I get this question a lot. “How do you make my hidden brilliance visible? How does it work? And how much brilliance do I have? I’m not Einstein.”
You probably have heard me talk about what I mean with brilliance. It’s not typically the type of brilliance we think of when we speak of Einstein, Stephen Hawking, or Elon Musk – although I work with some extraordinary people. However, when I’m talking about “brilliance,” I mean the unique combination of experience, expertise, and wisdom all of us have in our brains. It is the rocket fuel that powers our businesses and nonprofits.
How do I make brilliance that is hidden in someone’s brain visible? Here’s an example.
Meet Richard (I’m not using his real name). He owns a staffing company specializing in a particular sector.
- He does not plan to sell his company for some time.
- However, Richard realizes that he will take valuable knowledge with him when he leaves someday – unless he does Brilliance Extraction before then.
- Furthermore, he still remembers the painful revenue loss his company experienced a few years ago when a key person left the company. He estimates that that loss amounted to two to three million dollars.
A Brilliance Mapping Session
Richard and I decided to sit down for a Brilliance Mapping session (we did it over Zoom). During this session, I made Richard’s brilliance visible. I found out which brilliance areas Richard has in his brain, at least those about his company.
- What is your brilliance?
- Why does it matter?
- Who is it for?
It is a fun conversation. I asked Richard about the different areas that he brings to the table. At times, I read between the lines and kept digging deeper when I caught a glimpse of something else.
I wrote it all down using the app Notion as a tool (I shared my screen while doing it).
It Is Incredible To See Your Brilliance In Writing!
The result: It is incredible to see one’s brilliance listed in writing!
From there, we can ask: Which area should we pursue first for Brilliance Extraction?
There are a few more questions that are helpful to narrow it down:
- Which area will have the most significant impact?
- Which area has a naturally occurring opportunity to capture your brilliance?
- Which area is the easiest one to pick as a start?
To understand Brilliance Mining, I invite you to imagine a chest of drawers. Each drawer has a label indicating a particular brilliance area. Once we have a bunch of drawers labeled, we can choose one drawer to focus on for now. We can work with the other ones later on.
For example, in Richard’s case, one of the areas is that he has a specific process with which he isolates the competitive strengths of a job seeker. His philosophy is that every job seeker should leave the onboarding conversation with his company feeling that the interviewer is their most prominent advocate. Richard realizes how scary it can be to be without a job. He exudes a strong sense of empathy and advocacy for the job seeker.
On the other hand, companies looking for suitable candidates also deserve the right fit. If the fit is lacking, the match will not last. He uses the same system for both the job seeker and companies looking for staff.
Richard has taught his system to his recruiters and salespeople. However, as with many companies, this training happened person-to-person without the support of a documented procedure.
Richard estimates that when we extract and polish the training about his method and use it to train all of his recruiters and salespeople systematically, the company’s revenues will double. We are talking about $6 Million just in the first year!
There are several excellent insights to take away here:
- It took us only one hour of Brilliance Mapping to identify this opportunity.
- The ROI is huge. $6M in year 1, and at least that each year after that.
- While the initial impetus for the conversation may have been (in his case) to prepare for succession in the future (and generate options for him), the more immediate benefit is significant revenue growth.
What do you think could happen during a Brilliance mining session with you?
P.S.: I appreciate you commenting and sharing this with others. Thank you!