Do You Know Your Genius Zones?

One of the things that highly successful people consistently do to achieve their big goals, is to know where their zone of genius is, and how to work in line with it.  

For many of us, it is not our failure that we are most afraid of, but rather the potential of our own maginificence. 

So we play in smaller lanes. 

When you tap into your zone of genius, the game changes and you can tap into the full power you’re capable of. There are four zones, which were identified by Gay Hendricks in his book, The Big Leap.

  1. The Zone of Incompetence – In this zone, you are usually working at something you either don’t understand or are not skilled at and will likely use huge amounts of time and energy for little return. 
  2. The Zone of Competence – In this zone, you may be doing something you are good at and efficient doing, but others will be equally so, therefore you aren’t actually differentiating your capabilities in any significant way. 
  3. The Zone of Excellence – In this zone, you will be doing something you are very skilled at and this zone is often cultivated, practised and established over time – most of your current career will sit here. You will likely have a neutral ratio of satisfaction and time. 
  4. The Zone of Genius – In this zone, you capitalise on your innate abilities, not your learned ones. This is where you find limitless inspiration and come up with work that excels far beyond what anyone else is doing. You will find time flies when you work in this zone and will have a positive ratio of satisfaction and time. 

In an interview with Forbes, Hendricks explained: “Most successful people are operating in their zone of excellence, in which they are doing things at which they are highly skilled. This zone is ultimately unsatisfying, though, because it does not engage the innate genius of the individual.”

Your zone of genius is not just what you’re passionate about, or just what you love (in fact it might actually be something you don’t love that much in the beginning) but you’re naturally gifted at, and then work consistently at to hone it. Even if in the beginning you just commit to blocking out 10 minutes a day to work on your genius (long term you should be aiming for more than 80%).

Your problem is not that you’re not an expert at anything, but that you’re too good at too many things. 

You know too much, and it paralyses you because you can’t choose between good, better, and best. That’s a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem. 

The antidote is to find your genius zone, the area where you can contribute something truly unique.

You can be successful in the zone of excellence, you already are, but people who identify and work within their own zone of genius, on talents that come naturally to  them, versus trying to do things that other people are doing, are the ones that truly take things to the next level. Usually your dominant behaviours are your first clue into your zones of genius. 


Seperate out core elements of what you do in your job or business, into the four different zones to get closer to where your genius zones may lie, and what you need to start delegating to really elevate. 

    1. What work do you love doing so much it doesn’t even feel like work? This is typically part of your genius zone.
    2. When you think of your work, what areas net the highest results, compared to time spent? This is usually part of your genius zone.
    3. What do you consistently get positive feedback about in your work and life? This typically falls into either your genius or excellence zone.
    4. What work do you do that others can do just as well or better? This is your zone of competence.
    5. Are there any areas that you know you’re really not good at, or get negative feedback about? This will be your zones of incompetence.

Once you have your lists, look at the first three points, out of those, what do you do better than just about anyone else? The things you list here will typically be in your genius zone.

The key with this is to start working with it, keep that list close and consisentently review it for impact and energy as you go through your week.

Once you are confident you know your zones of genius – ask yourself – how much time approximately on a weekly, or monthly basis do you spend there? The ultimate goal is to spend 80% of your time there, and to delegate the rest. 

Start slowly – first get rid of the items that are in your zone of incompetence – they need to go straight away.

Then work through your items in your zone of competence – there are likely better people in your business to do them than you.

Once you have done this you can start to look at the items in your zone of excellence that are worth keeping, and where you have talent or resources in your business who are equally good at them, enabling you to stay firmly in your genius zone.

We cover this topic in great detail in our retreats – for more information visit our Contact Us page.