Seven Steps to Brilliance

By: Kristin Clarke

How to boost your creativity.

Personal and professional reinvention—even after many years in the same industry—"starts with your attitude, disposition, and desire to create the future," says Simon T. ­Bailey, author of The Vujá Dé Moment! Shift from Average to Brilliant.

The former Disney and hospitality executive gets it: You're tired. Flat. Hardly feeling "brilliant" under your heavy workload. But he's also got something to help: a seven-step "shifter" tool that may boost your mojo big time, focusing in part on three questions designed to "ignite a fresh vision."

  1. Why are we doing this? When we look at the "meetings that our members know and love," says Bailey, "how do we keep them interesting, fresh, and engaging"—and why bother with them at all?
  2. Is there a better way? "That question means [we must] engage all parts of the organization to really look at how we each are contributing to what I'd call that 'brilliant experience' or 'brilliant moment' for the members," he says. "Where vuja de comes in is when we ask, 'How do we engage the salmon to swim upstream, to go against the grain, to be OK if we say we are not going to do that, and here's why?' "
  3. What are we going to 'go do'? Bailey recalls a conversation with a Microsoft executive who said that at the end of each day, company employees always ask, "What's the 'go-do'?"

"That's where the brilliance is—when you're open to disruption and change, and embracing that for who you will become in the process, then holding yourself accountable," Bailey says.

Contributed by Kristin Clarke, a business journalist and writer for ASAE. Email: [email protected]

Simon Bailey will be the closing speaker at the 2013 Great Ideas Conference, March 10–12, in Colorado Springs. For more information or to register, visit

Kristin Clarke

Kristin Clarke is books editor for Associations Now and a business journalist and sustainability director for ASAE.