The Real Me
Georgia O’Brien Patrick
I am a knowledge worker, writer, journalist, storyteller, and consultant to leaders in a wide variety of professions and industries. I am a founder, widow, and catalyst. I am not a therapist or coach.
More than anything, I love humans, brain science, and consolidating world-leading thinking, education, and services to facilitate change.
Curiosity and creativity drive me. I take in life and conversations as offerings and suggestions and not orders or commands. I believe in keeping minds and doors open so we can see thousands of options—then make a decision. I grew up with a custom-built oversized sandbox that accommodated a deep pile of sand plus all of the neighborhood playmates and all the tools they brought with them. For hours we talked our stories and built entire cities, then went home for dinner.
This shapes most of my life decisions. Invite others in to play and keep the conversation going until the new world emerges, with your own hands.
My StrengthsFinder Signature Themes: Strategic, Maximizer, Activator, Achiever, Individualization. I hear the uniqueness in each person’s life and story.
What I think I can do very well is serve as a catalyst in the gifted professionals’ stories. I can serve as a translator to evaluate and distill the most powerful findings in integrative organizational neuroscience. From that, we can create usable learnings and applications moving us to answer to tough challenges that, until now, wouldn’t budge.
What’s it like to have me as your friend or consultant?
It’s like the best dinner party, ever. Because I’ve gotten to know you and find you fascinating, I want to continue the conversation and start to share your story with a few others who will always remember this day as when Georgia introduced you to someone else wanting to learn from you. Lots of laughter, favorite foods, and belonging.
The professionals I work with…
Know they are smart, high achievers, and suspect or may have gotten a confirming assessment of giftedness traits
Prefer to work alone, love deep work, and struggle to communicate with people who are not as intense, as sensitive to time, and as clear as themself
Seek help getting big, complex stories out of their head and articulating their work through engaging visual stories instead of charts and text
Struggle with procrastination and delegation while still hoping I might be the one who truly understands their neurodiverse brain and will break through beliefs and stories that are holding them hostage
Believe with every fiber in their being in unconditional love and that every moment we have a choice of how we see ourselves and the world. They experience loneliness (even in a crowd) and prefer deep communication with people aligned to their source of consciousness.
Create products or services that are hard to sell, difficult to explain, extremely expensive or too unique to really fit into a box that is simple to understand.
How Did We Get Here?
First I was a writer.
I don’t recall the moment but the adults tell the story of Georgia O’Brien on the day they put a pad of lined paper and a pencil in my 5-year-old hands. What happened next was excitement, joy, wonder, and fierce concentration to form words, using the alphabet I just learned. The writing kept growing for multiple purposes and audiences. For internal purposes, I kept a journal and learned how that helped me understand what I was thinking and what I needed to write next. For existential reasons, I wrote essays, class assignments, and worked three years on the high school yearbook and then three years on the college yearbook Savitar—a paying job.
Before I got out of grade school, I got on the bus to classes in town to learn how to use a typewriter. This was way far ahead of keyboards and the internet. This was back when only secretaries and journalists were fast typists.
Both sides of my family had journalists and newspaper publishers. If there is a writing strand in DNA, I have it.
Next, I was a professional.
A professional calling can start as soon as you get your Social Security card at 16 and someone is willing to pay you for what you know to be a professional path of training and practice. While a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, I got a paid job as a writer and then editor of the college yearbook, plus selected as one of the top five students and paid as a teaching assistant for the News 101 classes.
I worked every month for the next 50 years with communication and professionalism as the through line on a strategic path of career moves and writing for audiences (local then state then national then global). There’s another massive collection of writing just for the internal audience of one—and that’s me and all of my journals, notebooks, and second-brain note systems.
I noticed that most children my age loved toy stores and toys. I preferred the neighborhood office supply shops and could never have enough paper and different pens.
I was a regular visitor every week when the bookmobile came to my neighborhood. As an adult, my custom-built homes start with a library and then attach the rest of the rooms. You got that right. Build the big library first as the core of the house and work with the architect to figure out where to put kitchens, baths, bedrooms, and closets.
Never have I had the blank page problem with writing because there are more than 250 drafts or inspired first pages and headlines waiting for me to return to write further, edit, or rewrite to completion.
What about the gifted part?
After a lifetime of achievement awards, millions of words, and thousands of amazing conversations with founders, presidents, board members, and leaders of every profession you can imagine, I have come to my biggest discovery and breakthrough. I learned that I was born gifted and more than 55 traits I thought were different, too much, or caused struggles or misunderstandings turned out to be 55 characteristics of the gifted adult.
What turned this on?
It was a professional colleague who knew early in her life she was gifted, then became an educational leader in the state’s gifted and talented programs, who turned me on to the studies, the experts, and the global organizations that had the latest knowledge on gifted adults.
As I dug deeper and reflected on a life already rich with relationships with great thinkers, authors, exceptionally talented business leaders, and entrepreneurs, the big question arrived:
“Now that you are here, what are you going to do with all of this?“
When I open up to listen to the universe this is what I’m hearing:
Calm down and be glad you know this now. More than 90 percent of us—those born with gifted brains and what that means for their whole life—never knew this. Some of us learn it somewhere between high school graduation and death and some people never, ever find where they fit in the world.— Julio Cortázar
It’s time to create the container for where I want to spend the rest of my life, and I don’t mean a retirement community. I mean the community of gifted professionals and communicators.
It’s never too late. Your life is built on love, and you can use your giftedness and experience to help others build the world they want as well.
Milestones Worth Mentioning
1945: Born in Dallas, Texas. Second daughter. The third daughter arrives six years later.
