The energy within your zone of genius

We all have a zone of genius built inside of us. It’s called “strengths.” 

For managers and leaders, these inherited strengths are natural to spot in others.  After all, you’ve invested a lot of time ensuring your team has opportunities to grow. In addition to constantly pouring into others, you’ve done a great job helping employees see value in what they do for the organization. 

You’re a heart and mind reformer, too.

Changing thought patterns from the work is … “just a job.” Or, the dread of getting through the day using the benefits of sarcasm “living the dream.” You’re good at what you do! But here’s the deal, burnout is real. The feeling of being “at home” with yourself seems to be getting further away from you. You might even be craving change … a slither of encouragement as well. It’s normal and well deserved. The past 15 months of uncertainty, pivoting and gleaning into what’s next has shaped us in ways we have yet to uncover. 

Your energy zone and performance management depends on you working from your strengths. Energy management is as important as emotional intelligence. Energy management research has been studied for eons. However, energy at work is part of the engagement conversation. It’s important because your energy affects your career choices and how you work. “Energetic people achieve their goals sooner, and enjoy the road to these goals better. Indeed better person-job fit has been related to a higher level of engagement and less burn-out” (Chilton et al. 2005; Maslach et al. 2001). 

Your zone of genius, creativity and how you manage things are affected when out of sync. According to Gallup, comparing employees who are engaged but not thriving in life with those who are engaged and thriving, those in the former group report the following risks:

  • 61% higher likelihood of burnout often or always
  • 48% higher likelihood of daily stress
  • 66% higher likelihood of daily worry
  • double the rate of daily sadness and anger

It’s time to refocus, recharge, and as managers and leaders, acknowledge your strengths and side-eye weaknesses. Seriously!  You are good at what you do and there is no need to keep working a muscle that will never be as strong. It’s important as leaders to know where your genius lies. And support others’ where you are not. It’s healthy. So, it’s time to merge as one individual personally and professionally. We tend to part the sea with the two, but the truth is you must live whole. Give the credit union everything you’ve got, whole and authentic. 

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a psychologist who created the concept of flow. His groundbreaking work changed the way human beings perceived life, work and happiness. Flow is a fancy word, which simply means … alignment – personal and professional. You are working from your strengths, job-fit and authenticity. You honor your zone of genius and work from that place. In spite of the task, refereeing conflict in the workplace, you are aware and in control because of ‘flow.’ 

Here are some tips to add to your toolbox and guard your energy performance management. 

  1. Ritual or Routine: Start the day fresh. Energize yourself with something that feels right for you. 
  2. Safe Space: Emotions are messages and necessary for growth. Listen and lean-in.  Perhaps eliciting a trustworthy colleague as a support system.
  3. Lead for your strengths, understand your opportunities for growth. We’re at our best when we’re authentic in every area. What makes you a good leader? Know and play from that area.
  4. Do something that fills up your cup. It’s the only way to give back to yourself and others benefit from it too. 

One final thought, you cannot pour into others without a daily refill. You are responsible for keeping your cup full. Ask for what you need in your zone of genius. Knowing exactly what type of work fills your cup is how you stay engaged. It’s also how you’ll support the “people helping people” mission and give back to your team members and communities.

LaVada Humphrey

LaVada Humphrey

LaVada Humphrey is a Consultant and Speaker, serving the credit union industry. She specializes in leadership, workplace engagement, coaching, and conflict resolution. LaVada believes the workplace should be a safe ... Web: Details