founder of naked leader

What are you a genius at?

What are you a genius at?

Time to read: 83 Seconds

What are you a genius at?

The most uncomfortable question I ever ask at an event is not – “What is your biggest weakness?”

People seem to find their weaknesses hilarious!

The question that causes most discomfort is this:

“What is your biggest strength?”


“What are you a genius at?”

What strengths, passions and abilities do you have that take you to the genius level?

Take someone who recently attended one of my events – Albert.

I asked him the first question – he replied:

“Well David, I have many weaknesses:

  • I was reluctant to speak until I was about 7
  • One of my teachers said that “I would never amount to much”
  • I failed the entrance exam to Zurich polytechnic
  • I have a very poor memory – I forget the simplest of things, even now”

He bowed his head.

I was very tempted to make that famous joke from Fawlty Towers:

‘Otherwise ok?’

However he didn’t look in the mood.

So I asked him the second question, hesitantly:

“OK, thank you for that Albert – eh, what would you consider yourself a genius at?”

He suddenly raised his head and said, no, shouted:

“Physics. I won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for my services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for my discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”.

Silence in the room – broken by applause from everyone else present.

Back to you.

There have been no shortage of people in your life telling you what you don’t know, what is wrong with you, and what you cannot do.

What about what you can do?

To the level of genius.

And in these times of uncertainty, perhaps the single biggest factor that will decide the success of organisations, teams and people is unlocking the genius in everyone.

And, surely, you don’t have to be Einstein to work that out.

With my love and best wishes to you all


3 Responses to What are you a genius at?

  1. Why is it that people can’t big themselves up?
    If you can’t say what your strengths are, what chance is there of anyone evaluating you?
    Don’t be modest. Tell people how good you are.

    • I wonder if it is a British thing? Or a ‘sales and marketing’ thing? We don’t seem to like to blow our own trumpets, and we don’t seem to like/trust others blowing their own trumpets, so how we get others to recognise our strengths and allowing them to freely pay compliments and praise so we can feel confident to do more?

  2. My often unrecognised strength is:

    ‘getting the job done by working with other people’

    Its as simple as that. People want to see university and other professional qualifications, sector experience, etc etc, and yet miss the simple basics in human interaction.

    Sure, I have bucket loads of qualifications, attended numerous courses, read zillions of books and articles that have all helped to shape what I do – but it is the application of all this in real life that counts.

    The challenge is how to put this across in a CV, interview, LinkedIn profile or a face to face meeting etc – when the ‘check-boxes’ are looking for other things!! And of course, when the tables are turned, reminding myself to look at the whole person when I am I interviewing others!

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