1954: Decided I wanted to be a musician and orchestra conductor. Became the drum major for the band, too.
1961: Decided that dating boys, college preparation, and yearbook editing was more important than music and practicing many instruments for hours every day.
1963: Went hundreds of miles from Texas to a university with 24,000 students and I knew none of them. I figured they were lonely too and I made a point to interview all 600 women in my dormitory. In the spring, they elected me president and that made me the youngest student ever on the mostly-seniors University of Missouri Student Council.
1967: Graduated from The School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia with BJ in News Editorial; tapped as one of the top 5 students.
1975: After an amazing entrepreneurial experience in Missouri, headhunters in New York City brought me to Washington, D.C. where I was hired as the youngest Director of Communication for a national association with its own headquarters building on Massachusetts Avenue (Embassy Row) near Dupont Circle. Marriage number one ends when the husband backs out of the move to Washington and I’m not going backward.
1980: After five years of the best job ever, growth, fast-track professional development, and leadership experiences few women ever achieved, headhunters in New York City bring me dream interviews and offers. Someone who knew me well said, “Before you take that big job in New York, I think you ought to meet Tom Patrick, who just started a boutique consulting firm for industry associations called The Communicators.“
1981: After a year of learning what it’s like to grow a small business and to have all of the creative freedom and resources you can muster, I say yes to my business partner who wants to add marriage to the relationship.
1992: Tons of work, travel, and consulting contracts with more than 600 professional associations and certification enterprises fly by and Georgia wants another professional advancement. To get Tom’s job as CEO, I helped him start the ultimate business of his dreams, a national nonprofit organization called the Windstar Wildlife Institute, which created and delivered, wildlife habitat education, conservation, certifications, nature-based programming, and some of the first-ever online training programs to every state in America.
1997: The Communicators, Inc. wins the national competition for the Best Dressed Small Business in America, a competition judged on every measure of business performance. The prize money, office equipment, press coverage for both The Communicators and Windstar Wildlife Institute, plus residuals continue for the whole year, until the next competition. Georgia testifies before U.S. Congress Small Business Subcommittee, on behalf of small businesses in America.
2010: Moved to Fort Worth, Texas, from the Washington, DC metro area, and recalibrated both companies—the corporation and the nonprofit, for final years and decisions about what comes next.
2020: Global pandemic. All paid business stops. Writing and reinvention continue.
2023: Tom Patrick dies. Georgia must rewrite her story for life and work. My varied career in digital and traditional media makes me a prime candidate to understand what it means to live in the Age of Reinvention.
Interests and Specialties
Exceptionally talented professionals
The Rainforest Mind
Photography—nature and humans
Ghostwriting for founders and presidents
Communities—near and online
Mindful Productivity—Ness Labs
The Awakened Brain
The Real Me
I grew up in Melbourne, Australia, the middle daughter of Greek immigrant parents who spoke English with heavy accents. My upbringing, coupled with my ethnicity, profoundly shapes my approach to business as a communication professional. Drawing on my lived experience of cultural diversity, I bring a unique blend of empathy, cultural awareness, and emotional intelligence to the communication problems I solve for my clients.
After nearly five decades, I embrace the ongoing journey of becoming the best version of myself, continually evolving, and contributing to the tapestry of trust and excellence in the world of strategic communication.
Changemakers inspire me. It’s one of the reasons I co-founded the Gifted Professionals and Communicators community, which brings together individuals with extraordinary vision – everyday geniuses – who share a common trait: their remarkable ability to propel progress forward.
I have been fortunate to receive numerous accolades for my work, amassing 54 awards for strategic communication excellence and leadership. Proudly, I hold the distinction of being one of the first Australian communication professionals to achieve SCMP certification through the Global Communication Certification Council.
As managing partner at the Centre for Strategic Communication Excellence, my mission is to elevate the value and visibility of strategic communication as a force for good in society. My endeavours are guided by a commitment to shaping cultures of care, where inclusivity, mental wellbeing, and psychological safety flourish as the norm, affording every individual the opportunity to feel a sense of belonging. I achieve this by cultivating communities, bridging diverse backgrounds, advocating for emotional wellbeing, and nurturing the development of communication professionals, leaders, and organisations.
My dedication to the communication profession intensifies, propelling much of my work with a deep-seated conviction. I am opinionated about what our profession can achieve and believe communication professionals have the best job in the world. Building genuine and trusted relationships is one of my superpowers. Recognised globally as a connector, I am an unwavering proponent of life-long learning, intuitive listening, and kindness. Authenticity is my compass, and I encourage others to embrace the same genuine approach in their communication.
I envision a future where I continue to approach life with an open mind, heart, and arms, eagerly embracing new opportunities to learn and grow. I am driven by my core values, firmly believing that trust, rooted in emotional generosity, serves as the essential foundation for a rich tapestry of thriving relationships. This trust acts as the unifying force that propels growth, collaboration, and resilience.
This girl is on fire.
What are some questions that turned into inspired consulting sessions?
What kinds of struggles or opportunities do professionals and communicators bring to our consulting sessions? Does this resonate with you?
How can I make the hard stuff more fun and stop wasting time getting ready or defaulting to something easier?
Can you learn enough about me to introduce me to another gifted professional who might become the collaborator, muse, or objective listener I need to believe more in my right now projects?
How can I turn my sketchy notes, shitty first drafts, and inspired pages in my journal into the story I think someone needs to hear from me?
Can you help me with the big changes in my life with guided interviews and the writing process? Can you help me sort out my complexities and strengths until we find the storyline that has always been true—and the story I can teach others?