to be always striving for something else, something bigger, something more well, correct.

When that's not what makes everybody happy? No. Sometimes people, like, I think. To truly be somebody that wants to be in leadership. There's gotta be like some kind of passion that's driving that. And I think like a passion for people and or influence. Right. And being able to really like, Make an impact in a different way, but for some people you're gonna be happiest if you're able to just do what you're really good at and, and keep getting better and better and better and 

better at that at, at that. Yes, exactly. And, and as a manager, it's really key to understand and find out and have that relationship with your people, that you, you learn that about them.

So you can maximize their, their fulfillment, their satisfaction to the benefit of your organiz. and as it, as us as individuals, we have to think about that also. Mm-hmm and I'm gonna use myself as an example. Um, because, you know, we all know if you've listened to the podcast that I was a recovering accountant, right.

I went 

to school I love how you refer to it. I've actually gotten a little bit 12 step program. we we've, we've actually gotten some heat from, uh, some accountants that listen to the show. I have a very good girlfriend that's in accounting and she listens high Alvia. Um, but she actually has on several occasions, been like, dude, you know, like enough with the jabs at accountants.

like, we 

love accountants. I love accountants too. It was just, that I, and, and it caused me to have STR struggles professionally at some points in time, but in my life, but. Early on made a commitment to myself that I was never gonna be unhappy in what I was doing. Like not, not just professionally, right?

No. I'm talking about professional 

professionally. No I'm talking. Cause you were at the beach this week so that doesn't, you're willing to be unhappy personally. 

Well, occasionally to save my marriage, you know, and keep it going. But, um, uh, but so where I'm going with this and I'm going, so we're starting this episode on the person.

your, your own personal decisions around this talent competence . And I'm using myself as an example, you know, I went to school for accounting and then I went and worked at a CPA firm and then spent three years there putting in my quote time and then went to a corporate environment in the tax department thinking, okay, I'm not really happy.

in this. And so let me do the corporate text thing and did that. And then I wasn't really. I was happy, you know, whatever and, and so on, but I wasn't fulfilled it. Wasn't what I, I was realizing it. Wasn't what I wanted to do well. And especially 

after like, when you start out and you're in that mindset of, okay, I need to, I need to do my time, right.

To get to the point where. I'm fulfilled . Yeah. And then you were at the point that you worked for, right. Where you had put in your time, you had like worked the long hours and then it was like, you know, you were at that the, uh, golden arch at the end of the road. McDonald's um but once you got there, then you're like, wait, this, this is what I worked so hard for, but I'm not feeling it 


You know, it's not easy because I had a lot of feelings of being lose a loser, like, uh, or a failure, not a loser, but a failure. You know, that I'm, I'm failing myself. I, I did this and, and so on. And then you 

think you're thinking about all the time you wasted right. On something that, 

right. But you see where I made the difference for me is that.

uh, computers were back then com the PCs were coming in really big. And I somehow latched. I just enjoyed the computers like I, so when I was at Lipton in the tax department, I volunteered, I took all these computer courses that they were offering, you know, on, uh, spreadsheets and, and all the computer courses.

And I volunteered to take all of our tax. Spreadsheets that were on paper and stuff and put them on spread, uh, electronic spreadsheets. And I became enamored with computers and that's when I left and started my own computer consulting business, selling accounting software. To businesses. You, you see what I'm saying?

Well, and, and that's, 

I think the big thing for as we're talking about this talent dilemma, right? Mm-hmm and how it impacts each of us personally. Mm-hmm I think that's the biggest thing is like every single, um, every single. Path that you take is either a path that's bringing you to where you're supposed to be, or it's a path that's setting you up for what's next.

Right. And we talk, I, I feel like we talk about it every week, but just like being, being present and keeping an eye out for the things that are like the. The moments where you're like, ah, wait, that that direction feels like something that is exciting to me. Correct? Correct. And then resetting your goals so that you can, because like you weren't, you didn't have an innate skill for computers.

Right. But you, that was something that there was a certain level of passion for, and you were able to learn that. So then you had the confidence to then go into that. I had a talent. the talent that you had was that there was something you were passionate about right. And cared about. And then you, you were able to learn the skills that you needed in order to take it and do something with 


Right. That fascinated me. And then, you know, I ended up making, doing something with it now, 

so, but you took the courses, right? So that's where I think like, it's, it's a matter of, are you willing, you. Us our listeners. Right. Are we willing to put in the time mm-hmm to put ourselves in a position where then you can capitalize on that thing that makes you happy?

That that's 

correct. That's a good point because it, it's not like, you know, oh, I really like these and then get it. And I, I don't know what to do with it. So I took, I took whatever courses the company offered and, and that I thought would, would give me the most rapid traction to. Something theoretical or something that I just liked into something that I was practical, where I could take the work I was doing and make it, you know, electronic that 


Exactly. And I mean, you may have been more technically inclined than, than Somebody else mm-hmm but then you were, you took the time to really study it and learn it. Right. So that you could be an expert. 

