Who are the Geniuses in Your Neighborhood? Take a Neighbor to Work day!

Otto Kroeger

Otto Kroeger

Do you remember the song on Sesame Street “Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?” How much better would it be if we changed the words to “Who are the Geniuses in Your Neighborhood?”

My book CREATIVE YOU launches today and it wouldn’t have been possible without a genius in my neighborhood. About 15 years ago, I met Otto Kroeger my co-author at a neighborhood gathering. It was clear that he was the life-of-the-party and I was surprised to learn that he was also a foremost leader in the field of personality type. Soon after he sized me up he said: “I don’t have enough time, and you don’t have enough money for me to fix you.” We became friends anyway.

Otto spent most of his career teaching people to work together and collaborating on our book was a natural. New ideas often spark when wires cross and this happens when people meet too. We all have specialized knowledge in certain areas and as neighbors we shovel snow side-by-side, wave while taking out the trash, and chat about our cars — running in parallel like the overhead power lines but unfortunately without ever touching on our neighbor’s real knowledge.

It takes some kind of crossing for us to exchange and generate sparks and these sparks are where innovation happens.

In our case our wires got tangle up when, Otto, invited me to a Myers-Briggs seminar he was

crossed wires

crossed wires

giving. As an artist, I connected what he was teaching about personality type with what I knew about creativity. Of course Otto is one-of-a-kind – but it’s the cross-disciplinary concept itself that is repeatable. The best thing we could do is get to know our neighbors and ask them to teach us about what they know – about what their work is like – and in return to share what we know – I propose a:

Take a Neighbor to Work day
1) Find a neighbor who is knowledge in a field that you know little about.
2) Ask if they could use some help and if they are willing to put up with you for an afternoon.
3) Ask yourself: How does their work intersects with your work?

Widely known, charismatic, always surrounded by people, socially Otto threw huge parties, and professionally he was invited to speak all over the world — I’m extremely grateful and fortunate that he took the time to collaborate with a friend. As our book is now complete we are hoping to show a wide audience how to use their natural creativity. My suggestion is to find the genius in YOUR neighborhood and find a way to work with them – it will benefit you both!



  1. Very interesting idea.

    • Thanks for commenting Donna – I bet you have some interesting people in your neighborhood to collaborate with!
      David Goldstein recently posted..Who are the Geniuses in Your Neighborhood? Take a Neighbor to Work day!My Profile

    • sheila wayman says:

      Our new and up and running Village collects interesting people who have walked the walk and done the talk . It seems to have the nucleus of interesting folks who have lived interesting lives and now reflect the glory of experience and the benefits of collective chatter……I value each of these folks and listen and learn at every function…A meeting which reflects a pool of experience and wisdom….

      • Any time we get a group of interesting people engaged in conversation and sharing their diverse experiences – we have something special – and we are fortunate to have this all around us Shelia! Thanks for commenting!

  2. I just ordered your book. Can’t wait to read it.

  3. David:

    Stepping out of character, you know the admiration I have for both Otto and you and the effort you put into creating this book.

    Stepping back into character, what if you genius neighbor is in the witness protection program?


    • Thanks for your kind words. And if your neighbor is in the witness protection program they could still share their experiences except the names, places, or events won’t resemble actual people, places, or events and if they did it would be entirely coincidental.

  4. Alice "Golden" Hirzel says:

    Kudos Dave on your new book from blast-from-your-past/Kellie’s friend/Alice! Having been a former professional ballet dancer, now turned management consultant, I look forward to reading your book!!!