If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time and energy in your career and want it to be a joyful, rewarding, and positively challenging experience, but probably have struggled with that at times. In this conversation, I’m excited to bring you one of the best thinkers I’ve found yet on crafting a joyful career.
My guest in this episode is Laura Garnett (@garnettl). Laura is a performance strategist, TEDx speaker, a regular contributor to Inc and Forbes and the author of The Genius Habit and the tactical follow-up, Find Your Zone of Genius, which releases September 1.
As a Performance Strategist, Laura works with highly motivated CEOs, executives, and managers who want to maximize their engagement, tap into their unique talents, and access a whole new level of joy and hunger at work, as well as create that kind of experience for their teams. In a nutshell, Laura helps people identify their unique genius and purpose, and craft an actionable plan to leverage them in their day-to-day work.
Laura is a global speaker and contributor at leading conferences and publications like Inc, Forbes, Fast Company and has consulted with leading organizations all over the world including Capital One, OpenTable, LinkedIn, and Instructure. Prior to launching her own company, she honed her marketing, strategy, and career-refining skills at companies like Capital One, American Express, IAC, and Google.
In this conversation, we go deep on how to connect with your unique zone of genius — that integration of the head and the heart where you are intellectually on fire and emotionally invested — how to own the value you bring and create joy in your day to day work, as well as more enlivening ways to think about success.
On top of all that, for part of the conversation Laura puts me in the hot seat and helps me uncover the core emotional challenge that drives my sense of purpose and impact, and I share openly about some things that I haven’t before. I hope this is useful to you as an example of an important part of the process.
Please enjoy learning to unlock your genius with Laura Garnett.
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Find a quiet place and record a question about this episode. If we can, we’ll answer it on the air in a future episode. Thanks for listening.
- Laura Garnett – (@garnettl)
- Laura’s books:
- The keystone habit: using the Genius Habit performance tracker
- Asch’s research on conformity
- ENLIVEN ep20 with Nilofer Merchant
Transcripts may contain some typos. With some episodes lasting ~2 hours, it can be difficult to catch minor errors. Enjoy!
Andrew 00:01:38 Laura, welcome to the show. I have to say, I am so excited to have you on the show ever since I picked up your first book, like six months ago, I think I emailed you in the middle of the book. It was like, you know, I have questions we have to talk. So I’m so excited to have you here today. What a pleasure. Thanks for being here.
Laura 00:02:42 Oh my goodness. Thank you. I’m so happy to be here. And it was great to hear from you and get so many amazing questions as you were going through the box. So this is my absolute pleasure
Andrew 00:02:52 For sure. I mean, as it’s probably obvious by now, I’m helplessly curious, it’s going to be a lot of fun to jam today and explore a lot of these ideas because absolutely love your work. But before we kind of get into the meat and potatoes, right before we hit record, there was something you mentioned to me that I thought would be a fun place to start, which was that. And I think this is sort of in the background, a lot of the work you do, which is that there are these sort of systemic obstacles, so to speak, to help for two people, really being connected to who they are and knowing who they are and being able to live from that truth. And I would just love to hear, you know, I know that’s top of mind for you today, so I’d love to hear what’s what’s going on there.
Laura 00:03:27 Yeah. I mean, I just got out of a client session and you know, I’m preparing a talk for tomorrow and this is just something that comes up time and time again. And it is that, you know, what you hear from society, um, what your parents will tell you what our educational system teaches us, what your friends will tell you in terms of, you know, what’s right to do for success, um, is often the exact opposite of what is really right for you. Or, you know, even when it comes to looking at the psychology and science of success, and I find that fascinating, it’s depressing and sad, but it’s also, it’s also interesting because so many people are, do they think they’re doing the best they can and they’re doing all of the right things and they’re not,
Andrew 00:04:14 Why is that like what’s going on there is that, you know, you kind of alluded to, there’s actually a, a relatively simple, but maybe not easy answer to this. What do you, what are you seeing there?
Laura 00:04:24 It’s the law of conformity. So I think that we all, you know, that law in itself, the urge to conform and be similar to everyone around us is so powerful. And, you know, there’s research on this. Um, you know, the famous Arthur Ash research where disagreeing with the group can actually feel painful. So people, you know, participants in this study would actually agree to something that was completely obviously wrong rather than go against the group. And I think this is fundamental in success and career decisions. And how one thinks about these things is that you want to conform. And most people, I would say most people tend to be at a mediocre place and be, think that that’s the best they can do. So there’s a sense of let’s keep everyone in that space because then it’s more comfortable. But anyway, I also think too, our education system starts them out in their life, thinking that there’s something wrong with them, if they’re not straight a students. And I think that’s also where a lot of this begins to,
Andrew 00:05:24 You know, it reminds me of a book I read 10 years ago, something like that, that just really pissed me off, but in, in potentially a good way, um, that was called weapons of mass instruction. And it was all about the, basically the, the industrialized school system and the, and it kinda went into the history of the, um, current, at least the current system of mass schooling in America. And the idea that it was literally designed to support the industrialized economy and it was designed to train compliant workers. So everything you were saying about like the fitting in, I mean, it was built into the school system by, but I think it’s just so interesting to see there’s like this biological base of like the pain of, you know, Arthur Ash has experiments with group think where literally we get like an error signal in the brain when we’re perceiving ourselves as out of the group and then coupling that with an industrialized, uh, school system. And it’s like, yeah, you have kind of a perfect recipe for this systemic issue that we’re talking about.
Laura 00:06:16 Absolutely. Absolutely. And the thing is, is that I know that, you know, transforming the education system is a monster. It’s a big job. It’s complicated, it’s not easy. And you know, I’ve talked to really forward thinking principals who, who really say again, like, you know, the school system should mirror the professional world. There should be choice. There should be fluctuations. And even one principal said, you know, there should, it shouldn’t be subjects that should be problems you choose the problem to solve. And then you learn the subjects along the way of solving a problem, which is essentially how we operate in the business world, you know?
Andrew 00:06:50 Yeah. That’s what real jobs in Korea work it looks like.
Laura 00:06:54 Right. Exactly. And so, but until, you know, all of that transforms, which probably is going to take a long time, I really think that similar to how I help individuals transform themselves and their work experience within the confines of the corporate world as it is now, it’s, it’s really about changing yourself and changing your perspective and changing how you, um, how you react to things. And again, you know, in the school thing, it’s about parents also doing that with their kid. I mean, I just, you know, every single client I have, there’s just stories that, you know, make me so sad about kids being judged for bad grades. And then they ultimately have confidence issues, um, for a very long time as a result. And then they suffer, um, longterm because of that.
Andrew 00:07:41 Yeah. A hundred percent. I feel like that’s a really good kind of jumping off point to get into the start, to get into the need of, of your work in this conversation. So the book is called the genius habit. The book that’s going to be coming out next week is finder’s zone of genius. The follow on sort of the action packed guide to finding, you know, to the genius habit. I’ve had the privilege of reading both and I’ve really loved both of them. So first of all, I want to say thank you for your work because it’s actually made, it was like the perfect thing for me at the perfect time where I was really over the last six to 10 months have really been going through a process of rediscovering and exploring what would it look like for me to prioritize joy in my working life, as opposed to just accomplishment.
