I think it’s safe to say that we all know at least one person who seems to just get it, you name the technology, language or methodology, everything seems to be so easy to learn, understand and master at while the rest of us need weeks or months to feel that we’re learning something… or even worst, it’s something that no matter how many nights we spend trying to understand the concept or how many cups of coffee we take, we just won’t get there, that’s is the unfair advantage.
I recall this guy at my university who pretty much never attended classes, spent all day playing video games or sleeping while me and my group of friends used to spend weeks and weeks at school, at the library, at my apartment, doing (or trying to…) every exercise in the books, searching online, watching tutorials, etc. Long hours studying to be able to get the minimum grade or a bit more than that and this guy looked at the exam and completed it in 30 mins or less and getting the perfect grade… I mean, how was that possible? He never attended classes or spent more than three hours studying. I talked with him sometimes trying to understand how he did it, and everything seemed just too easy for him, he was like, you guys complicate your lives too much.. This is as simple as 1 + 1 and yeah, for him, it was as simple as that…
To me, it was not fair that no matter how many hours we dedicated, the level of effort and amount of work that we put into our study… some of us simply won’t be reaching that level of understanding or mastering on certain subjects… It was very frustrating too.
It wasn’t until I finished university and started my professional life when I got to understand that there’s this –reduced– group of brilliant people who doesn’t need to spend hours or days learning something new, they just get it… Do not confuse this concept with being responsible or accountable, these guys might not even qualify as responsible or the perfect employee, but let me tell you, if they work 3 hours a day, they produce the same than we do in 8 or 9 hours.
During my professional career I have been lucky enough to came across with more than one of these little geniuses, I have been on the same teams as them which has been a privilege as this doesn’t happen very often. In my role, I mostly work towards to help them or lead them to exploit the advantage they have and make the best of it, you know, they are the flowers, we just water them 😉
Not all of us were born with this gen, in fact, only very few have it… Do I still think this is unfair to others? Most likely, yes, but if like me, you are not one of them, it’s on us to find our unique talent or skill that makes us valuable on the team… you can be the ‘glue’ that holds the team together when the morale is low, or the motivator, the leader, the one who has the charm and handles presentations better, there are plenty skills that you can develop. But, if you’re one of the lucky guys who has this advantage, first of all congratulations and #respect, own it and make the best of it, but be generous and respectful of others people talents.
How do you know when you have this advantage? Well, it just come naturally, you probably don’t even realize it if you’re too young… Most of the times, if you think you have it, then you don’t #sorrynotsorry
Can someone develop this unfair advantage? Not really 🙁 , but not having it shouldn’t stop us to achieve our goals, it’s just that sometimes we’ll require a bit more time and lots of coffee, tea or Red Bull to get them!