Team & Culture
Jun 20
· Written By
Camilla Hermann

How Oath is building a Zone of Genius culture

Here at Oath, we believe deeply in Zones of Genius. We use this framework to ensure every team member is set up to contribute their unique combination of experience, talent, and skills to our mission of meaningfully improving health outcomes for the next generation of kids.

Here at Oath, we believe deeply in Zones of Genius. We use this framework to ensure every team member is set up to contribute their unique combination of experience, talent, and skills to our mission of meaningfully improving health outcomes for the next generation of kids.

What is a Zone of Genius?

Most people build their career in a Zone of Excellence. In this zone, you are very good at whatever it is you’re doing and likely to have even received distinction, praise, or promotion based on your work. However, other people can do the same work just as well as you can. Most importantly, the work itself is energy-draining or energy-neutral: it doesn’t light you up. This is not something that only you can contribute to the world. This is not something that feels as easy and natural for you as breathing.

On average, we will spend one-third of our lives at work (and for folks in high-growth startups, it’s even more). That’s at least 90,000 hours — which is a long time to spend not doing what you are uniquely designed to do in this world.

                   

         

When we talk about a Zone of Genius culture, we are describing intentional structures embedded in every part of how we operate as a team. One of these structures is executive coaching support for all team members regardless of seniority. We work with Kat Agostino, who is my favorite example of what it looks like for someone to be fully aligned with their Zone of Genius. You can get to know her in this short video:

So, how do you identify your own Zones of Genius? Here are a few important questions to ask yourself:

  • “What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work?”
  • “In your work, what produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to the amount of time spent?”
  • “What is your unique ability?”
  • “What is something you do that, for you, feels as easy as breathing but completely blows other people away?”

When we can align every team member with their Zones of Genius, we can build something that simply wasn’t possible before. This is one of my guiding beliefs as we scale the team at Oath. Of course, we’re also an early-stage startup, and so there are absolutely times when each of us has to operate in zones of excellence or competence. The point is to be aware of what each team member’s zones of genius are and to empower them to prioritize contributing in those zones wherever possible.

Oath is not a place where you dim yourself to fit the mold of what others want you to be. Oath is a place where every team member is fully lights-on. We’ll help you get there.

If this is the kind of company you want to build with, check out our open roles here or shoot me a message at camilla@oathcare.com.

Camilla Hermann
Camilla Hermann

Camilla is the co-founder and CEO of Oath Care; a social company building the future of healthcare, starting with maternal and pediatric health.