Andrew 00:08:18 I like, you know, I think in the book you talk about like an achievement junkie, I’m a hundred percent of recovering achievement junkie. And so it was kind of the perfect thing at the perfect time. So I’m just, first of all, already benefited tremendously from your work and why don’t you to know that? So thank you. You’re welcome. Let’s go ahead and lay a quick conceptual foundation for people who haven’t had the benefit of, of your work yet. So just really quick, I’d love you to kind of distinguish what is the zone of genius. And I’d love you to kind of distinguish a couple terms that I feel like kind of get mixed up in this conversation for people pretty broadly in particular for terms which are genius, passion, purpose, and personality. Oh, all ones. Okay.
Laura 00:08:56 Um, so let’s start with his own genius. Now, the reason that I used this framework framework was because when I was doing research on the science and the psychology and neuroscience of performance, um, what I discovered is that there’s two really important data points to great individual performance, and that is being challenged and being fulfilled or having, you know, intrinsic motivation for the work that you’re having. And the best way that I could strive describe that is making sure that the impact that you’re having is connected to who you are. So the zone of genius essentially is your genius. Plus your purpose, your genius is the thinking or problem solving that you’re best at. And that checks the challenge box. The intellectual challenge box and purpose is the impact on others or in the world that is most meaningful to you. And that checks the intrinsic motivation box.
Laura 00:09:47 So those are two data points that, um, whenever I work with anyone, it’s always a starting point to understand that. And it’s really, um, a quick, simple way to give you two to deepen self-awareness and just have a sense of, of who you are with those two data points. And then again, you know, in terms of the words that you were asking for a definition, I think one thing that really confuses people so much in this industry and in this plight is passion. You know, I should, if I follow my passions, then I will find work that I love, or I will, the path to success is through laid by passions. And what I’ve found is that it is usually quite the opposite or that there’s just a little bit of a fine tuning of passions that’s needed in the sense that passions tend to be finite.
Laura 00:10:39 They can kind of, they can be short term. Um, they can be fleeting fleeting. Yes. I mean, I like to think of it in terms of relationships. Everyone knows that, you know, passion has a, you know, has a deadline to it. Um, and it can feel really magical for really, for a period of time. And it makes you think that, you know, it will never go away, but it does. Um, and it’s the same with work. So people will often follow a passion and find that actually, when it comes to the work itself, they don’t even like it at all. Um, so that’s an important distinction. And I always say that passions are nice to have, if you, I’m going to go back to the original framework, if you’re challenged intellectually and you’re fulfilled by the impact that you’re going to have, you’re going to have a great work experience.
Laura 00:11:26 So you throw a passion in, on top of that. Fantastic. You know, I always say like, great cherry on top, it’s a cherry on top. Like, you know, for me, with my clients, I mean, my business is structured around my zone of genius. And you know, I’m always using my zone of genius when I work with clients. But if, Hey, if they happen to work in the fitness industry, for example, or, or like they, they work at Peloton and I’m obsessed with my Peloton bike, that’s kind of a passion that’s thrown on top. It doesn’t define the experience. It just gives me a little bit of excitement and that’s really how it should be used as a nice to have. Um, and I would, I always tell people when you’re operating in your zone of genius, you don’t even care about the passions because joy, an intrinsic, you know, intellectual challenge and joy and intrinsic motivation are such powerful forces. That it’s, it really is all you need.
Andrew 00:12:18 So the way I’ve sort of explained it is you need the head and the heart, you need to be intellectually on fire and you need to be fulfilled. Like you need to be emotionally moved by the impact of whatever you’re doing. Let’s set another way. It’s about finding the, the activities that energize you and those like using those hard won skills that, you know, you’re like the stuff you’re really good at and you love being good at it. And you want to keep getting better at it, take those skills and use them on something that is meaningful to you. And it’s like, you take that a combination of like energy and this thing is meaningful and you got, had a nice combo there. That’s kind of how I’ve been explaining it. How does that jive with what you see? And
Laura 00:12:53 Yeah, I mean, I think the head of the heart description is perfect. The word meaningful. I think you have to make sure you put impact is meaningful. Because another thing that I find that people often confuse is intellectual challenge and fulfillment or meaning. Yeah. I will say to, you know, to give me an example of a time you were really in the zone intellectually and they will invariably give me a purpose moment where what they were doing just felt, you know, had a lot of meaning for them or vice versa. They’ll they’ll think that the meaningful moment is a challenge. Um, so I think that’s also, and again, this is about awareness and paying attention to what’s really going on. So when you’re, I always say you’re in the zone when you’re using your genius and you’re in the zone of genius when you’re using your genius and having the impact of your purpose,
Andrew 00:13:44 Could you distinguish a little bit more, I feel like the, the idea of impact and purpose kind of get muddied a bit, not so much in your work, but generally speaking, what’s the difference
Laura 00:13:53 It’s cause this is yes, purpose is a big word and even meaningful is a big word. And when you look at, when you think of impact, it’s literally about how did what you do, how did it land on someone? Did they have an emotional response to what you were doing that you intended to have, or that is actually connected to your heart? So for, I’ll give you an example. So with my work, you know, I, my purpose is helping people see themselves for who they are. Now, when I answer the question in the tracker, which I’m sure we’ll talk about as well, what was the impact that you made this week? So that’s one of the really important question that the tracker asks, and this is the tool that’s part of the genius habit is just to have awareness and think about everyone that you interacted with in this past week, how would they describe the impact that you had on them?
Laura 00:14:56 And invariably, in order for me to have, you know, be in my zone of genius, I, I want to have had the impact of helping other people, you know, really see themselves be seen. And so that’s a really important question for me to ask when I’m working with a client and do I do I sense, and again, you’re, it’s, this is your perspective. Do I feel like they were seen as a result of this session and generally, and if they’re not, this is what’s so fascinating is because sometimes I don’t think they have felt seen and then I’ll ask myself, well, why is that? Well, actually that isn’t an ideal client. They don’t want to be seen. So for me, that’s another important, um, really important ingredient for my work and the kind of clients I work with is that they want to be seen because I’ve had clients that don’t want to be seen and it’s, it’ll be impossible for me to help them see themselves if they don’t want to be seen.
Andrew 00:15:47 What I’ve heard you say elsewhere is that really this is, you know, an organization can create, can I kind of make it easier? It can create the conditions for people to do this better. That can provide resources, state that it’s important, things like this, but this is, this is fundamentally an individual’s responsibility, right? It’s every person’s responsibility to do this. Like we’re all ultimately responsible for our own happiness. And, and there is, you know, I can speak to this personally, having gone through, um, been working through this process and we’re going to do, I think we may do some of that live on, on this, um, this conversation. I can say it is an investment, right? It is like, there is real work here. And so I w and so what I’d love to hear is a little bit of a before and after kind of story, like for people who are approaching this, and they’re saying, Hey, I really, you know, by the end of this conversation, I’m pretty sure people who have listened to it are going to be very compelled and moved by your work and want to do this, but I want it, I want them to have a, a light at the end of the tunnel.
