Sports fans of every stripe have been baffled by the rise of Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks. How does a player with relatively zero hype or experience all of a sudden turn into a person with the potential to turn around one of the most troubled franchises in the NBA? Lin's meteoric rise defies all logic, yet the incredible thing is that there might be Jeremy Lins's in every business or walk of life: unheralded people who when given the opportunity can turn a business around.
I really liked this recent feature from Entrepreneur on how to spot the Jeremy Lin in your business. They interviewed George Anders, author of the book 'The Rare Find: Spotting Exceptional Talent Before Everyone Else', how offered this bit of wisdom: "The talent universe is full of overlooked people, shunned for reasons of geography, status or background."
He then offered three bits of advice for finding your own Jeremy Lin:
- Look for bright stars on distant constellations
- Sometimes second best is just as good
- Listen to your employees
We might offer a fourth point to this: don't be afraid to put employees in the spotlight. Somebody had to make the ultimate decision to play Lin and if he's never given the chance to play, America wouldn't have found its latest sporting sensation. In sports and in business, talent is all around. The challenge is to empower those we employee to deliver results of the highest standard.