“If you want to be successful and fulfilled in your work, you must tap into your gifts. That can’t happen if you don’t know what those gifts are.”PATRICK LENCIONI, AUTHOR AND CREATOR OF THE SIX TYPES OF WORKING GENIUS
According to Patrick, “Far too many people in the world suffer needlessly because they don’t understand their personal areas of working genius. As a result, they don’t do the kind of work that gives them joy and energy, and they end up in jobs and projects that are draining and demoralizing. This is a grave tragedy on two levels.
First, it leads those people to lose confidence in themselves and enthusiasm for life, which is devastating for them, their families and friends, and society as a whole. That alone is heartbreaking. Second, organizations and teams–even families–that don’t tap into the true genius of their members can’t come close to realizing their potential. They are left puzzled by their inability to achieve their goals. This often leads them to make inaccurate and hurtful judgements about one another, and to feel unnecessarily guilty about their own shortcomings.
What makes all of this particularly tragic is that it is avoidable. Patrick posits that all 6 types of working genius are vital for a project or workplace or even marriage to work. The trick is that everyone thrives in only about 2 areas of working genius, does well in 2 more, and more or less sucks at the remaining two. He further explains that when you work in areas that stimulate the working genius areas in which you thrive then that is when you are happiest and most content. When you work in areas where your weaker genius is required, you struggle or slowly become discontent.
Because he is a businessman, he obviously offers a paid assessment to identify your genius but even without the assessment, I found this eye-opening. Without the assessment, I suspect my top 2 areas of working genius are wonder and galvanizing, followed by a middle made up of discernemnt and enablement. I’m fairly certain my bottom two are tenacity and invention.
The Six Geniuses Defined.
THE GENIUS OF WONDER
The natural gift of pondering the possibility of greater potential and opportunity in a given situation.
THE GENIUS OF INVENTION
The natural gift of creating original and novel ideas and solutions.
THE GENIUS OF DISCERNMENT
The natural gift of intuitively and instinctively evaluating ideas and situations.
THE GENIUS OF GALVANIZING
The natural gift of rallying, inspiring and organizing others to take action.
THE GENIUS OF ENABLEMENT
The natural gift of providing encouragement and assistance for an idea or project.
THE GENIUS OF TENACITY
The natural gift of pushing projects or tasks to completion to achieve results.
Finally, Patrick encourages us to review previous failures and successes and we will find that wins relate to spaces in which our stronger working genius was tapped into and the failures relate to our bottom 2. For the leaders, this is especially important because when building a team, one needs to make sure to include each type to make a winning whole. In a marriage, it’s trusting each other with things that lean into the doer’s working genius or recognising the cause when a particular genius is absent in both of you. I hope you find this as interesting as I did. It definitely stimulated my wonder.