Magnifying The Genius In Others

Magnifying the Genius in Others - Mentoring


A few years ago I was asked to be an expert blog submission writer for a website called Convene First Responders. Convene First Responders is a platform for first responders of all disciplines to share their respective experiences in a format that fosters learning and development. The goal is to break the barriers often seen in our profession and allow people the ability to share so we all can learn. Experiences are the best way to relate to one another and break those barriers we often see.



Every one of us can teach about an experience we've been through. However, we often forget this simple, amazing gift we can give to someone else. We have to understand how important it is to invest in the younger generation and show them how to become successful in their respective career path. You all have accomplished a lot and that needs to be shared. What allowed you to gain the positions you currently have? Did you have a mentor who assisted you in your endeavors? What do you see as the secret ingredient that propelled you to this point in your life and career? There are millions of people that attempt to answer this exact question. As I started reflecting on these questions, I asked myself, “What has allowed me to grow the most”? Obviously, we all work hard to succeed. However, what single thing taught you the most. What thing stopped your growth the most? I would argue that someone mentored you that multiplied your abilities, multiplied your genius. In contrast, I’m sure each of you has experienced someone that has diminished your abilities and placed their growth above yours.



What if we all harnessed our collective knowledge and invested a few minutes per week to help someone else? Do you have a mission mindset? What better way to give to others than to share your knowledge? What if by your actions you magnify the genius in everyone you interact with? How much more successful would you be? How much more successful would your peers become? In an attempt to look at this simple, but often missed opportunity, we will look at two core traits of an effective leader. One individual can’t change a culture. It takes like-minded teamwork and a desire to set a new path for our future generation!



There are two different messages we can send to the people we work with or manage. Being a mentor, or being a leader, is something that can change not only someone else’s life but the entire culture of your organization. Are you someone that diminishes the abilities of your peers? Or do you seek opportunities to magnify the genius in others? This may seem like a big task, but you may not realize the impact you have by your comments, or how you handle your team.



Diminishing the abilities of others is a concept that has been coined long before this article. This concept is the driving force in why organizations have little growth, high turnover, poor employee engagement, and overall poor performance. What is the driving cause? Diminishing the abilities of others, or better said, diminishing the GENIUS in others, is the biggest failing attribute of a leader. What does this mean? Studies have shown that employee engagement is the driving force for employee retention. Having employees that feel needed, and feel challenged, gives them a purpose. There have been countless examples of how employee retention isn't based on salary, but instead how engaged that employee feels. Surveys have shown that people would rather stay at a job that makes them feel needed and challenged, than move to a company that pays them more but diminishes their abilities. Let's face it; we all went to school to fulfill some type of internal desire. Once out of school we need things that will continue to stimulate our internal need to grow. We need new challenges and the feeling that we're contributing to our profession.



Unfortunately, organizations will have people in leadership positions that have the personality that seeks all the attention. These people are the ones that take all large projects and the accompanying credit that goes along with project success, despite the fact that it was a team accomplishment. These leaders often sit in meetings and do all the talking, unaware that the team has valuable ideas that could propel the project to the next level. They take on project tasks that would better fit someone else on the team because it brings the spotlight to them instead. All of these things diminish the employees they lead. This example can be taken in context and applied to just personal interaction among peers. Do we diminish others? Do you take the focus that could be team-focused and place it on yourself? We have to look at these examples and attempt to change the culture in our workplace. Make a difference and invest in others. Don't diminish their ability, build them up, and allow them the opportunity to shine.



Magnifying the genius in others is a concept that every great leader encompasses. These leaders will drive an organization and the people they manage to the next level. Do you have a mentor that reminds you of this person? The type of person that fosters the best in everyone they interact with? What traits did they have that made this look effortless? The simple answer is this. They were slow to speak and quick to listen. They didn't want the focus on them but instead wanted to magnify each person’s talents and use those talents for the good of the group. They understand that success isn't measured by one individual, but by how the company as a whole is perceived. By investing in each person and allowing them to shine, they foster engagement and challenge their people to think and show their creative abilities. This fosters excitement in those people, which builds their confidence and allows them to grow. This type of leader is excellent at identifying qualities in each of their people that can add to the overall mission. Once they identify this, a great leader seeks out opportunities to magnify those abilities by putting individuals in situations that foster those qualities. In the end, this equals employee engagement, investment, higher retention, and an organizational culture that is apparent for anyone to see.



Remember, one individual can’t change a culture. It takes like-minded teamwork and a desire to set a new path for our future generation! It takes sharing our experiences. It takes removing the focus on us and placing that focus on the people around us. That's how we can make a difference. Let's stop diminishing the abilities of our peers, and instead magnify their genius and change the culture in your organization.


Thanks for reading!

Eric Bauer

Eric Bauer, MBA, FP-C, CCP-C, C-NPT, EMT-P

President & Chief Executive Officer

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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