Andrew 00:16:38 What’s the payoff.
Laura 00:16:40 Here’s what happens first and foremost, um, career decisions are made effortlessly. Um, you approach job change with confidence. You have no fear of the job search. You are super clear and able to talk succinctly with and clarity about who you are to anyone. And especially in an interview. And people are able to very quickly be able to connect with the value you have. And I would say that one of the most exciting things is you just don’t have any more fear of, you know, the career process.
Andrew 00:17:22 That seems, that seems amazing, first of all, but I would say the other thing that I will say was really motivating to me, um, that I think I’m curious if this is also something you observed with the people you work with is in addition to everything you just said, the idea that like every day, your day to day work could be a source of joy. Like that seems like such a payoff that it’s almost for many people probably out, like, just outside the realm of they’re like, I almost don’t believe it like too good to be true kind of thing,
Laura 00:17:53 You know? Yeah. That’s, and, and I probably should’ve mentioned that as well, but, and, you know, and I will say that that’s so much a part of my reality that sometimes it’s hard for me to even disconnect from that. Like, it’s, it is my reality. I love what I do every day. And, um, again, this is, um, I, you know, absolutely that is possible, but again, to your point that you made earlier it is work. So the clients of mine that, um, can match my joy for work, because most people, I I’ve been doing this for 11 years. I am very practiced at this. And so I do have a lot, I have a lot of joy for what I do. Um, but I’ve had clients that can match that because they still do the work. I fill out the performance tracker every week and I’ve done. So now for as many years as it’s been developed, so probably six or seven years, the people that don’t do that, they start to disconnect from the joy and because they’re disconnecting from themselves. So I would say, you know, this work is kind of analogous to showering or working, maybe working out, um, in this sense that the more you focus on it, then the more possible daily joyous,
Andrew 00:19:03 It’s like leading a healthy lifestyle, the same way that, you know, you don’t just get healthy tomorrow. Like there’s a lifestyle you have to lead in terms of diet and exercise and sleep and all these things. Similarly, it’s like, there is a, it seems like it’s a lifestyle of having joy at work, right. And it’s something that we can take on and create for ourselves. Absolutely. And most people have been disappointed by the things that they have tried towards that end. And I think what’s so great about your work and what got me going on. It was that you, you bridged it from a concept to a behavior. And that’s really where that the idea of the habit and the tracker comes in.
Laura 00:19:36 Absolutely. And I would say, you know, when I, uh, went through my massive career crisis at Google, um, that’s, what was I found what was missing? Yeah. That, because there’s an as, you know, cause you study this stuff, the career space is huge. There’s so much information. And, um, but what I was lacking was the process and the way to shift my behavior or my habits in order to get a different work experience,
Andrew 00:20:03 What is the process? Leo let’s if we just want to paint the high level picture for people, so they know what to expect.
Laura 00:20:07 Yeah. Well, it’s, you know, the genius habit in itself, you know, in a sense the core of the genius habit is essentially filling out the performance tracker every week. And, um, it is the tracker is meant to be a, um, of checkpoint for yourself. And the tracker does a number of things. The first thing that it does is that it allows you to really assess if you’ve been, you know, using your, you know, your zone of genius over the past week and why or why not, why have you, you know, what caused you to be in your, to use your genius or have the impact of your purpose? Why or why not? And to really back and think about, you know, well, what could I do? What is in my power of control, um, to help have more of those moments for the week ahead?
Laura 00:20:57 The other thing it does is that I, you know, I distilled all of the research that I did on this topic into the tracker, because, you know, as I mentioned earlier in the conversation, everything that society and your parents and everybody tells you to do the wrong things. So then one of the problems with being super successful is people don’t really know what to do or what is important. And so the tracker asks questions around some of the most important, um, habits around having great success, such as the growth mindset, grit, perseverance, curiosity. Um, and then lastly, I think even the most powerful thing about it is that the other thing that I discovered is that a lot of the questions that we have about our career, um, our performance, or what’s really going on here, we always, you know, at the end of a week you have a series of questions like this horrible thing happened.
Laura 00:21:50 Why did that happen? And the instinct is to call a friend or call a colleague or someone and say, here’s what happened? What do you think? What do you think? I don’t know. And invariably, they’re going to be like, well, here’s what I think. And then you go in that direction. And what I’ve found is that the answer to your question is actually within you, but we don’t pause and reflect and excavate that answer before looking for it elsewhere. And so, uh, again, the more you are connected to yourself, the less fear you have about decisions and your path, because the answers are within. So the tracker allows you to have that moment of reflection and be able to answer the questions that you’re having from yourself. And I have just, I mean, that’s probably one of the most amazing things about it is that I go into the, I fill out the tracker and I go in with questions and at the end, I’m very clear. And it also allows you to know, all right, for the, for the questions that I can’t answer myself, these are the ones that make sense to go out and seek support or advice from. So that it’s a lot more strategic, you know, because oftentimes the advice and support will steer you in a wrong direction as well. So that’s the genius habit. It’s filling out the tracker, which takes about 15 minutes once a week.
Andrew 00:23:03 I’ve been playing with it myself for the last couple of months. And I found it to the experience of it to be very similar to what you were just describing there, where, you know, I do it on Friday afternoons. And so I’ll walk into that. I’ll sit down and I’ll be like, maybe I’m confused. Maybe I’m tired, whatever the case may be. And my experience of it has been that by the end, I got a pretty, a pretty good snapshot of where I’m at, you know, for that week. And, and what’s really interesting, I’ve found is when I get to look back over the quarter and see the patterns and I’m like, Hmm, why is it that in week seven of every quarter, I am like fried or whatever the case may be. And it’s almost like it’s a little like dashboard to help me navigate better week to week and understand where it’s almost like it’s helping me. It’s flagging things that are going before. It’s like, it’s like yellow flags, right? It’s catching things before it gets really bad where it’s like, Oh man, I am really feeling, um, a little bit burned out or I’m on the path to burn out. What can I do to stave that off and get ahead of it.
Laura 00:23:58 That was like, you’re the poster child for this, for this tool. That’s perfect.
Andrew 00:24:04 If only I was actually consistent doing it every week, but I’ve been pretty, fairly consistent. Yeah.
Laura 00:24:09 But you just hit on such an important part. And that goes back to you ask, well, what are, what do you get out of this? And when you have clarity about, you are clear about decisions because you notice things much sooner before they become, you know, really detrimental. So, I mean, most people don’t realize their burnout until they’re, you know, I guess, you know, in a, uh, what’s her name, the oriented, uh, Arianna Huffington, you know, had to fall on the ground and bleed out of her head. If she was filling out the tracker, if she was filling out the tracker, I’m telling you she could have avoided a major head injury, but this is, you know, this is again, one of the things that I want to help with is that most people allow themselves to get to the, uh, to, to, uh, you know, nine one, one stage before they actually get help or begin to fix the problem.
