It is an uncomfortable thought for many to think “your genius is needed.”  And yet, it is.  We only use 10% of our brains and yet we have massive problems facing our country, our businesses, our lives–you name it.  Can we really expect more out of ourselves?


I believe we can.  Let me rephrase that, I know we can.


Your genius is needed.  And so is mine and that person’s.  We all have experiences and insight, and perhaps a little knowledge, to offer.  Why don’t we?  I recently helped launch an organization’s Innovation Space as a signal of the CEO’s desire to invite his entire organization to innovate.  He offered the invitation.  He gave them permission to think and offer their genius. I expect it will unleash engagement, creativity, curiosity which will serve his organization.


I believe often all the signals sent are to the contrary.  We want compliance. We want tasks completed. People begin to believe that is all that is expected of them.  There was a wonderful story I heard recently at BIF 9 by Angela Maiers, founder and president of the Maiers Educational Services, who shared her recent work with teens to help them reframe their potential by having them repeat out loud “I am a genius and the world needs my contribution”.  She works with them and invites them to see and dream big on how they can contribute.  They begin to believe their contribution is needed and they begin to achieve great things.  The stories were inspiring.  The teen’s she touches are not alone:

  • It was a 13 year old who challenged the prevailing thinking about solar energy collection.
  • It was a 14 year old who asked why a prosthetic limb had to be so clunky, expensive, and non functional.
  • It was a 15 year old who challenged how to detect pancreatic cancer early enough to change the outcome.
  • It is a 16 year old who advocates for girls education in Pakistan despite grave danger to herself.

Are they really that different from anyone else?




Well yes, perhaps they are. They are curious and they believe they have something to contribute to the world (so have you and your employees). Are you giving them the invitation to bring their genius to work.  After all, it is needed.


Take Action

For one week, try inviting  people to bring their ideas, thoughts and experiences into the conversation like never before.  Tell them:  “Your genius is needed.” And, encourage them when they offer it.  After a week, I bet you won’t want to stop.  People want to make meaningful contributions, regardless of their role.
Take note on your own genius.  Do you ever hold back?  What is getting in the way and address it.
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