Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I’m delighted to have Gina Rudan, author of PRACTICAL GENIUS: The Real Smarts You Need to Get Your Passions and Talents Working for You (Touchstone Hardcover), as my guest today. She is President of Genuine Insights Inc. a contemporary professional development training practice whose mission is to leverage the genius within every individual and organization. Gina spoke on the subject of genius at the 2010 TED Global conference at Oxford University. Below she shares some thoughts about genius.

Your Other G-Spot (G for Genius)
By Gina Rudan

Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s be clear—the “G” I am referring to is your genius.

There is something deliberately bold and sexy about the word “genius.” I have always been attracted to the word and recently decided to date it exclusively. Like many writers, I fall in and out of love with certain words and phrases throughout my writing life but one word that keeps me lustfully loyal is the word “genius.” I even love the way it sounds. Genius.

When they hear me speak of genius, some people immediately become interested, while others become intimidated, viewing themselves as far removed from the concept of genius. Can someone please tell me when did we let the idea of genius get away from us? From a human capital development perspective, it is one of the most important words in the dictionary and yet why does it seem so alien to our experience?

Is it because we have been programmed to believe that this gorgeous word can only be applicable to a select few who have been struck by the gods with a rare, extraordinary talent? It’s amazing how few of us believe we actually possess a drop of genius. To inspire the world to consider that genius is a choice and not a gift. I have redefined genius as Practical Genius.

Most people consider genius to be a gift bestowed on folks like Einstein or Mozart but not the rest of us. Contrary to this belief, PRACTICAL GENIUS is based on the underlying assumption that each of us possesses genius deep inside of us and it’s just waiting to be cultivated and set in motion. In my own life, I believe as a fully realized woman, authentic and entirely visible to the world, I am capable of exceptional accomplishments in my work, my community, and with my family and friends. That means I am the genius, not operating in the lofty, exclusive heights of science or culture, but right here, right now.

That’s what PRACTICAL GENIUS is all about: identifying and leveraging both the soft and hard unique personal assets each of us posses. Of course, it’s also about using those assets to open doors, attract opportunity, leverage personal power, and succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
So here’s how it works:

Step 1: First, you must Identify Your Genius. This means extracting and taking active responsibility for your unique strengths, passions, values, authenticity and creativity. Hint: the intersection of both these quantitative and qualitative characteristics is where your genius lies.

Step 2: Express Your Genius. The greatest challenge—which is rarely addressed in leadership models—is visibility. If you are not actively, purposefully sharing your unique genius?narrative with the world, you’re compromising your personal and professional impact.

Step 3.  Surround Yourself With Genius. You are who you walk with. Raise the bar and build your network with others who are living purposeful, inspired lives. This step is about reaching out in a?non-transactional way and cultivating meaningful, deeply valuable relationships. Raise your expectations, elevate your standards and surround yourself with those who are a positive reflection of your genius.

Step 4. Market Your Genius. Here’s where the game really changes. When you project and distribute your genius consistently, with clear purpose and passion, your personal and professional dynamic shifts into crazy growth mode.

Don’t you want to know where your PRACTICAL GENIUS might take you?
To learn more about Practical Genius, check out Gina Rudan‘s fabulous new book, PRACTICAL GENIUS: The Real Smarts You Need to Get Your Passions and Talents Working for You.

Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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