Want to know more? Reach out!

I'd be happy to chat about The Activated Genius Method, my research, our individual and organizational coaching programs designed to maximize your performance, or Tailored Output in general.

No question it too silly, or too profound. This is my life's work. Let's chat!

- julie


Arlington, VA
United States

Tailored Output is a professional development coaching company with an emphasis on goal-setting, career-planning, and team-building within the context of creating whole and fulfilling lives. 



Individuals working with Tailored Output will uncover their unique genius to identify career opportunities that will contribute to a whole and fulfilled life.

Organizations working with Tailored Output will learn how to assemble multi-disciplinary teams--staffed with engaged and motivated members--to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks in alignment with the corporate mission and values.

 

Blog

The Tailored Output Blog

 

Big News! Better Plan Ahead!!

Julie Slanker

My goal for this year is to become a resource for world-changers.

Until today that meant giving my all in all the different ways. I put in the work here, in my weekly Rise & Shine! motivational email, with my coaching clients, and in my Activated Genius Facebook Group. 

During my mid-year check-in on my progress and prospects for the rest of the year - because I take my own medicine! - I realized something important: it's not working. 

YES! I am becoming a resource. The research is rocking and the writing is flowing.

YES! I am spending more time with world-changers. Because they are amazing humans.

AND, ALSO, The Activated Genius Method is not gaining the traction it needs. Tailored Output is not becoming the go-to place for leaders working to solve hard problems.

My diagnosis?

Lack of focus.

All that working is working (in too many directions). It all is important and effective and interrelated. AND NOT AT ALL SUFFICIENT to create the outcomes we all need if we are going to defy impossibility.

Unless we focus. 

So, I am taking the summer to get my shit together. I am applying the same level of rigor and planning and detail-orientation to my writing as I give to my research and program development. I am building the resources I wish I had when I first started figuring out how to Activate the Genius around me. And I have a tight deadline.

Starting in September, I am rolling out an all new suite of self-study, mastermind, and coaching programs.

Here's how it will work:

  • Twice each month, I will publish a blog about the art and science of maximizing your personal and organizational performance - the theory and practice of the Activated Genius Method. 
  • Each week, I will share practical information about how you can use the Activated Genius Method in your own life and work in your Rise & Shine! Monday morning email.
  • We'll continue the conversation in The Activated Genius Facebook Group.
  • For those looking to tailor the Activated Genius Method to your unique situation, we'll work together in The Activate Your Leadership Mastermind (details coming soon).

Your commitment (and cost) will depend on your level of participation. My blogs are always tight and to the point. Your Rise & Shine! is designed to keep you thinking and applying throughout the week. The Activate Your Leadership Mastermind will have focused assignments and scheduled sessions (and will require a financial investment in addition to your time and energy).

And, of course, The Activate Your Genius individual coaching program will remain available year round.

To prepare for September: sign up for my Rise & Shine! email to stay on top of the research as I build the new strategy. You'll also be the first to know about The Activate Your Leadership Mastermind (space will be limited). 

And of course, my digital door is always open. Find me @tailoredoutput everywhere.

Have a wonderful summer!

*juie

Name *
Name

 

 

What Inspires You?

Julie Slanker

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO VERSION. (COMING SOON!)

 

What inspires you? What lights you up? What are you curious to learn? What always seems to capture your attention?

What do you think about most-often in the shower or on long runs? What are you a big nerd about? What topic do you keep coming back to, from every possible angle?

That thing? That is your Inclination. Your deeply-rooted interest. And it is the fourth pillar of your unique Genius.*

The Inclination concept comes from Robert Greene's Mastery. He writes that uncovering your inclination as the first step toward becoming a Master, because your curiosity will be the fuel that keeps you invested in any domain long enough to master it. Your interest will keep you making connections that others may never see.

And when you consider your professional development responsibilities, isn't that exactly what leaders are hoping to help create? Masters. Fully-capable, creative, self-sufficient, innovative team members who contribute positively to the corporate mission without too much input from above.

That's the dream.

And just like every other productive and engaging employee attribute, mastery requires Activation.

If you want your team to learn and grow and develop into masters of your universe, you must help align their growth-edge to their deepest curiosity. Otherwise you will just continue to waste resources, and your energy.

How many times have you paid for expensive training - only to have it all forgotten months later, the course binders collecting dust on communal bookshelves? How many books have you distributed? How many outside speakers have you summoned? How much difference did it make? Over the long term?

