Are You Excelling in Your Zone of Genius? | Commitments of Conscious Leadership #8

As stated by the Conscious Leadership Group (CLG), “conscious leaders build an organization that allows all team members to realize their full potential – and they support and inspire others to do the same.”  In your journey to become a conscious leader, are you willing to make that commitment?

Gay Hendricks, PhD, in his book The Big Leap identifies four “zones”. People tend to get stuck in three of those zones, preventing them from reaching the fourth.  First there is the zone of Incompetence where you spend time doing things you don’t enjoy, don’t do well, and it leaves you feeling frustrated.  So, stop doing it and either delegate it to someone who can do a much better job, or possibly see if you can do it differently so that it will be more enjoyable and more productive – but be sure to leave the zone of incompetence.

Then there is the zone of Competence where you spend time on things that you are competent at, but others could do them just as well and more efficiently.  These are things that may not feel like a waste of time to you, as in the zone of incompetence, yet leave you feeling unsatisfied and tired at the end of the day.

The third zone is the zone of Excellence – the zone where many successful people get stuck.  You are better than most at what you do, comfortable doing it, can do it easily without much thought, but it costs you energy – even if a little.  If you stay at that level for too long it will drain you of your passion, creativity and the “what could be possible”.

The fourth zone, the zone of Genius, is where conscious leaders need to be – maximizing their zone of genius.  This zone is where the aspects of your work generate the highest ratio of positive results in comparison to time spent.  As my former business partner would say, this is where it makes your heart sing.

So what keeps leaders from moving from Excellence to Genius?  Gay Hendricks identifies it as “The Upper Limits Problem” – fears and beliefs that call for a conscious mindset change.  Whether that fear is from feeling fundamentally flawed, disloyalty to their roots, the feeling that more success equals a bigger burden, or outshining someone important to them, it requires a process of reprograming your nervous system to allow for a slow raising of your “old” upper limits to reach the upper limits.  It is possible to reprogram your nervous system to open up to greater happiness, fulfillment and relational connectedness.

In the CLG’s book, The 15 Commitments to Conscious Leadership, they suggest several exercises that will help you identify your genius and then practice that commitment to allow more and more time in that zone.

Conscious leaders who not only spend time in their zone of genius but also work with their team members to assess, understand and appreciate their own zones of genius will create companies that excel on all levels.

Previous Iterations of Commitments of Conscious Leadership

Are You Committed to Curiosity?

Sustaining Leadership Success Through Emotional Intelligence

Management Skills vs Leadership Skills

Candid Communication Leads to Successful Teams

The Lure of Gossip

Are You Really Practicing Integrity?

Learning to Give and Accept Appreciation

Drue Lawlor

Director of Business Transformation Coaching Drue leads our coaching and consulting. As a NCIDQ certified designer she and Gail co-developed the 12-month Strategic Business Transformation Group Coaching. The program leads the way in teaching designers how to build or redesign their businesses for profit and success. Outside of Gail Doby Coaching and Consulting she is the co-founder of Boomers with a Plan B. She is driven to help clients create a safer and healthier homes. You’ll find her in Senior Magazine and a contributor to the following books: Design for Aging: Post Occupancy Evaluations and Interior Graphic Standards, second edition.
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