Bradley Cooper continues to impress me. Several years ago I wrote about how he was going beyond what people (at least me that is) would have expected of him. At that time I was impressed by the work he did on A Star is Born, a film he directed, produced, and in which he also acted (and sang). Before that I just knew him as a leading man love interest in comedies and romantic comedies. (Plus he was a space raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy.)

He has impressed me again. His latest movie, Maestro, is incredible.

Maestro tells the story of the musical genius of Leonard Bernstein. The movie is great, but what I think really shines is the genius of Bradley Cooper. Who knew he could write, direct, and act at that level? He continues to lean into his genius and the results are simply inspiring.

What about you? What’s your genius? Are you even comfortable with the word? You should be. You have genius. Everyone on your team has genius. We use the word strengths a lot, but sometimes that meaning gets watered down. Genius is your unique talent to create, see, develop, or inspire something into being in your own unique way.

Maybe your genius allows you to see things in ways that others do not. Maybe your genius is the way you can inspire others. Maybe your genius is in your grind, grit, and hustle. Maybe you can get things done. Maybe you keep the peace and get people on the same page. Maybe you are a genius salesperson. Maybe you are a great writer or can get right to the heart of important matters. Maybe you are a master negotiator.

Everyone has genius that they can leverage to get even better results faster.

The first step in leveraging your genius is to accept the fact that you have genius. Keep telling yourself this truth: I have unique genius. Say it again and with conviction. Keep saying it. And believe it.

The second step is NAMING your genius. Ask yourself: What is my genius? (And do NOT let your mind say something stupid like aww shucks I am not really a genius; that Gary is just blowing sunshine.) This is a serious question. You are expecting a serious answer from yourself.

Whatever you come up with (whether it is one thing or several things), put it on a note where you can see it. And keep asking this question: How am I applying my genius today?

You are NOT mediocre or average. You are unique. You have genius. Name it and use it. Encourage your team to name and use THEIR genius. If people are impressed by the genius of one person, just imagine the power of a team of people consciously using their genius in pursuit of BIG WINS.