Not much, right? Totally predictable.

You've hired high-achievers. They know how to play the game. They will sit and listen and pass the exam (if there even is one). They'll take notes and participate in discussion. And if it doesn't markedly improve their outcomes - right then! - or spark a deep-seeded interest, they'll happily return to their cubes and their old ways.

How many times have you done that same thing, yourself? When your leadership sent you off to an expensive professional development course or conference? Why would your team be any different?

The better question is: How can your team be different?

How can you unlock the diversity of thought necessary to create the innovative team of your dreams? How can you help each team member grow into a domain master - in their own right? How can you help develop your team into the self-sufficient, creative, contributing force your organization needs?

My Inclination is understanding how things work, and using that knowledge to make things work better. Follow your Inclination. Light a fire under your Curiosity. And unlock your inspiration, innovation, and awe.

My Inclination is understanding how things work, and using that knowledge to make things work betterFollow your Inclination. Light a fire under your Curiosity. And unlock your inspiration, innovation, and awe.

By understanding each team member's Inclination and helping them align what drives their curiosity to your corporate vision.

Simple. But maybe not easy.

Because - like a seed - Inclination can become deeply-buried. Covered up by more-practical things. As attention turns to getting good grades, or getting a good job, or climbing the corporate ladder. The things that sparked wonder and enthusiasm in your childhood might be a distant memory, now.

Those are the things you must find within each member of your team.

The childhood curiosities. The things they were scolded to put aside to make time for homework. The books they loved to read - when they still had time to choose. The games they loved to play - when their imagination made the rules. Those are they keys to unlocking Inclination.

Critical keys that may not be easy to find.

Inclination is not always attached to a concrete topic. It can be squishy, and hard to define. Or your team members may not have run into that thing that gets their juices flowing, yet. So you have to pay attention.

Who is really loving the new training, or the new topic, or the new project at work? Who is noticeably energized when everyone else is going through the motions? What books or ideas are they digging up on their own time, because they are enthusiastic about the topic? Those observations are a hint. Share them when you see them.

Then work with your team to design growth opportunities around their curiosity. Encourage them to run down personally fulfilling tangents. Help them explicitly tie their curiosity to the things your organization needs to do to grow.

And don't worry if everyone on your team is sharpening a different growth-edge.

Encourage it.

That's how you grow-in diversity of thought and experience. That's how you continue to generate creative and innovative solutions within a long-standing team. That's how you maintain the deep trust necessary to take risks - and still overcome the group-think that can creep into overly cohesive cultures.

Encourage your team members to uncover and follow their Inclination, and grow a team full of innovators to masters your universe.

 

*The Activated Genius Model is based on my experience and extensive research into leadership and organizational performance. The model is defined by four pillars of Genius: Values, Motivation, Strengths and Inclination, activated by a strong foundation: Communicated Vision, Dedicated Leadership, Effective Structure and Process, and Adequate Resources.
Through Tailored Output, I offer individual and organizational coaching programs applying the Activated Genius Method, a scientific approach to maximizing performance. Together we will Access and Engage your (and your team's) Genius to Accelerate your achievement, in service of a better world.

 If you'd like actionable insight into how to access and engage your Inclination (and all aspects of your Genius) more-fully in your life, sign up to receive my weekly Rise & Shine! email. It is a solid way to stay up to date on the art and science of human performance, translated into actionable insight for your everyday life. This little bit of Monday Morning sunshine will keep you thinking, growing, and Activating your own Genius, as you start your week.

Name *
Name

References:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream by James Altucher

The Desire Map (affiliate link): A Guide to Creating Goals With Soul by Danielle LaPorte

Mastery by Robert Greene

What Are Your Strengths?

Julie Slanker

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO VERSION. (COMING SOON!)

 

Strengths are…

"…specific areas where we can do things, see things, understand things, and learn things better and faster than 10,000 other people…" - StandOut 2.0: Assess Your Strengths, Find Your Edge, Win at Work by Marcus Buckingham

Strengths are…

Areas where we have the greatest potential for success. - StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Strengths are…

Traits we might see "as disabilities and try to work around them to fit in."  - Mastery by Robert Greene

Strengths are…

"Your most valuable currency [because they are] what comes most naturally to you." - The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle LaPorte

Strengths are talents, traits, capabilities, or competencies that are far beyond average. They are the things you do better than everyone else, the things that come most naturally to you. And - this is important - they are things that you also enjoy doing. Put simply, your Strengths must also strengthen you. If you are good at something, but you hate it, it is not your Strength.