Laura 00:24:55 Or, you know, even another scenario is that they get fired. I feel like that’s one of the, um, the biggest, uh, issues that the tracker and the genius habit can solve is that you will know way before your company does. If it’s time to leave. And more often than not, the company will end up deciding for you, which to me is another heartbreaking aspect of career, because that means you’ve wasted time. Um, if, because the company has to do so many, go through so many hurdles to actually fire someone that at that point you’ve wasted time, and nobody wants to do that. And it’s painful.
Andrew 00:25:32 Know you said a couple of minutes ago that one of the payoffs of this is no fear about the job search. And I know a lot of people, particularly right now, we’re recording this. It’s, it’s the beginning of July. Um, and you know, we’re in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and there’s been massive disruption in the economy in, in whole world. A lot of people are facing a fearful job search. So talk to me a little bit more about that. Like how can this really make a difference for those people in like, cause I think everybody would love the idea of the job search being exciting instead of terrifying.
Laura 00:26:01 I will caveat that with the actual process of a job search is most likely not in line with your zone of genius. I mean, it is a very specific process you have to do in order to find a job and it’s oftentimes boring, but, um, being fearless is absolutely possible because more often the fear that comes with the job search is just a not knowing if there’s going to be a job out there. And B when you are faced with an interview or a potential opportunity, um, not knowing how to tell if that’s the right job or not. And invariably always taking the first job that comes because of the fear that there’s not one around the corner when know your zone of genius and you know, yourself deeply, then you will very easily be able to very easily and effortlessly talk about the value you can possess, be able to look at a job and say yes or no very quickly. And then if it’s a yes, go into an interview and be very clear and competent about why it’s a yes, and that is often the things that are missing with the job search
Andrew 00:27:06 That does sound really promising. I, you know, I just helped my brother think he’s my brother just went through a job search and I was wanting, you know, one of the people on his phone, a friend list, uh, to talk through issues. And one of the things that helped him a lot, it wasn’t using this work specifically. I wish we had, but it was this idea of understanding as you looked at different job opportunities, he could understand because he was coming out. We said like, okay, wait, yes, there’s this role. And this role in this role and role fit is huge, but it’s a fit to you. It’s a fit between you and the role. And so it was much more of a conversation about like, yeah, you could do that. Or you could do that. Or you can do any of these. Even they look really different on the surface, but by understanding more of what is he really good at and what does he enjoy? Does that role, give him a chance to really use that and express that? And if yes, then cool, we ask them to talk about it. And if not, then, you know, probably, probably not a good thing to explore.
Laura 00:27:52 And I would say more often than not, people are trying to make themselves appear like they’re a good fit for the role. And they’re also nervous because, Oh my goodness, what if I’m not actually, I don’t have what they need versus doing the opposite, which is, wait a second. Here’s who I am and is this the right opportunity for me? And you’re the one that’s interviewing them rather than feeling like you’re on this, you know, they’re, they’re totally in control. You have just as much control. And I think when you are really practiced at owning your value, it’s a lot easier to come off as super confident because you’re clear and you can educate the interviewer on you. And also how would you approach this potential role? That’s one thing I talk with clients about in the job searches, you should be going in with an idea of here’s who I am, and here’s how I would approach this role. Here’s how I see here are the opportunities here are this. I mean, you, it just, it’s a different frame. It’s a different way of looking at it.
Andrew 00:28:52 If you’re coming from a posture of confidence, generosity, and abundance, like, you know, this is what I bring to the table and how I can help you as an organization, total game changer, then showing up like kind of hat in hand saying, Hey, there’s this, you know, can you help me out? It’s just, the whole thing is different.
Laura 00:29:06 Trying to be someone you’re not in order to get a job offer, which actually breeds death. For instance, you can feel the desperation. And I think too, I would say I would add to that, that probably one of the things that makes the job search. So nerve wracking, and again, of course, in a pandemic even more so is this, this kind of irrational fear that there’s no job out there for you. And once you are clear on who you are, that that fear kind of subsides because you know, there will be something.
Andrew 00:29:36 Yeah, I think what’s really great about it. And we’re going to kind of use this as a pivot point, but is that it’s not abstract. It’s, it’s very, it’s very concrete and specific. It’s not like, Oh, I’m, you know, you know, looking at, you can take a test like the, um, uh, what’s it called the via signature strengths or character strengths or the Gallup signature strengths test, any of these things that are they’re nice. They’re, you know, they’re interesting. They are usually in my experience at least somewhat accurate, right? I’m like, yeah, that is a pretty decent description of me. But often it’s hard to bridge that into now, how does that actually create value? But I found that really tapping into, like, for me, the genius, the label that I’m playing with for my genius inside your framework is as a possibility strategist, right.
Andrew 00:30:18 I am really great at exploring, um, exploring and unfolding pathways into future possibilities. Like I’m really, really good at that. And that knowing that helps me articulate something to someone about like, Oh, I can help you in this way. And you know, and it also helps me say, Oh, you know, that is that role probably not a good fit for me or that project, not a fit for me. So I can speak from my own experience that has been, it’s been super helpful just in the, you know, the few months I’ve been living with it.
Laura 00:30:44 Yeah. I mean, and that, you know, possibility strategists, it’s really easy. I mean, again, with any sort of genius, once you’re clear to look at a job description and say, where’s the possibility here is the thinking that I love doing is that needed. And even, you know, to me saying that in an interview, I’m a possibility strategist. Um, and this is what really lights me up. I mean, I really believe that, you know, people are, um, that’s the other thing with us is that people are drawn to, to people that understand and know themselves
Andrew 00:31:13 That would came to me pretty quickly, actually reading through your book. I actually looked back at my notes in your book and, and early on, I even like jotted it down. And it was like one of the first ones that went through my head. It just came to me and it’s actually held up pretty well. So that’s kind of interesting. Is that a common experience for people who go through the process?
Laura 00:31:28 You know, I think it depends. Some people, I would say, uh, people tend to have a better sense of what their geniuses versus the purpose and the core emotional challenge, but some people have struggled to see that. I really think that, um, your ability to, to see something is connected to your relationship with yourself, or how much personal growth you’ve done, or how much reflection you’ve done about yourself. Um, if you’ve done zero, um, then it’s much harder to be able to, to kind of see this information in yourself, which is why in the book, you know, the whole process of getting to the point of seeing your genius is, is a lot of questions about your life. So I, I take people on a journey through those questions, um, for them a journey into themselves. Essentially,
Andrew 00:32:17 You talked about personality earlier, how that is, that’s kind of an important factor in this equation. And so I have two questions about personality. First. The question is, uh, how does sort of more broadly, how does personality play into this in terms of like choosing environments where we work or engage, things like that. And secondly, you talked about that, the idea that our genius won’t change over time, but the ways which we express it will. And so my question is, is there, is there some sort of biological basis for this and how, how do we know that the genius doesn’t change over time? The way our personalities do, because our personalities do evolve and shift over time. So that’s what I’m curious to explore that a little bit.
