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Karin’s Leadership Articles

Talent Timeout: Sharing Your Hidden Talents

by | Nov 15, 2012 | By Karin Hurt, Communication |

He trembled a bit as he approached the microphone. His thoughts crystalized into a profound truth.

Just a statement. He had no ask. He didn’t elaborate on such talents. He sat down.

I felt tears well up for this man about whom I knew so little. Sure his story is complex. Whose story isn’t?

“A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage”
~Sydney Smith

Later I asked him for more. The man indeed has many talents. His light was shining under a bushel, and he was speaking up.

I have a been unemployed for several years. I have many talents. I have much to offer this community.

How many times have you felt that way?

  • “Why can’t they see my gifts?”
  • “Why wasn’t I asked?”
  • “I have more to give”
  • “…”

Who’s holding you back? You or they? When’s the last time you picked up a “microphone” and shared what you have to offer?

Talent Timeout

Today, I ask each of us to pause and consider.

  • What are your many talents?
  • Which 3 talents do you offer up the most?
  • Which 3 stay hidden away?
  • Why?

What would be different if you spoke them into a microphone for your community to hear?

Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today!

Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today?


  1. Eric

    Inspiring! I wonder who we would be if we shared more of ourselves? And, who we’d be if we accepted more in others?

  2. letsgrowleaders

    Eric, thanks so much for joining in the conversation. I like your addition… who would we be if we accepted more… really worth considering.

  3. saraparrish

    I live just outside of Phoenix where there is a school for alternative health. In my opinion it is one of the top schools for healing arts in the southwest. Every 1st Friday of the month they have a seminar called Gifts and Graces where you can fill out a questionnaire that helps you pin point areas where you are drawn to excel. Some time back I took the test and scored the highest in motivational speaking so I decided to take a weekend life coaching class they had. The class really helped me to look inside myself when leading my teams to find more personal ways to motivate and inspire success in others. I thought about this class when I read the post and went to answer the questions. In life coaching and good leadership pulling out the hidden talents in people is the primary goal!

    Which 3 talents do you offer up the most?

    Positive thinker

    Which 3 stay hidden away?

    Artist and writer
    Deep thinker


    It is always good to set boundaries with others and not everyone can appreciate the talents of others! I am a natural introvert and an INFP, moving from being the analyzer to the the analyzed can sometimes be awkward and uncomfortable. The talents that I offer up the most are the ones that I feel that people appreciate and can benefit the most from me. The ones that stay hidden away I find are reserved for my inner circle and makes me more interesting for the people that I have my deepest relationships with.

    How would offering these up to others be beneficial?

    Offering my hidden talents, my most protected talents, would show others that I am not afraid to be myself. It would show others that it is OK for them to be themselves and that we all have so many things to bring to the table. Deep down most of us find that we are scared of our greatness because being great means we have to be accountable for something bigger than ourselves.

    • letsgrowleaders

      Wow! Sara, thank you so much for your very in-depth insights. You add important depth and breadth to this post. It is exciting to see all of the important discovery work you are doing and sharing. Namaste.

      • saraparrish

        Haha, that was long one wasn’t it! Glad you enjoyed the read. 🙂

      • Helen

        Hi Karin,

        The sincerity of your responses to the comments of who share their thoughts here is so affirming 🙂 Thankyou.


  4. letsgrowleaders

    Helen, thank you so much. The comments are my favorite part… it’s so much fun to hear what others are exploring on their journey.


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Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results.  She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

Be More Daring


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Be More Daring


Get the FREE Courageous Cultures E-Book to learn how

7 Practical Ways to be a Bit More Daring

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