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Being a top performer in-house depends on the situation and four dimensions

Consider this quote: “Numerous studies, however, have shown that being a superstar performer versus a poor performer is situational. More specifically, people generally perform as superstars when their work engages their best talent, skill, capability, and passion.” The Professional Services Firm Bible, John Baschab and John Piot, Eds. at pg 286. Setting aside the point of situational fit, note the definitions and the clarity they bring to law department talent development.

“Talent” is the natural endowment of a person. The Gallup organization has identified 34 talent themes that explain the differences between how people relate to one another and why different people will excel or fall short based on various settings. The themes include 7 under “Relating,” 6 under “Impacting,” 9 under “Striving,” and 12 under “Thinking.”

“Capability” is the potential for future development of a person’s talents into skills and capabilities.

“Skill” refers to the ability to perform work that results from acquired knowledge that enables the person to do something competently.

“Passion” refers to the intense set of emotions that compels a person to action.

To make the most of the four dimensions of its lawyers, a law department should create an alignment chart. An alignment chart enables you to clearly link company and department goals to the specific talents, skills, capabilities and passions that are needed to reach them.

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