Apply Your Genius

I've been a fan of Marcus Buckingham and the Strengths Movement since reading First Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently. I have since read all his books and taken each of his assessments.

If you're not familiar with his work, the premise is that to be at your best, you need to play to your strengths both in work and life. Your strengths are talents you're born with and unlike skills and knowledge that can be taught, strengths cannot. So for you to be truly happy, productive, and successful at work, you need to find a job that plays to those strengths. 

Marcus and his team have developed several online assessments to help people determine their strengths, and the latest was just released with his newest book, Standout 2.0.

In addition to explaining all the 9 role types and how this test is better than its original version, Marcus starts the first chapter with three lessons:
  1. Your Genius is precise
  2. Remember who you are
  3. Always sharpen your edge
Genius is what he calls how our top two roles define our strengths, and they are precise and unique to each of us. Marcus and his team consciously kept the results to the top two roles so that we can easily remember who we are.

But knowing yourself is not enough. By using our genius daily, not only will we be happier but we'll also be sharpening our "edge." Instead of trying to expand our boundaries, we should be digging deeper within them and within our genius, where we can be at our best and most productive and happy.

What appeals to me most about this movement is that it encourages us to be more of who we already are naturally, instead of trying to become someone we're not. It's the difference between having work be an extension of yourself and energizing, or struggling and being exhausted and miserable at the end of each day. 

I've been in both situations so can speak to the difference it makes and its impact on every part of your life. I can also attest that using your strengths is the only way to be truly happy and successful.

Do you know what your genius is? Are you applying it daily?

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