Did you know that you were a genius? Yes, we are all geniuses, every one of us – at least according to Gina Rudan, the author of Practical Genius: The Real Smarts You Need to Get Your Talents and Passions Working for YOU. As Rudan told me when she came into our San Francisco studio, she is democratizing genius so that we can all embrace our emotional intelligence and realize our talents. Real genius, what Rudan calls our “G-Spot” lies between our hearts and our minds and requires us fully leverage both our hard strategic assets and soft assets such as our creative ability, passion and values.
“Don’t be humble” is Rudan’s message to those of us still searching for our genius. This message is particularly directed at Hispanic women who, she told me, display too much humility and thus aren’t able to succeed in highly competitive environments like Silicon Valley. “Some cultures are too polite,” she explained, before advising us all, particularly women, to “relentlessly” strive for “visibility”.
Not everyone will, of course, like Rudan’s democratization of genius. It does away with the idea that many are called but few are chosen and suggests that we can all, if we leverage our innate assets, become Steve Jobs or Sheryl Sandberg. But is Rudan simply telling us what we want to hear? Or are we really capable of the kind of practical genius that, Rudan promises, lies in all of us.