Going beyond genius by making it simple

Tom McCallum
3 min readFeb 4, 2022

Over recent months I’ve been working with a leader to develop a strategy for their business, a very large organisation with oh so many “moving parts”. Through many calls we have taken lots and lots of time to talk through many of these “moving parts”, then ultimately the process of drafting a document began a few weeks ago. The first draft of the document was long and in-depth, with the client pulling together a wealth of knowledge, understanding, research into a detailed document covering a lot of territory. However, despite the depth this already went into, I encouraged the client to keep writing, to get all of their thoughts down on paper. You see, I have learned that by writing we discover our thoughts, as I wrote about here, inspired by this quote:

Expert writers don’t try to put their thoughts in writing. It’s the opposite that happens. They discover what their thoughts could be by writing. Now, it’s not a mystical phenomenon — those thoughts are already somewhere in you. But you are unable to think about them or to formulate them, without going through the writing step. It’s a funny phenomenon to experience. You pay attention to something that strikes you as interesting, you try to put into words this vague impression you have, and you find yourself unfolding, word after word, an observation that is much richer than the initial insight that got you started. After going down that path again and again, and seeing how what you ended up writing is systematically better than what you wanted to write about, you get into the habit of writing, just to know what you are thinking.

Remi Guyot

With that encouragement to keep writing, something quite magical happened in the last week with an iteration of the document. Something “popped” out from the client “writing to develop their thoughts” that reminded me of Einstein’s five ascending levels of intellect (as per the diagram above). This client was already operating at a very high level. Smart, Intelligent, and yes, even Brilliant. However, what sparked from them with this document was absolutely a stroke of Genius. Very rarely have I seen something like that “pop” out of a process like this at such a high level!

As you can tell, I was really excited, but then the next level was the toughest, the final level, to go from their stroke of…

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Tom McCallum

Sounding Board for Visionary Leaders ready to make a Massive Impact. Daily posts here, or https://tommccallum.com/newsletter-sign-up/