Correct. And so, uh, advice to those of you that are in a, let's say a job, whether it's a career or a job, and you are feeling, you know, maybe you're in a rut or maybe it's not quite what you want.

what's beautiful about most corporate environments is that there are lots of opportunities there. And, uh, and I see that where I am and I've seen it in other companies. if you express that to others, you know, appropriately, uh, there might be ways for you to get fulfilled, right? Within the same company.

Like you don't have to resign and go to another company that you don't know anything about necessarily. Um, and you can, you know, find out, you know, what's going on and if you're managing other people, make sure that you kind of can get clued in on some of this. If somebody is, is. Quite, you know, uh, happy let's 

say well, and I think a lot of people are afraid of asking the, the, I don't wanna say the hard questions, but they're afraid of asking the questions and addressing like sometimes the elephant in the room, which is like, do you like what you're doing and what do you wanna be doing?

Right. And I talk to a lot of young people at, you know, at, at our company, that are just starting out. And one of the things that I think is important is. the early experiences that you said, like you, you mentioned like when you were kind of like doing, putting your time in right. Mm-hmm and like building, building the groundwork for what you were gonna do next.

Don't be too eager to move on to the next thing until you have. gotten everything that there is to get out of your current situation. And that doesn't, I don't mean that to say, like stay in something for too long. Right. But I think sometimes like, you know, when, when you're building a foundation, especially early in your career, there's certain jobs that you're exposed to people you're, you have a certain level of where everybody is willing to help you and invest in you.

And don't be too, don't be too eager to make that end prematurely. Um, that's great point because I think sometimes like there's foundation. That if you, you know, really spend your time and look at, okay, how can I be as good as possible in this role where maybe you're doing your time, putting your time and doing the, doing something that it's not necessarily what you ultimately want to be doing, but it's something that's giving you the education.

And, you know, and, and like I said, like the foundation for you to build on. Don't try and shortcut that, like, until you really feel like you like squeezed all of the juice out of, uh, one of those foundational roles, don't be too eager to just scratch that 

itch and hop. That is a great, a great point. That's a great point.


I mean, I, I think about that, like when I started out and I was interning and then, you know, just getting to spend time, booking appointments, going on the appointments with sales reps, I learned so much in that time. And I mean, it, if I didn't have that, it was probably between the, in my summer internship.

And then, you know, through my last year of college, I probably was doing that kind of stuff for a, a good year. I would say before I actually started full time. Mm. And it was such an important, like just, , just such an important platform that then I had to, you know, go and, and do more 

right, right. And, to your point on the flip side, the, your managers, your, your supervisors, whatever they were, um, if they have any brains, they, they would wanna know if you want to maybe explore some other. Things or, you know what I'm saying? And, and I think, you know, that's what I love about what we, what you and I are doing.

And, you know, my experience, your experience, is that when you're very starting out, you just think, you know, I have to impress my boss at all turn, but you know, your boss or your manager needs to. Let's say not necessarily impress you, but they don't wanna lose you either. If you're talented and you have competence.

Yeah. It's a, two-way, it's a, two-way two way street. So if you express, you know, some desire to, you know, look, I'm soaking everything in and I'm, and I'm great. And it seemed, you know, I may want to, you know, even if it's to push the envelope, like, you know, let's say, yeah, I know I'm new, but I kind of, I want, I want go out and meet that prospect.

And I have some ideas about how we can approach it, you know, express. and let your, your supervisors know that, 

and especially it, the way things are today. And I think most companies, I can speak for my own. . I certainly see it at your organization too, but I, I think most companies as a whole.

Wanna retain good people at all costs. Yeah. And it doesn't matter where, so. Right. Any good, any good leader, any good manager, , is looking at, okay. Yeah. I love having you in this role because you kick ass mm-hmm . But my God, if you are thinking about leaving and there's something else that we can find for you that would be more suited to where you're trying to go.

hell yeah. We're gonna try and figure out where that is. Right. So I think be vocal and speak up. Like if you're, if you're starting to get that itch and if you feel like, I think like when we talk about the talent dilemma, part of it is, if you're talented, right, and you're doing a good job and there's a culture fit at your organization, mm-hmm, try and find another spot.

If there, if there, if you're in a job or a role that, that. Feeling right for you, but you feel like there's a good culture fit and like you can add value at your organization, try and explore that at all costs because company culture's a big deal. Yeah. And if you find a good, a good organization where you feel like you fit and you feel like you're valued, , I, I just think like vocalize, if there's something more or something different that you wanna be doing, that's good.

