I had the amazing opportunity last month to deliver the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame's Graduate School ceremony! I had 12 minutes to share with MA and PhD candidates the most important thing that I wish I knew when I completed my doctoral degree. To me, that's easy! The secret to professional success is knowing the answer to one question: what is your zone of genius?
Today I'm clear about the difference between doing tasks that are in my zone of competence (I'm perfectly capable of doing them but I don't do them particularly well) versus working in my zone of genius (I'm highly engaged, using my gifts, and doing what I love). It's like night and day! I feel different, the quality of work is different, and the impact my work has is fundamentally different. So while the definition of success may vary across individuals, the quickest path is to maximize the amount of time you spend in your zone of genius and minimize the time spent in your zone of competence.
So this month I want to ask you: What makes up your genius? And are you spending time every day in that sweet spot? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry? I've asked my colleague Cristi Cooke to help you identify your pillars of genius in this month's feature article (below). I imagine that discovery and innovation are pillars of genius for some, so this month's core workshop is for those of you who love the research process, but experience lots of resistance to writing! I'll be teaching
I'll be teaching Moving from
Resistance to Writing and we're hosting a guest expert
workshop on How to Engage
Non-Academic Audiences. We're also kicking off one of our most
popular multi-week courses with Badia Ahad: How to Navigate
the Academic Job Market. If you're currently an
NCFDD member, all of these courses are included in your annual membership. If
you're not currently a member, the summer is a perfect time to join our 45,000
member community. In fact, we're having an Individual Membership Drive starting
next week (details below)!
We are so excited about all of the workshops, courses, and community we have to support you this summer! We hope these resources contribute to your discovering and maximizing your genius!