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Janine Gardner - mugshot

Be Brilliant: Key concepts from Janine Garner's inspiring book

One page summary of global thought leader Janine Garner's latest book Be Brilliant

Janine Gardner - mugshot

"We all have to get better at being ourselves.” – Janine Garner 

According to Janine Garner, author of Be Brilliant, we are all suffering from fatigue at 3 levels: 

  • Exhaustion fatigue – we’re exhausted at being exhausted.
  • Stretch fatigue – we’re pulled in 101 directions, often at the same time by multiple parties.
  • Choice fatigue – we struggle with what to do next, tomorrow, first, second, or right now.

She says it comes from pressures in our everyday working lives.

  • Business was simple, now it’s competitive
  • Clients were easy, now they’re demanding
  • Communication was straightforward, now it’s overwhelming
  • Resources were limitless, now they’re stretched
  • Employment was secure, now it’s uncertain

But, you can have control over who you are and how you behave.

In fact, Janine says, you can be brilliant!

Janine's four laws of brilliance:

1.  Be You – Own all the facets that make you, you. Speak, contribute, publish, share.

2.  Be Ready – Harness your energy. Ensure your mindset, stamina and behaviour leads to action. 

3.  Be Together – Connect with intent. Engage, network, collaborate. Face outwards. 

4.  Be Heard – Magnify your influence by becoming in demand for what you know. Don’t be vanilla. 

Actions you can take: 

  • Make a time commitment to learning. Decide how many days over the next 12 months you’ll invest in thinking and learning (nb. Janine invests 20% of her annual income on personal development and learning). Research shows continual learning helps you better adapt to change. 

  • Create a timeline of you, with key events and major decisions/choices. What did these events teach you? 
  • Identify your self-talk – the voices in your head. Are they serving you?
  • Write down 3 personal values with an example of when the value was aligned, and a time when it was not aligned. Live and lead more by your values. 
  • When making decisions, create a personal decision-making triage. What are the 3 critical elements and questions you’d need to answer YES to for it to go ahead? 
  • Celebrate progress over perfection. 

Follow these 5 key principles to form good habits: 

1.  Set your intention

2.  Stop wishing and start doing

3.  Pay attention to your goals

4. Commit to getting back up (when things go wrong)

5.  Surround yourself with the right people

  • When meeting new people, be truly present and interested in them. Ask them a question, then another. This includes your team. How well do you truly know them? 

Form a “It’s who you know” network of 12 key people from these 4 groups: 

Promoters – they see possibility where you see impossibility

Pit crew – they care about you 

Teachers – they stretch and challenge your thinking

Butt-kickers – they hold you accountable. Love them or hate them, we all need them. 


Find ways to magnify others:

  • Respect and appreciate their individuality. It brings you energy, fulfilment and joy to “leave no child behind” in your team.
  • Acknowledge fear of failure, but don’t let it hold you back. Don’t live in the abstract. Take action. 

Janine Garner - About the author: A highly sought-after keynote speaker, educator and author, Janine has worked with thousands of high-profile leaders from around the world and helped countless of Australia’s top 50 ASX companies and multinationals – EY, CBRE, DXC Technology, Hewlett Packard, Microfocus, Optus and CBA to name a few.

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