Laura 00:32:54 Yeah. Okay. That’s a good one. So personality is really in my mind how you orientate yourself to the world and to people and to environments and, you know, I always use Myers-Briggs and I find that personality type is really helpful in understanding what kind of, you know, organization groups of people, um, are best suited to you. So again, think of the environment in which you’re in. And I, especially when it comes with conflict, you know, which obviously in the workplace, there’s a lot of conflict. Whenever I see conflict, it’s invariably related to personality differences. Now keep in mind the zone of genius though, uh, personality is environment and, um, Jean zone of genius is who you, who you are, your intellectual, your, your head and your heart. That’s how I would describe the reason why, uh, you know, I have not found that the genius changes is because it’s a mental process that you just most enjoy going through and this mental process doesn’t ever get boring.
Laura 00:33:58 The thing that does evolve is how you apply that mental process and the degree in which you, uh, apply it. So for example, you know, that, to me, that’s probably, that’s one of the reasons why I feel continuous joy with my work because I am infinitely like the, the realm of challenge is infinite. I can take my genius and I, if I’m focused on using my genius, I, I actually feel myself getting more skilled at it. It’s an amazing feeling and process. And again, I can control the invite. I can make the ways in which I use that mental process even harder and harder and harder. I can challenge that. And that’s the thing that changes. And so you can actually observe yourself, I’m getting more skilled with that particular mental process over time personality type, like, you know, look, I, they, a lot of there’s, there’s so much research on personality type, you know, it’s kind of, they say you’re born with it.
Laura 00:35:03 And again, it evolves over, I think personality kind of evolves with how you evolve as a person. And I think age and maturity makes a difference. Although, you know, oftentimes you don’t veer dramatically away from where you started. So there can be changes. I have not just, you know, with genius. I think it’s just a mental process. That’s part of who you are. And, um, that doesn’t really alter. It’s just a matter of like, if you never use it, it probably fades. Do you know what I mean? Um, whereas it’s kind of like, it’s, it’s kind of like a tool. Um, the more you, it, the more the sharper it gets, and that’s what I’ve found with my, with my genius and obviously the purpose. And that’s why connecting it to a core emotional challenge or wound it’s always with you, it’s kind of, you know, it’s in the fabric of your it’s in your cells, like this pain that you, um, it shaped who you are.
Laura 00:35:56 It never goes away. I mean, you can obviously do the work to heal it. And, um, I encourage people to do that work. So you’re not at the mercy of that wound. Um, but you, it will never disappear from you entirely. You know, look, I think there are not that many people that are deeply connected to who they are over a period of a lifetime. So I really, that’s why I want to live a long time because I want to see, you know, what are the, what are the iterations of my zone of genius over a hundred years? Like, Oh my God, I’m so excited. I can’t wait to see
Andrew 00:36:27 What a fun question, right? Like as longevity, you know, come on Dave Asprey and all the longevity hackers like hook it up.
Laura 00:36:33 I do often think, you know, as a 90 year old or a hundred year old, I know that I’m going to be using my zone of genius and I can, I daydream of different ways and permutations of it. And I think this goes back to the original conversation about fear of a job search and when the pandemic hit or the world changes. I don’t have fear around that because I can pivot my zone of genius to match the way the world is evolving and shaping. And as long as I’m connected to it, then the permutations of it are infinite. There is no finite. You can never use this again. I’ve I, in my mind, I already know, like, that’s why I would never be scared of a job search. Cause there’s so many different things I could do that are aligned with my zone of genius.
Andrew 00:37:17 Yeah. That’s been my experience too. Just having that first piece of just, just the genius part itself, understanding that for me, that idea of like being a possibility strategist, it helps me understand, Oh, no wonder. I’ve always been so interested in the futures we can create and how do we actually make them real and understanding that I was like, Oh, I can do that in all kinds of ways. I do that on this podcast. I do that in my day job. I do that inside projects. There’s infinite permutations of how I do it and it’s not like I love the craft that I practice, the function that I work on in, in technology I’d love product development or product management. It’s such a great fit for that, for that genius. And for also like my strengths and synthesis, but it’s also like, Oh, well, what if I didn’t do that anymore? I could create equally exciting roles in, I don’t know, strategy or other things like that. Right. But understanding, Oh, this is what connects the dots under the hood. I find that to be very, um, freeing is the word I think.
Laura 00:38:10 Exactly, exactly. It is very freeing. Very cool. Great.
Andrew 00:38:15 So it was easier to get clear on my genius. I’m still kind of fuzzy around the purpose. Um, so maybe that’s something we could talk about.
Laura 00:38:20 Sure. Let’s talk about it. So you said you’re possibility strategist, so you’re like a hundred percent on that.
Andrew 00:38:26 I don’t know if it’s at a hundred, but it’s, it’s up around the nineties for sure.
Laura 00:38:29 Great. So then that’s right. If you feel that clear. So what about the purpose? What do you think that you’re and again, so for your listeners, the purpose is connected to your core missional challenge. So the first step to understanding your purpose for this framework is understanding your own core emotional challenge. And again, this is, um, most people will respond to that and say, Oh, I’ve had lots of emotional baggage and issues, but invariably they all roll up into one mega core emotional challenge. And so, and again, it’s, it’s almost pervasive in terms of, um, your experience of this core mission challenge is, is all the time it’s in your current life. It’s been kind of a theme for your, um, for your past. And, and again, once you’re able to put language to it, you see it coming up even more. So that’s just kind of the, the backdrop. So what do you think your core emotional challenges?
Andrew 00:39:25 So first of all, I’m, I’m totally willing to go in the hot seat. I’ve done it before. I feel a little bit excited, a little bit nervous, a little scared, which is always a good Cabo in my experience. So let’s, let’s do this and see where it goes. Cool. Um, what’s the question again? What do I think the core of my,
Laura 00:39:39 I mean, do you have a sense of what your core missional challenges
Andrew 00:39:45 Based on conversations I’ve had in other personal development work I’ve done in the past and things that I’ve seen? It’s what I’ve seen before. I would say something along the lines of feeling that I matter or, um, you know, um, that, that’s probably what I would say. Yeah.
Laura 00:40:04 What is that connect to why you, that you don’t matter? What is that?
Andrew 00:40:09 Um, I, I think it’s connected to a sense of the way I grew up. Um, I, I, you know, somewhere early on in my childhood, I think I had some experiences where I decided that what I, what I wanted, um, you know, the story I told myself was that what I wanted didn’t matter. Um, and that all that mattered was like the external approval basically. And, and, you know, I’ve seen a long history that I’ve been doing my own work to overcome of like really seeking external validation. And that’s, that’s why I say that,
Laura 00:40:41 But why would you think you don’t matter?
