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According to a 2013 Gallup-poll, 70% of the US workforce is disengaged from their work.


Employee engagement represents the biggest challenge facing small business today.


As you would expect, solving this problem will affect:


  • Profitability

  • Productivity

  • Quality

  • Turnover rates

  • Theft

  • Absenteeism


Although there are numerous ideas about solving this major challenge of employee disengagement, for the spouse/couple run business there is a powerful strategy that addresses it from the get-go:




In working with these businesses, in interviewing couples and in researching these unique businesses there is a common way that many spouses start working together. One spouse generally starts the business and the other spouse has a change in their circumstances having more availability. The owner spouse has a need and his/her partner fills it. They may not be well suited for it or even want to do it yet they are involved in the family business and so they fill the position. Even when spouses begin a business together this issue of being well suited for your role is still relevant, especially in light of the 70% disengagement of workers.


When working with these companies, we offer 2 different assessments that measure the cognitive and cognitive skills and abilities of key people in the company to determine if they are well suited for their position. Once there is an understanding of this, applying the strategy of working from your genius begins to make sense.


The concept of working in your zone of genius comes from a book written by Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap.


He describes the other zones and often we can see that spouses or employees are working in these areas where they are not effective.


  • Zone of incompetence: you’re not good at this and someone else can do it so much better-you have to stop working in this zone ASAP.


  • Zone of competence: others can do this just as well as you and it’s truly wasting your time to work here. It is not utilizing your strengths and abilities.


  • Zone of excellence: You operate extremely well in this position and you know it… it can be a seductive zone because it is comfortable for you and others like you being here because you are reliable and great at what you do. The issue is you will slowly become stuck here if you stay too long and may get the proverbial “wake-up call” if you are not paying attention.


  • Zone of Genius: This is the set of activities you are uniquely suited to do. They use your special gifts and strengths in marvelous ways. If you are ignoring the call to operate from this zone you can become restless, bored, depressed or ill.

Tip on knowing your Z of G: What do you do effortlessly in your business where you totally lose track of time when doing it? You love doing it and would do it even if you were not being paid as it comes naturally to you and gives you joy. That is your sweet spot… your zone of genius.

Although this disengagement issue applies to non-spouse businesses as well, the impact on married couples in business together can be detrimental on the relationship at home and work and becomes a double whammy if not addressed. It can lead to dissolution of both the biz and marriage.


If you want to have a more harmonious (and profitable) business where the spouses and employees are engaged and happy then implement this strategy of working from your Zone of Genius.


To Your Genius!

P.S.  If you would like more support in applying these principles, give us a call.  In between our speaking and coaching engagements, we carve out a few individualized sessions each month. Schedule your appointment here.

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