In about a week’s time we mark the centenary of one of the most awful battles of WW1. More than 100,000 young men had been highly trained in the skill of walking across a muddy field to get closer to 100,000 other young men and kill them.

All of these men – both sides – were outrageously gifted with talents to build and venture and imagine and connect. It’s not their fault that they didn’t know about these talents. It’s not even the fault of the officers or politicians who led them. In those days you did what your father had done, or your uncle. No-one understood the size of the undiscovered country within, the talents and aptitudes that are like the diamond mines of the soul.

The Battles of the Somme, Verdun, Ypres and all the other battles were a prodigious waste of talent. We pride ourselves that we are not going to send boys to their deaths like that again. Yet every year we spit out millions of young people from our schools and universities and send them walking into careers that they are going to hate. The Deloitte Shift Index says that 80% of us are in the wrong job and want to be somewhere else. Other research gives similar results.

Skills and education are wasted if they don’t mine the seam of our talent. Talent is obstinate because it’s so deep-seated. It’s native to us. Only recently have we understood it better, patiently researching it and revealing it like a geologist reveals a caldera. Skills and education are merely cosmetic add-ons. We are condemned to be perennially restless, unproductive and dispirited if we don’t map the direction of our talent and then fit our education around it.

Let’s do recruitment better. Let’s stop sending our young people to work only to see their youthful spirits mown down by toil that is meaningless to them. For that matter, let’s stop doing it to anyone, not just the young. For the sake of those who never got the chance a hundred years to do anything with their talents, let’s use ours. Method Teaming reveals our natural talent in total detail. We can use it to make career choices that will make us happy AND productive.

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