When was the last time you asked yourself, “What was I put here on Earth to do?”
It probably makes you feel like you’re getting closer when you think about the things that make you feel creative, energized, or passionate. The project you leap out of bed each day to get started on, knowing the positive impact it will have on you – and others.
I call this “genius leadership”, because it’s when you’re in the zone, doing what comes easily or naturally to you.
Dan Sullivan, founder and CEO of Strategic Coach, describes genius as “unique ability.” Which makes sense, because the thing we love to do is the thing we’ll do the most, and that we’ll get better and better at.
Where has your passion become a high-level of competence?
When you know this, assess where you are spending most of your time. If it’s not in areas in which your genius gets to shine, find a way to get there more often. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can do and create in less time and with less effort.
Of course, we have to balance our genius leadership with our old friend, our ego. The ego has a useful function. It helps us to discern, understand, set boundaries, remember, evaluate, and plan. But when it’s denied or justified, it can also lead us astray into drama rather than purpose. When that happens, we’re not exercising our emotional intelligence.
When your ego is running the show, you might find yourself in resistance and Protection Mode, becoming defensive. Boy, that commitment to safety takes a lot of energy.
Consider the acronym: EGO is Easing Genius Out. Ego contains push and pull, contrast and comparison, levels, and closed doors. Genius is flow. Genius is open, honoring, emotionally vibrant, and unconcerned with the safety and protection of its neighbor, EGO.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure your ego performs its function, and doesn’t shut the door on your genius:
- Recognize and don’t deny
- Clean up any ego explosions
- Find neutrality and a place of presence in your mind that resists ego and emotional triggers
When you prioritize humanized leadership and leading an emotionally intelligent work life, you’ll find yourself in the flow of genius more and more, and ego subterfuge will become easier to recognize. You’ll find you have choices: Either flow, or resist. Create, or compare. Be curious, or be critical. The first choice is always the easiest.
This article is adapted from my book, The Humanized Leader. You can grab your own copy here. I also invite you to download two free chapters here.