The Psychology of Talent, Competencies, and Appraisal

Takeaways from ‘80% is Psychology’ session, January 23rd, 2019 in Tokyo.

  1. Unlike the fixed influence of genes on body size, elite achievement is rather the result of differences in experiences, training, (elite) education, and networks.
  2. Whether talent develops or not heavily depends on how and to whom organizations allocate their resources.
  3. IQ test results from children do not support a relationship with later exceptional performance.
  4. Avoid mindless repetitions that arrest development. Instead, deliberately practice by focusing purposefully and systematically your attention on performance improvement.
  5. The Pygmalion effect: Viewing somebody as a talent could result in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Good managers can use this phenomenon positively by instilling high productivity in their employees through their high expectation.
  6. There is scientific evidence that talent geographically concentrates where there is diversity.
  7. The Peter Principle: Employee careers tend to rise to their level of incompetence. Therefore, do appreciate people who are modestly staying with and competently doing their jobs.
  8. Team talent: Celebration of “stars” should not neglect the importance of the whole team (incl. B) players

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About mathias sager

PSYCHOLOGIST and Independent Researcher I'm born in Zurich and grew up in Switzerland. For many years I lived in Tokyo, and also in Pune/India. I'm passionate about developing human potential, which is an overarching theme throughout all my work that is based on research and supported by intuition and art. Through teaching, counseling, and leading indivuals and teams around the world my goal is to inspire with interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural approaches to personal and professional development for individual well-being and the common good alike. Happy if you reach me on, connect on social media, or email directly to Developing human potential is my passion! - Independent Awareness Intelligence Research (mathias sager - Psychology, global) - MSc in Psychology (University of Liverpool) - Postgraduate in Conflict Management, Leadership and Crisis Communication (University of Applied Sciences Winterthur, Switzerland) - Executive Master in Business Administration (EMBA, iimt Fribourg, Switzerland) - Bachelor in Education Sciences (Switzerland)
  • Interesting.

    In modern Capitalist societies the definition of “exceptional performance” has become so horribly mutated that “success” has very little to do with IQ and virtually everything to do with allocation of resources.

    • mathias sager says:

      Absolutely! Unfortunately, you’re right. Success is measured mainly in materialistic terms. This is unhealthy as talent is only developed and encouraged for profitable cases. However, for human beings to be happy, they should use all their talent freely anyway!
      Thanks for your contribution, and all the best!

  • dewofmay says:

    I find your articles very useful to be shared on LinkedIn. but could not locate it. thanks

    • mathias sager says:

      Hi, and thank you for your nice feedback. What do mean with ‘locating?’ I’ve also found, though, that it is difficult to search the articles on Linkedin, although I have them posted there too. If you like, we can connect on Linkedin to make it easier:
      In any case, thanks and all the best

      • dewofmay says:

        ah yes. what i meant was that I could locate the LinkedIn icon on your blog to share the post directly on to my LinkedIn profile. thank you for the your ID on LinkedIn. Shall connect.

      • mathias sager says:

        Great! And thanks for connecting! All the best

  • elly says:

    Thanks for sharing!