You're a hundred percent. Cause it's not always hopping to a new company. Isn't always the answer. No, it's not. And there's a ton of, depending on how large your organization is, there's usually a ton of opportunity right in front of you. Mm-hmm 

yeah, If 

the company culture sucks and maybe leave, but well, yeah, 

yeah, exactly.

And, and only you. You can only answer that question yourself you know, but push, but ask the questions. Exactly. Very good. So this is, this is really the, you know, foundation foundation for, for a few more episodes on this because oh few. Oh, oh yeah. Oh yeah. 

Yeah, we're just gonna keep talking about this talent 40, 


Maybe I'm only kidding. I'm only kidding. We're not gonna do that, but 

no, but I, I just think this is such a cool topic, but think 

about it. Yes. , just to give a little, you know, tease, there's talent, you can be talented, but you don't fit in, in your organization or you're talented and you do fit in the organization.

Think about that from per your own personal self. I'm doing a great job, but for some reason I'm not getting traction or. You're managing people and you have talented people, but they don't fit in or they do fit in, competence are you doing what's right for yourself and your company by.

learning and developing and becoming competent. And I go 

back to that and asking for what you need, if you feel like you don't 

have, if you don't have it. And I'll go back to my dad's my, my dad's favorite quote, which I loved, and I've used it before. Some people have. 20 years of experience and other people have one year of experience repeated 20 times.

it's so true, repeating bad, you know, making the same mistakes 

over and over, over again. Well, they're, they're the same person. They were 20 years ago. They haven't developed, they haven't grown. They've just done the same thing or, you know, or they really are. 20 years better than they were 20 years ago.

Right. You know? Um, 

and there's a place for all of it, but who do you wanna be, but who 

do you wanna be and who do you wanna have on your team? Right. Okay. So, you know, there's that, and then the critical piece here that we'll talk about, talk about in another episode, there are leaders and there are individual contributors and you can move from individual contributor to leader.

If that's within. You know, wheelhouse, but not every great, talented, competent performer is a leader. And that is not a bad 

thing. Well, and not every leader is a competent, talented, talented individual contributor. That is correct. 

That's correct. 

They say, what is that? That they say some of the, uh, if you.

Can't do you may as well teach or what is that saying? Yeah, and I don't really, those that don't agree that can't 

do teach those that can do, and those that can't teach, but I don't believe in that think 

that's. Is that because you spent some time teaching in your career and I'm like, he was, he was a sales trainer for many years.

I'm really not good 

at anything. So I just talk about it. That's that's the point, but I, I don't believe that at all. No, I don't either, but no, no, no. Because leadership and management and teaching and, and, and conveying ideas in a, in a fun, thoughtful and effective way is its own talent and competence.

Right. You, you know what I'm saying? 

That that's, but some people can do and can't tell anybody how they do it, right? Like there's, there's some people that can't dissect why or how they do something. They just know they do it. 

Right. Correct. And so you, you need, if you're, if you have a skill that is super, you know, super technical and, and takes years to develop and all that.

How in hell you, you, it's usually a very difficult thing for you to teach because. You know, so many nuances in so many different ways. Right. But if, if, if someone said, well, I don't understand. Just, just tell me what is it that you accomplish? It might take another person to look at what you're doing to at what you're doing and say, well, here is what Christina does.

She does this mm-hmm you wanna wanna, you want to stand up and go? Yeah. But, but to do that, I have to do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know, but that's not the point. We're just trying to sell. This or talk about this, you know, one thing. So anyway, we're gonna cover, we're gonna cover these topics and we're gonna cover it from a personal standpoint and from an organizational standpoint.


So for now let's all think about our goals and like what we wanna do and what do you need exactly what you need to get there. 

Kind of always wanted to be a Gregorian. But I never had the chance 

I don't even get that one. Get it. 

No, I always wanted to be a Gregorian monk, but I never had the chance.

C H a N T S 

oh, chance. Sorry. Oh God. So, so now what is this? Two dad jokes. An episode. I'm gonna give you a third if you no, no, no, no, no. Anyway, we're gonna wrap it up listeners before you have to suffer through another dad. Joke. Thank you so much for being with us today. If you liked what you heard, please like subscribe, share with a friend and let us know if you have topic ideas, things that you wanna hear about.

Things you wanna talk 

about? Yeah. Cause if you don't, you get dad jokes. So it's, you know, 

anyway, thanks for listening with us 

wherever you are, whatever your story. Thanks for spending time with us this morning. Now go and make a difference in your world.

I am just shaking my head at you. I'm gonna, I'm gonna resist 

chance for do not do a third dad joke. Do not do a third dad joke. I 

promise I won't do it. I'll be a good boy 

for now.

Have a good week, everybody. Thank you everyone. We'll see you in two.