Passion + Proficiency = True Productivity: How Working in Your Genius Zone Can Change Everything featuring Corinn O’Brien

April 19, 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Passion + Proficiency = True Productivity: How Working in Your Genius Zone Can Change Everything featuring Corinn O’Brien

Policy and Advocacy Manager Corinn O’Brien has found her secret to living happier, feeling more successful, and being more efficient at work than ever before. It all started by unlocking her Genius Zone work – where passion meets proficiency.




Last week’s episode, Episode 76, was all about unlocking your Genius Zone – those activities in your life and work that totally light your fire and that you’re great at doing.

If you haven’t tuned in to Episode 76 yet, I highly recommend you head that way, and come back to hear from this week’s guest once you’ve soaked up all the Genius Zone goodness waiting for you over there.

And if you HAVE already listened to Episode 76, then you’re going to be so inspired by this week’s guest.

For Corinn O’Brien, Policy and Advocacy Manager for Birmingham Education Foundation, unlocking her Genius Zone changed everything. It’s one thing to do the exercise and figure out what’s in your drudgery, distraction, disinterest and desire zones – but it’s another altogether to take decisive action in order to spend more time doing what you do best, and what you love doing.

Sounds like a dream right? Showing up to work every day ready to make an impact and doing your best, most enjoyable work. For Corinn – that’s her reality now, and it’s caused a ripple effect in every other area of her life, not to mention the impact she’s creating in the public education space in Birmingham and the State of Alabama – and I’m so excited that she was willing to join me for a conversation and tell me how exactly she made it happen.

About Corinn O’Brien

Born and raised in Louisiana, Corinn brings ten years of experience working in public schools to her work with the Birmingham Education Foundation. Corinn earned her B.A. in Economics from Louisiana State University in 2008 and an M.Ed. in Learning, Diversity, and Urban Studies from Vanderbilt University in 2016.  She began her career in education teaching 8th-grade math in New Orleans as a 2008 Teach For America corps member.  Throughout her time as an educator, she has taught in a traditional public school setting, been a founding team member of a turnaround K-8 charter school in New Orleans, and coached a team of twelve teachers as the assistant principal of a charter school in Nashville.

Currently, Corinn is the Policy and Advocacy Manager for the Birmingham Education Foundation and strives to build a collective of passionate advocates working for excellent and equitable educational opportunities for all students. She is married to Mark and has one daughter, Louise Renee.

In today’s conversation with Corinn, she shares…

  • What it was like to transition from a super structured work environment as an Assistant Principal to designing her own days as a Policy and Advocacy Manager for public education nonprofit, and the exact tools and strategies that help her get things done

  • The huge time management wakeup call she had after finding what’s in her Genius Zone and what she did about it

  • How knowing what’s in her Genius Zone enabled her to create opportunities for others, increase her impact in the education community, and spend more time doing work that she’s passionate about.

  • Plus – She shares her best advice for anyone who wants to spend more time in their Genius Zone but isn’t sure where to start or how to make it happen




If you’re enjoying It’s About Time so far, I hope you’ll take a moment to subscribe if you haven’t yet – I don’t want you to miss an episode! I’ve got a few bonus episodes in the works, and you might miss them if you’re not subscribed. Click here to subscribe on iTunes.

If really like what you hear, I’d be so grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Your review plays a HUGE role in helping others find out about It’s About Time. And honestly, they’re really fun for me to read! Click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what you’re loving about It’s About Time. Thank you!!


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