A new way for thinking about your potential

In the startup world there is a lot of focus on product-market fit and making sure that alignment is perfect. The better the fit, the more you will sell and the bigger your company gets.

I’ve been thinking about how this applies to individual skill level and organizations. Some organizations excel at maximizing people’s strengths. Others do well at maximizing certain kinds of strengths. A bank may excel at taking advantage of financial acumen, but may struggle to take advantage

Scenario 1: Untapped Potential

In this scenario, an organization can support talent levels up to 90% — this means it will likelt waste some talent of the best of the best people in this area.

In this case, the individual still has an opportunity to improve and grow in this environment


Scenario 2: Wasted Talent

Consider the same person who has the ability to improve up to a 90% proficiency in analytical skills — this organization can only take advantage of any skill level up to 40% proficiency. This same person doesn’t have room to grow any more — they are limited by the talent-organizational fit.

This person should probably look for a new job that better aligns with their skills


Mapping Your Skills

To take stock of your current skill-organization fit, try to take a step back and assess yourself on the skills where you are strong or where you want to improve and develop. Next assess the organizational capacity — basically an estimate of whether these skills are valued or not and if they are able to support the best of the best in these areas.

Mock Assessment

As you can see in the above chart — the person’s organization is not taking advantage of their above average leadership, written communication and analytical skills. However, there is still room to grow in public speaking and problem solving.

Depending on where you see your career going and which skills you want to develop, you need to think about whether staying at your current organization is doing more harm than good.



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