Dustin Peterson is a leadership trainer with Proof Leadership Group and works with organizations to help develop their culture. He is also the author of Reset: How to Get Paid and Love What You Do, and coaches individuals to help them get unstuck in their careers. He currently serves in a stake presidency in Houston, Texas, and has previously served on a high council and as an early morning seminary teacher. In this podcast, Dustin talks about why we often believe we don’t have talents, and how to identify and put our talents to work to bless those we lead and serve.


8:00 Calling to the Stake Presidency 10:10 Talents: People believe they don’t have them and don’t know how to identify them; helping people identify their talents is a tremendous gift 11:35 Identifying talents first allows us to magnify them 12:20 Talents are superpowers. They are powerful skills that make you unique. 14:30 Men are that they might have joy (2 Nephi 2:25) 15:10 Parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

  1. Every person has talents (verse 15)
  2. You can gain more talents (verse 15)
  3. Talents lead to joy (verse 21)
  4. When we are afraid, we tend to hide our talents (verse 25)
  5. Everyone that uses their talents gets more (verse 29)
  6. Those who bury them have them taken away (verse 29)

16:30 Elders Quorum discussion of talents vs. 6th-grade class discussion of talents 19:45 The Broken Paradigm: What’s the problem with identifying our talents? Our mindsets

  1. Deficit perspective: we identify our weaknesses
  2. (22:30) Scarcity belief: a few people have talents and the rest are left behind
  3. (25:30) Humility complex: we overvalue humility when it comes to talent and talk ourselves out of our own talents

28:00 The secret is to be grateful. 29:00 How do we identify our talents?

  • Definition: Things you do naturally, consistently well. Think energy.
  • Skills are transferable and can be taught; talents are innate, energizing, and can be developed; a sign of talent is that it is instinctual
  • 33:50 Talents energize and makes us feel good; we can become highly skilled at a weakness
  • 34:20 What moments in my calling do I feel energized in?
  • 36:00 God knows our talents and if we use our talents to serve, we will get where we need to be
  • 36:30 Diversify your perspective on talents; talents come in three varieties, but we only give respect to “doing” talents
    1. Doing: arranging, organizing, developing, communicating, writing
    2. Thinking: connecting, influencing, positivity, relating, empathy
    3. Feeling: ideating, inputting information, learning, analyzing

41:30 What do you do when you don’t have a talent in a certain area? God expects us to develop all of these talents 42:15 Examples of talents that are easy to identify, and talents that are more difficult to notice

  • Easy: being a good athlete, gardening, singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, drawing, painting, sculpting, cooking, baking, writing, public speaking, teaching, acting, composing songs, sewing, storytelling, repairing things, photography, bow hunting
  • Less easy to notice: having empathy, being a peacemaker, being positive and energetic, communicating effectively, being a good listener, having self-control/discipline, being able to make decisions, setting goals, getting tasks accomplished, giving service, inputting or retaining information, mentally organizing information, analyzing and sorting data, being friendly and kind to others, putting others at ease, seeing the good in others, thrift, punctuality

45:00 Talent is the “How” (Simon Sinek’s concentric circles) and it remains the same through any “What” 46:40 Identify your best day in the past 6 months in your calling and take notes on it. What were you doing? Who was it with/to/for? Why was it so meaningful?

  • Talents release motivation and energy: your talents are buried in all of this information

48:50 Artistic abilities as talents can extend beyond a single medium, and they are not self-serving; we must magnify our talents 50:30 Examples of talents 51:00 How do you lead with your talent? Look at your calling and figure it out

  • Learn your duty, then apply your talent to it and magnify the talent

52:45 Equilibrium in life: Use talents to boost your motivation and keep your energy above equilibrium

  • Tap the talent to do the things that drain your energy

55:10 Fear of sharing talents is the biggest challenge: Raise your hand 56:25 Quote from author Wallace Wattles: “The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself.”

  • The best thing you can do for your ward is to develop yourself

59:30 The great paradox of talent: everyone knows your talent except you

  • Identify talents for others
  • Every calling is an opportunity to discover/develop talents

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