Andrew 00:40:44 Um, what comes to mind immediately is a number of painful experiences? Um, growing up one, you know, like I grew up in a way where, um, my, my parents worked for the government in the military, and so we moved around a lot. And so I was constantly like kinda being yanked out of one environment into another, uh, against my own wishes. Um, also I felt a lot of pressure to go down a career path, um, that ultimately turned out really wasn’t what I wanted, but it was much more of like what my father wanted. Um, and I felt that that was, it, it almost didn’t matter what I wanted. It was like, you know, this is what you, you need to.
Laura 00:41:21 And what did that look like? I mean, was, was he like, uh, this is what you’re going to do or what was the, it wasn’t, it wasn’t,
Andrew 00:41:29 It was that overt. Um, but it was, you know, so it was, it was, I’ll just say, like, I felt a enormous pressure to go down the military government route. Right. Like, I, I remember when I was digging into this, into this work, um, I remember asking myself the question of like, okay, in third grade I was like a happy go, lucky, you know, just kid doing, you know, playing games and whatever. And so, and then by like, I’m not sure exactly call it seventh, eighth grade, somewhere in there. I was this like super serious ultra intense focused kid who was like dead set on going to West point. And that was it. Like I was going there no matter what. And I did it, I did the whole process. I got into West point. I ended up at the last minute, like saying, no, this isn’t right for me and choosing a completely different path. But, um, I, I found myself trying to figure out, like, how did that happen? A little thing for a kid in like 13 to be thinking about like going in the military and going to war and all that stuff. And all I can really come up with is, um, that it was very, like, I felt enormous pressure to go down that route. Um, I think it was because I really wanted my dad’s approval and baby didn’t feel safe without it. And I felt like I had to do that to get his approval. Yeah.
Laura 00:42:41 Well, I mean, it sounds like you’re right. That your core emotional challenge is that you did not matter. I mean, so here’s the other question with that is that when, like the most recent moment where you felt really fulfilled, you know, really heart filled, um, where you helping someone feel that they matter,
Andrew 00:43:04 It’s probably a bad sign that I can’t think of the most recent moment that I felt that way. That’s probably not a good thing.
Laura 00:43:11 Well, I mean, think about, um, well, you’ve been filling out the tracker, but I mean, in terms of the impact that you’ve had on others,
Andrew 00:43:18 The other way I’ve said it, the way, the other way it’s come up for me. And by the way, dear listener, if you’re still listening, thanks for sticking with, through this. This is, this is what it looks like in reality. Um, the other way it’s come to me. He was like, it felt like I couldn’t be myself. I couldn’t like develop and express who I wanted to be. Like it had to, it always had to be something else that somebody else wanted. Um, and so like one of the things I can think about that it’s been really, uh, exciting, and it feels really good for me is when I can help people, uh, develop and express themselves, like for who they really are like to, to kind of more fully express them, like who they really are as opposed to what the world wants them to be. Um,
Laura 00:44:00 And I would say that that’s that. Yeah. Well, I mean, I think that’s a perfect example of you helping someone else feel that they matter because expression, um, in order to fully express yourself. So your example that you gave about going to military school, um, you’re saying that really, wasn’t an expression of who you are. Um, and so you’re saying I really like to help others express themselves. Um, I, this is what I see with this is that the core missional challenge, that’s all, that’s a very, like, not, not feeling like you don’t matter and then helping others, people in some way feel as though they matter, that’s a much more specific thing than I’m helping somebody, you know what I’m saying? So it might be that your thoughts that I’m helping them express themselves, um, or is it really, it could be connected to, in order to be fully expressed, they have to feel that they matter first.
Andrew 00:45:01 Hmm. Yeah. When I’ve looked at the cause you provide some good examples in the book of, of sort of some common types of patterns in terms of the purpose. The one that most resonated with me when I look at that one in my own sort of writing in the past was, and journaling and things like that was, um, the idea of potential, helping people live more fully into their potential. That one, you know, I have always been for as long as I can remember, driven to, uh, felt pulled to, to, you know, maximize performance, maximize potential, whatever. However you want to say it. How does that connect? How is that connected to this idea?
Laura 00:45:35 Yeah. Well, I mean, again, potential is connected to mattering because what you’re describing, what you didn’t have is that your potential was connected to the vision of your fathers. And so therefore you were divorced from yourself, like what you really wanted, your own potential was cut off because you were living, um, you were, you were pursuing the potential that made sense to your father, correct? Yeah. So essentially again, potential is, I would say it’s a, um, a common way of talking about this. Whereas, you know, you may not have thought of this language before. That’s, that’s what I’m saying. Um, in the sense that at the root of potential is making someone feel like they matter. That’s the only way they’re fully going to be to fully actualize their potential is if they feel like they matter. What I would say is if, I mean, does this not resonate,
Andrew 00:46:44 It’s resonating, but it doesn’t, it’s, it doesn’t, um, feel, it’s not like maybe I was expecting like some sort of over like feeling bowled over kind of feeling, um, it doesn’t feel like that
Laura 00:46:59 That’s okay. But the thing is, is that you’re pretty close. I think that you, you said very clearly, this is what I think it is, is that I didn’t matter. And I think that helping people live up to their potential is a version of this. And, you know, look, I’m just reflecting what you’re telling me, but the way that you would ground yourself in this is to go through another meaningful moment or put yourself in a situation where you want to have an impact or use that language potential. When are you helping me? You should give me an example of when you’ve helped somebody actualize their potential.
Andrew 00:47:36 Sorry. I was also cheating and looking back at my turtle entries, uh, where, because I knew I had journaled a lot about this a couple of months ago and what I, here’s what I wrote then, and this is something I wrote in the journal back then, and I’m happy to come. We’ll come back to the thing. Um, the, the example question. So what I wrote then was that the core wound was, um, not feeling, uh, loved. I’m just going to directly quote, the core wound was not feeling loved and seen and accepted and valued just for being, for being just you. I am not feeling like I mattered. That was what I wrote. Yeah. And then I said, I always felt like I had to be something else in order to be loved and accepted. I had to fit into someone else’s expectations, someone else’s standards. Um, and then later on I wrote something, you know, that it’s really meaningful to me to develop and express who I really am to live more fully into my authentic potential. Um, and that that’s meaningful to me to see that in others as well.
Laura 00:48:28 Yeah. So then the way that translates to a purpose statement is that you help other people realize what, what is important to them matters.
Andrew 00:48:37 I help other people realize that what’s important to them matters. Yeah. That feels good. That, that, that, that has that lands. It’s like helping them
Laura 00:48:47 Understand that their vision, their potential, what they want to do matters.
Andrew 00:48:52 Yeah. And take action on it. It’s the other way I’ve said it said it in other things I’ve written like in my journal and whatnot is to discover, develop, and express who they are.
