I hope you had a restful holiday and that your 2020 is off to a great start. I received a lot of interest from people in accessing our New Years Eve reflection questions. The original link was to a draft page – sorry – so I’m added them here again just in case. My wife, Christine, and I answered them as is our custom and as usual, doing so yielded plenty of insights for us to bring forward into the new year. 

Two of the things I am most excited about in the year ahead is I will be publishing my first book (!!) by the summer and we’ll be rolling out a brand new, shorter, less expensive workshop in the fall. I’ve gotten crystal clear that I want to support people who are working to make the world a better place in being happy, loving their work, and doing the most good possible. The new book and workshop were designed with exactly that in mind. More on both soon! 

Speaking of being happy and loving your work, I wanted to share a tool that I developed many years ago to help me reckon with how I was choosing to spend my time as the Director of the 100,000 Homes Campaign for Community Solutions, the “Genius Tracker.” 

Once again, I was at a workshop led by Katie Hendricks when she asked us this question: “What percent of your time are you willing to commit to spending in your genius?” By genius she meant things where I lose track of time, I’m really really good at it, so good, in fact, that it doesn’t even feel like “work.” For a much deeper dive into this concept, I recommend her husband, Gay Hendricks’ books, The Big Leap and the Joy of Genius.

When Katie asked me that question, I realized I had no idea what my baseline genius was. So being well-versed in continuous quality improvement, I decided to go about getting that baseline data. I created the genius tracker as a spreadsheet and kept it as an open tab on my laptop for four weeks. I recorded every single thing I did, how long it took, and whether or not I experienced myself in my zone of genius, excellence (which is you’re good at it, but it still feels like “work”), my competence, or my incompetence.

After a month of tracking, I realized that I was spending about 43% of my time in my genius. I used what I had learned to proactively change some agreements with my colleagues that resulted in me – and several others, too – being able to contribute from a much greater percentage of our genius. 

I thought it might be a nice gift to share the Genius Tracker with you so you can get some baseline data for yourself and start your new year off right. Please let me know if you use it and what percentage you discover. In the coming weeks I plan to answer your questions about how you can spend more time in your genius so please circle back!


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The January 2020 Skid Row School is FULL 

The only  Skid Row School for Large-Scale Change in 2020 will be January 28th – 31st in Pomona, CA on the CAL POLY campus is full. If you’d like to get on the waiting list, please email Selena at selena@billionsinstitute.com.

Work as a team to design your plan for the next iteration of scale. Address any hidden group dynamics that might hold you back. Leave with a plan to scale in hand. We will offer this again in 2021 and will also be rolling out a new workshop that maps to the book we’ll be releasing later next year!

Unleashing Social Change Podcast Season 2 is Out!

Each week we will release a new episode but four interviews with amazing change leaders are already up on itunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Check these out:

Jake Maguire from Community Solutions on what happened after the 100k Homes Campaign ended.  If you stick around til the very end you will get to hear him tell me a hilarious story that cracks me up to this day.

Chris Chatmon from Kingmakers of Oakland on transforming schools to work for black and brown boys.

Bruce Nilles from the Rocky Mountain Institute on climate change as an equity issue and why your natural gas appliances are no good.

Peter O’Driscoll from the Equitable Food Initiative about how they’ve worked with the entire food production cycle to get healthy produce and fair wages for everyone. 

Find Out More

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