Understanding and aligning your strengths to the achievement of your goal is how you create competitive advantage. It is how you stand out from the crowd. It is how you shine.

Accessing and engaging your team members' strengths - in service of your group objective - is how you stay ahead in your fast-paced, high-demand, innovation-intense industry. And layered effectively with the other pillars of The Activated Genius Model,* it might just be how you trap lightning in a bottle and answer senior management's demand to do more with less.

But Strengths are tricky. And you might need to help your team access and own their abilities. Because while they may have pronounced traits, that generate significantly greater value for the organization than the average employee, that might actually be hard for your team memebers' to see.

Our - US - educational system measures cogitative performance and knowledge retention. And that's great. But it does not do much to help students understand where their deep talents lie. Many of the Strengths that you rely on your team to provide may never have been tested in school. And because their Strengths come so naturally to each individual, they might not even notice themselves doing anything.

But you notice. Because how could you not?

Human performance in complex environments can be modeled using an exponential curve. That means a large proportion of the output is created by a small percentage of the workforce, and the rest is pretty-well evenly completed by everyone else. In some industries as much as 25% of the output is generated by just 5% of the employees.

Flipped around the other way, that means that your team members have areas where their strengths completely outshine everyone else around them. It is undeniable.

The difficulty may come if they haven't had an opportunity to use their Strengths, because of how the team is structured, how the work is divided, or how aligned their Strengths are to corporate objectives. Two-thirds of Gallup respondents said that they do not have opportunity to use their Strengths every day.

What a waste.

If you want to compete, if you want to retain your best workers, if you want to accomplish more than you ever thought possible, you must become part of the other 33%. You must access and engage your - and your team members' - Strengths. And there are multiple tools or techniques to help you uncover them, for yourself, and with your team.

My Strengths are: problem-solving, communicating complex ideas, creating structure in chaos, inspiration, strategy, and experiment design. Not all things you test for in school... 

My Strengths are: problem-solving, communicating complex ideas, creating structure in chaos, inspiration, strategy, and experiment design. Not all things you test for in school... 

But before you schedule your team's Strengths Discovery Meeting, a word of caution:

This is powerful stuff. Accessing your team members' Strengths, and aligning them to your group mission, will have a profoundly positive effect on team performance. You will accomplish more with less effort. You will be able to make efficient use of training dollars - because even a modest improvement in an area of your strength will create an exponential improvement in output. And you will have better motivated, more engaged employees.

And.

It will be a lot of work. You will have to change the way you manage and how you structure your day.

You will need to create differentiated work-roles that leverage each individual's Strengths, layered effectively to accomplish your objectives.

You will have to devote more time and energy to removing obstacles to individual performance, rather than just focusing on what constrains the team as a whole.

You will have to tailor your compensation strategy. And you will have to exponentially increase your communication, so that each team member understands the why behind decisions that affect only one or two people on the team. So that they see the equity in your leadership decisions - that every member is getting what they need to perform at their best - despite the lack of uniformity in how those decisions are applied.

And you will have to let some people go.

When a person's Strengths do not align with the core objectives of your group, the disparity in motivation, compensation, meaning from work, and engagement will be noticeable to everyone. And it will drag the team down. Your leadership role, then, will be to enlist and engage other aspects of their Genius to ensure they do play a role on the team that is meaningful to them, or - and this is more likely - help them find meaningful work elsewhere.

And that won't be easy, either.

None of the work required to lead your team in a way that fully-engages their Genius will be easy. It's up to you to decide if it will be worth it.

 

*The Activated Genius Model is based on my experience and extensive research into leadership and organizational performance. The model is defined by four pillars of Genius: Values, Motivation, Strengths and Inclination, activated by a strong foundation: Communicated Vision, Dedicated Leadership, Effective Structure and Process, and Adequate Resources.
Through Tailored Output, I offer individual and organizational coaching programs applying the Activated Genius Method, a scientific approach to maximizing performance. Together we will Access and Engage your (and your team's) Genius to Accelerate your achievement, in service of a better world.

 If you'd like actionable insight into how to access and engage your Strengths (and all aspects of your Genius) more-fully in your life, sign up to receive my weekly Rise & Shine! email. It is a solid way to stay up to date on the art and science of human performance, translated into actionable insight for your everyday life. This little bit of Monday Morning sunshine will keep you thinking, growing, and Activating your own Genius, as you start your week.

Name *
Name