Laura 00:49:03 Hmm. And well, here’s the thing that I would say like, this is why, um, it’s so easy to speak to, to stick to general words when it comes to describing yourself or how you impact others. Cause you’re not experiencing it yourself. But I would imagine that if you talk to somebody who was on the receiving end of, of this, of you, that they might even say, wow, I mean, you would have to like, you know, they might not say, wow, Andrew made me feel like what I want matters, but maybe, but see, this is the thing is they will have had an emotional experience around unit. I would guarantee that it has something to do with that.
Andrew 00:49:43 We’ll tell you what they said. I did that friends exercise. And, um, the impact thing is, uh, that came up a couple times. I did this with a shortlist of people, but, um, there was multiple things around helping them be more who they wanted to be and could be that came up multiple time.
Laura 00:50:03 Hmm. And I think that the root of that is helping again what we said before that their wants and desires matter.
Andrew 00:50:10 Yeah. Yeah. And it’s because they matter, you can do something about them and you, you know, here’s how,
Laura 00:50:15 And you’re using your possibility genius, your possibility, strategist genius. That’s how you help people realize their wants and dreams matter.
Andrew 00:50:24 Oh shit. Okay. Now it’s just landed.
Andrew 00:50:29 Yeah, because I was thinking, I was just, for some reason, the podcast episode that most recently went out was with a badass woman named Nilofer merchant who wrote a book called the power of loneliness. And we had this huge moment of resonance in that conversation that we’re both so driven about accessing, you know, in your language, actually seeing the genius inside of everyone. But the idea that like everybody has, like there’s potential and there’s ideas inside every single person. And I get really excited about a world where everybody’s lit up by the life that they’re leading and getting to actually spend their time, you know, using their gifts, developing, expressing who they are, which I think, as you’re saying, the root of all of that matter, all these people matter. Right. And, and yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s one of the things that I should you asked for an example a little while ago, I’m thinking of a guy who worked on my team for the last couple of years.
Andrew 00:51:20 He’s not on my team anymore. Um, moved on to some other stuff, um, who was a really junior guy, I’m not gonna say his name to protect his privacy. Um, but he knows who he is a really junior guy who was overlooked a lot, I think, in the organization. And, um, I thought he, I just thought he was a total badass, uh, and, and just needed like some, some coaching and some support. And I found one of the, I found it really meaningful to work with him, um, and encourage him and push him sometimes and, and challenge him. Um, and he’s grown, like watching his growth over the last couple of years has been a very fulfilling thing. Like watching the way he has grown and blossomed has been really cool. And, and I think about other moments in my career, um, that, that that’s not an isolated incident. Yes.
Laura 00:52:08 And I would say the trigger for you on that was that he didn’t matter. And you saw that and you were like, okay, that like, that the fact that he didn’t, he didn’t matter, the organization drew you to him. And then through using your possibility strategist genius, you were able to show him all of the possibilities that then made him feel like he mattered to himself and that his life is his potential, what he wanted to do. His vision really mattered.
Andrew 00:52:34 Yeah. And I think about other other things I’ve seen that inspire me. They all kind of fit that framing where I think about, um, I’ll name a startup that I’m, I’m very inspired by. And I, you know, I’ve, I’ve done some, I’ve known the founder, that’s a startup called Tala, which basically does, um, micro-financing for, uh, like entrepreneurs around the world. So small business people who don’t have access to normal, like normal financing and credit mechanisms. And so they’re sort of blocked systemically from starting businesses and creating the things they want to create. I loved that that company was tackling that problem and helping those people get access to expressing and doing the thing they wanted to do, which goes back to your point of like, yeah, what you want it matters and the world needs it and here’s ways you can do it. Okay, cool. Well, that’s what a hot day looks like.
Laura 00:53:21 And, and I think it’s, what’s really interesting is in all of those examples, someone’s needs were being ignored, which is exactly what you described with your father.
Andrew 00:53:33 Yeah. Yeah. Dad, if you’re listening to this, I still love you. He listens sometimes. So yeah. Wow. That’s, that’s, that’s really powerful stuff. I’m going to have to sit with that and, uh, let that one Meredith
Laura 00:53:50 Yeah. Let it marinate. And I, what I will say to you is that the next moment, like it’s really, when you’re the really powerful thing is when you’re in the moment to use that language and just write it down and take it wherever you go and reflect on that. And you’ll be like, Oh my God, there it is. There, there it is. Because once I saw my core emotional challenge and my purpose, it was unbelievable how often it came up in terms of the movies. I like stories. I like anyone, any sort of like main lead that’s like first, like they’re starting to see themselves for the first time. I just eat it up. Um, and it is, it is really kind of a core driver, uh, for you. And oftentimes people aren’t aware of it.
Andrew 00:54:33 So Laura, we we’ve, we just spent a bunch of time diving deeper into my psychology than probably any listener wanted to go on their first blush. So now I have this sense of this, this sense of like that my purpose, and I’ll play with the language as I go. But my purpose is to help people realize that they matter and what’s important to them matter. And what I’m wondering is how do you advise people to think about aligning sort of their internal sense of purpose with the thing they’re actually doing out there in the world?
Laura 00:54:59 Well, there are a couple of ways of going about this. The very obvious way is to, you know, I think this is key when you’re interviewing or looking for a job is to find a company whose purpose and mission is somehow connected to your own. That’s the most obvious way. Um, but there’s also, you know, I would say for someone who’s saving the whales, then they’re there, of course, emotional challenges, you know, understanding others or helping others feel understood that I feel like is, is something you can tap into. And almost any interaction you have, you know, at work. And the key here is it’s really about building the awareness and noticing when that opportunity is there to be had, and then acknowledging when it’s happening versus probably doing this without even knowing you’re doing it. Do you see what I’m saying? And I think this is one of the, the questions in the tracker, which is what is the impact that you had on others this week, this past week?
Laura 00:55:55 I think that question is one of the most important, because you are having an impact that’s connected to your core emotional challenge into your purpose. You are doing it because it’s how you you’re, you know, you’re wired to do that. You just probably aren’t acknowledging it. And you aren’t thinking proactively about ways to create a situation where that could happen. So I think that that’s really the intention here is, is to, you know, it’s and it applies to any, and especially, I think this could be easier if you’re a manager of people, clearly the way that you’re going to lead is connected to your purpose, into your core emotional challenge. But it also can be, you know, if you’re an individual contributor, you know, it can be how you lead a meeting, it can be, um, how you support your colleagues. And, you know, again, to me, this is about the awareness and then saying, Oh, that’s the impact I had? How meaningful is that to me that’s,
Andrew 00:56:49 Well, it sounds a little bit like almost infinite ways to explore and apply our genius there. Similarly, almost infinite ways to express our purpose in any organization. Right? So it’s like, am I hearing you right there?
