Operating in Your Zone of Genius

What are your unique perspectives?

Summary
Transcript

In this backstage interview from Leadercast Women 2019, Elaine Welteroth, award-winning journalist and former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, shares why women in the workplace must work hard to discover their zone of genius and advocate for themselves and their ideas.

“The most powerful thing that we can do as women in the workplace is to find our zone of genius and to do everything we can to operate from that place more often than not,” she says. “Believing in the value of your perspective that is rooted in your lived experience and is often rooted in your identity is where to start.”

Watch the video to learn more from Elaine about operating in your zone of genius.

The most powerful thing that we can do as women in the workplace is to find our zone of genius and to do everything we can to operate from that place more often than not. And a lot of times, from what I've found in my career, is that my zone of genius is inextricably tied to my identity. It's tied to my cultural background. It's tied to the community that I come from. And it's tied to my perspective as a woman of color in America and a young leader. And I, as a result, will have a different perspective than maybe my white male counterpart.

And just because my ideas are different doesn't mean that they're less valuable. It actually means in a climate like this, in some cases, they're more valuable. And so believing in the value of your perspective that is rooted in your lived experience and is often rooted in your identity is where to start.

When I got that job at Teen Vogue as the editor-in-chief and even before that, I was working there for many years as the beauty director, I had to get comfortable sometimes making people uncomfortable by advocating for the ideas that I knew were going to resonate with a community that has been underrepresented for far too long in mainstream media. And I had to believe in the value of my voice because I know that they deserved it. I knew they were there.

And so I think it's about just remembering who you're doing it for as well. I think for women it's easier for us to advocate for other people than it is ourselves, and so when we remember and reframe that whatever the challenge is is actually bigger than us and we're there fighting for folks outside of those walls, then we feel like we can do it with a sense of duty and a sense of purpose.

Elaine Welteroth

Elaine Welteroth is an award-winning journalist, author and the former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. Throughout her magazine career, Elaine broke new ground as the youngest person and the second African-American to hold this title in...

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