Why Talented People Don’t Use Their Strengths

 

If you watched the Super Bowl a few months ago, you probably saw the coaches talking to each other over headsets during the game. What you didn’t know is that during the 2016 season, the NFL made major league-wide improvements to its radio frequency technology, both to prevent interference from media using the same frequency and to prevent tampering. This was a development led by John Cave, VP of football technology at the National Football League. It’s been incredibly helpful to the coaches. But it might never have been built, or at least Cave wouldn’t have built it, had it not been for his boss, Michelle McKenna-Doyle, CIO of the NFL.

When McKenna-Doyle was hired, she observed that a number of her people were struggling, but not because they weren’t talented — because they weren’t in roles suited to their strengths. After doing a deep analysis, she started having people switch jobs. For many, this reshuffling was initially unwelcome and downright uncomfortable. Such was the case with Cave.

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