top of page

Zone of Genius

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

Because I'm a sarcastic bastard, I recently did a Reel on 'Jargon that I hate' and yes, 'Zone of Genius' featured. But then, I started reading about competence and flow and the rabbit-hole I subsequently fell down was quite interesting. I remember first reading about 'state of flow' years ago by a chap called Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (I don't know much, but I do know how to pronounce his name) and this article taps into that too. The main article is here, but if you want some key points then read on:

  • If you've ever started a new job and found yourself crying at a spreadsheet you're probably at point 1. Hang in there friend, you have skills.

  • If you've realised that you can do it pretty well, but so can everyone else in your office then you're at 2. You're good, but you should probably look at mastering something.

  • If you're at 3 then perhaps your confidence is building, you've realised you're not a terrible bastard and you probably need a raise.

  • If you're at 4, then I want to watch your ted talk/become your mentee/follow you on Instagram/buy your t-shirt for my kid.

1. The zone of incompetence: In this zone, you are engaging in something you inherently do not understand or are not skilled at.

2. The zone of competence: In this zone, you are doing what you are efficient at, but recognize that many people are likewise efficient at it, thus not distinguishing your capabilities in any significant way.

3. The zone of excellence: In this zone, you are doing something you are tremendously skilled at. Often, the zone of excellence is cultivated, it's practiced and established over time.

4. The zone of genius: In this zone, you capitalize on your natural abilities which are innate, rather than learned. This is the state in which you get into "flow," find ceaseless inspiration, and seem to not only come up with work that is distinguished and unique, but also do so in a way that excels far and beyond what anyone else is doing.

21 views0 comments
bottom of page