Laura 00:57:02 Absolutely. And again, I think it’s about the pausing and acknowledging it because, you know, here’s, here’s a story. So I, I have the, a friend actually, who, you know, he was constantly having the impact that was aligned with his core emotional challenge and purpose at work. And most of us are going really fast. We kind of were like, you know, we noticed that, Oh, I helped that person. That’s nice. I helped that person. That’s nice. Of course, you know, when he left his organization, um, he had all of these emails that came in and they were giving him specific feedback on you, changed my life. And the way that you really helped me with that one particular thing, um, really helped me feel, you know, change my career direction. And he got all of the specific feedback on the impact ADB had on them. Now he then had this like, you know, a couple of days of feeling, you know, immense, uh, immensely fulfilled. And so what I’m saying is that he could have felt that way all along the way, cause he was having the impact, but he wasn’t acknowledging it
Andrew 00:58:07 Once you really can tap into this. And you’re intentional about it to go back to that word, you were stressing, you know, that one can experience this much more experience, that sense of fulfillment, much more along the way. That’s a really appealing, hopeful idea. It’s like, wow. You know, I don’t have to, like, I think a lot of times I fallen into this trap of thinking like, there’s the one perfect job or the one perfect organization that if I could just get a job at, you know, for some people it’s Google or, you know, if I could just get a job here, everything would be perfect. And it’s like, no, it doesn’t work that way. You know, it’s, you still have to drive that for yourself is really what it seems like
Laura 00:58:44 There’s many different approaches to this. I mean, obviously for me, um, I created a business that has the impact of my purpose. So when I work, but you know, I also have marketing and operations and I have sales, not just client work. And so I acknowledge that, that the marketing stuff, probably it doesn’t fulfill my purpose. So I’m hiring someone to do that. Now. I didn’t have the ability to do that six years ago, you know? So I have intentionally created a business where when I’m working with clients, it’s completely aligned with my purpose. Um, and again, you could also just you’re in an organization, you’ve discovered that your personality is well-matched with the environment and you’re using your genius. And Hey, I realized that I can actually be more proactive with, um, with my purpose by acknowledging that when I’m managing people, I’m helping them feel understood or whatever the specific core emotional challenge is. Um, and that can check all the boxes. So there’s many infinite variations of how this can be applied. Yeah.
Andrew 00:59:44 Great. And what you’re going for is to check all those boxes, but you don’t, it’s almost like you don’t have to fulfill those needs in all the parts of your organization, right? Like I can fulfill that desire for fulfillment and impact maybe through the way I lead a team or manage people or whatever the case may be there. Even if the X the thing that our organization does, isn’t expressly aligned with my purpose, the way yours is. I mean, that’s great if that is, but it isn’t always the case.
Laura 01:00:10 Right. And just like that scenario with my business, even though that’s my business, if I’m working on sales, I’m not fulfilling my purpose, that, that intrinsic motivation isn’t there. So this isn’t something that you’re meant to feel a hundred percent of the time. It’s about, um, you know, I always say 60 to 70% of the time is, is ideal. Um, but just understanding that can then shift your work experience from, I there’s nothing right. To there’s a lot. Right. And what can I do to get more, right.
Andrew 01:00:39 Mm. I think that’s a really, um, freeing idea. Cause I know I have certainly felt like, you know, you can get into a place where you just feel like it’s a little bit hopeless. It can feel almost hopeless where you’re just like, I can’t see how to do it here. You know, I’m wasting my time at, you know, these are things that I felt at times in my career. I have had many conversations with people, either I work with or friends. Um, and it’s a common refrains. I think that’s actually a really important thing for people to hear is that, you know, you can do this in any organization now. Certainly if you’re in, it sounds like if you’re in a bad, a bad organization, a toxic organization or an organization where you think it’s, you know, doing something bad for the world, that you don’t want to be a part of like, yeah, go, you shouldn’t stay there, go go somewhere else that you, you feel better about.
Andrew 01:01:20 But it sounds like you can still have everything we’re talking about here. This joy, this fulfillment on a daily, ongoing basis. Even if the thing, the, the thing your company or organization puts into the world is not like a hundred percent aligned with your purpose. And I think that’s really, um, I think it’s really free. So I’m thank you for that. You’re welcome. So I wanna, I want to shift gears here and we’re gonna go ahead and close out with some rapid fire questions. They’re short questions I’d like to ask everybody, um, your answers can be as short or as long as, uh, as works for you. Cool at this point in your life, this stage, whether that’s, you know, the next year, three years, five years, whatever, however you think about it. What does success look like for you?
Laura 01:02:00 Well, I’m already successful. So I feel tremendously successful in terms of the fact that I experienced joy with my work every day. And I love what I do, but what I will say is that I have an expanding vision and that vision is always, um, changing and evolving with things. The bigger vision right now is to have a bigger team. So right now I have three employees on, in my business and I love I’d love, love, love, love working with them. I have a marketing person, a content person and an ops person. And I would like to double that.
Andrew 01:02:35 I really, really dig the way you said that you said, I, you know, I’m already successful and you have a definition of success that it lets you be successful all along the way, independent of whatever state of results you’ve created within your vision. But you haven’t always expanding vision, I guess, such a nice way to thread that needle, that a lot of us get caught up in of like, Oh, I’m only going to be successful when, or I’m not, I’m going to be happy if I get this or achieve some results.
Laura 01:02:59 Yeah. I mean, I feel like, um, you know, that to me, that’s what success is, is just loving what you do every day. And I do,
Andrew 01:03:06 If there is one question you could have the listener, whoever’s listening to this, start asking themselves on a regular basis. Maybe that’s daily, weekly, whatever. Hmm. What question would you have them start asking themselves?
Laura 01:03:19 You know, well, there’s like 16 of them in the performance tracker. So I have like 16, but to me, which one is my favorite? Um, you know, right now, given what’s going on in the world, uh, one of my favorites is did you approach differences with curiosity? That’s one of my favorite questions to ask myself every week in the tracker. Now
Andrew 01:03:41 I like that. So just in closing out, this is the new book comes out the temper first, next week. So dear listener, if you’ve enjoyed this and you want an action packed guide to just the heart of how you do this process, go get Laura’s new book, finder’s zone of genius today. And then once you’ve finished go to the genius habit, which is our former book, and it will help you really round out the picture for yourself. So, Laura, first of all, thank you so much for the work you’re doing for being here makes a huge difference to me and to everybody. Who’s had the pleasure, the privilege of getting to really work with your work. So thank you for that. Um, just in closing out, what would you like to leave the listener with?
Laura 01:04:17 Well, I mean, I just want to say you’re welcome and it’s a pleasure to be here and thank you for being vulnerable and sharing. Um, you know, some parts of yourself that I want more and more people, um, to be open with. That’s very connecting. I always love to leave people with this idea that greatness is within everyone and that it is, you know, you, if you have a dream or you have a vision for what you want to do with your career in life, that that is absolutely possible. If you are connected to who you are,
Andrew 01:04:51 Boom, I dropped the mic, but I need it right now.
Laura 01:04:55 There you go.
Andrew 01:04:56 Well, Laura, thanks so much again. It’s a true pleasure. Thanks for spending some time.
Laura 01:04:59 Thank you! So much fun to be here.