Is It Zone of Genius or Zone of Excellence | Lean Out Method

Is It Zone of Genius or Zone of Excellence?

growth mindset loyb podcast Mar 21, 2023

Are you leveraging your innate abilities to their fullest potential in your work or business? 

Join us for an insightful episode of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast, where we'll explore the critical differences between working in your Zone of Genius vs. Zone of Excellence. 

Your Zone of Genius refers to the intersection of your skills and passions, where you excel and find fulfillment in your work. 

Operating within this zone means following your instincts, pursuing your passions, and engaging in work  you genuinely enjoy. 

When you're working within your Zone of Genius, your work feels fulfilling, energizing, and fun! 


In this episode, you’ll discover:

🔹Four questions to determine your Zone of Genius

🔹Understanding Zone of Genius vs Zone of Excellence

🔹If your current focus aligned with your Zone of Genius 

🔹How to step into your Zone of Genius so the majority of your work can feel more like play


Ready to discover your Zone of Genius and start leveraging it in your work or business? Tune in to this episode to get started!



Did you know that there is a difference between your “zone of excellence” and your “zone of genius”?

You may not be familiar with the concept of Zone of Genius.

Developed by author Gay Hendricks, and is referenced in his book, The Big Leap, Zone of Genius talks about your “unfair advantage”.

If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend you do.

It's one of those few books that I reread multiple times, because I find different takeaways each time that I read it.


The Big Leap talks about four zones.

  • The first zone is work that you are not good at, known as the zone of incompetence.
  • The second, zone of competence, is work you do well.
  • Third is the zone of excellence, a place where you can perform your best.
  • And last, your zone of genius where what you love and where you perform your best intersect.


For years I mistook my zone of excellence for my zone of genius.

And while my business was really successful, it was getting really clear on my what my zone of genius is and isn't that made my work feel so much more fulfilling and fun.



How do you know if something is your zone of excellence or your zone of genius?

Gay outlines different things in the book, but the one that works well for me is whether or not what you are doing feels like work or not.

Leading transformational business retreats is definitely my zone of genius.

I love every aspect of it, from the strategy, to the planning, to the facilitation of the sessions and the transformation for each attendee.

I could do it all day, every day, and find myself energized at the end of each retreat day instead of drained.

But I never thought about it being my zone of genius until someone said something to me at my last in-person retreat.

I bet you have experienced something similar, and it is a great way to identify zone of genius work.

Here's what happened...

Each night of the retreat after dinner, the incredible and brilliant women who attended went back to their rooms and took action on what we strategized and planned that day.

Marketing campaigns were created.

Offers were refined.

Sales were made.

I was sharing how incredibly impressed I was with them for being so invested in their success that they immediately took action and were already seeing results... before they even left the retreat.

Then I made a comment about how I hadn't worked at all that week.

And everyone turned and just stared at me incredulously.

I was trying to figure out what I said when one of them said:

"Really? You haven't worked all week?? How about leading this retreat?!?"

The funny thing was I never even stopped to consider that leading the retreat was work.

Leading retreats feels like play to me. Not like work.

Since I hadn't logged into my computer all week, hadn't checked voxer or slack, and hadn't even opened up my email, I believed that I wasn't working.

Despite the fact that I was "technically" working long days leading the retreat.

It was in that moment that I realized 2 things:

1. Leading retreats was a zone of genius and something I wanted to do much more of, from leading my own to helping others lead theirs.

2. When something feels so effortless or fun to us, we sometimes don't even realize it's our zone of genius unless someone else points it out.



When considering your Zone of Genius work, ask yourself: 

  • What are those that things that you get excited about and energized by?
  • Which pieces of your business feel like play?
  • Where do you feel like you are fully living your rich fulfilled life?
  • What are those things where you can put in a full day and feel like you didn't work at all?

 These are your zone of genius.

And those are the things that completely transform how you feel about your work and your business when you do more of them.

Everything else is zone of excellence, at best.


Then follow that by asking yourself:

  • What would it be like to spend 80% or more of your time in your zone of genius?
  • How much do you spend there now?
  • What if every single thing that you did in your business felt like play instead of feeling like work?
  • How can you delegate to create more space for your zone of genius work, or put systems and automations in place? 

By taking the time to answer these important questions, you can create a path for more work that lights you up. 

Are you struggling to create time for your Zone of Genius work?  Schedule a call to learn more about how we can support you via our done-for-you or done-with-you services and programs.


Enjoyed this episode? Don't forget to listen to our first podcast in this series: The Biggest Misperception About Zone of Genius

Ready to simplify and streamline how you scale your business?

by Crista Grasso

Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale.  Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business.  She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast


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