Pat is the founder of The Table Group and author of 12 best-selling books including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage. He is considered one of the nations leading experts on leadership, teamwork, and organizational health. And he is here today to talk about his newest model “The Six Types of Working Genius”.
Pat’s Website – Enter promo code FIRE and get 50% off of Pat’s products!
3 Value Bombs
1) Nobody should feel bad about wanting to use their God-given talent. We’re here to serve others by using the talents we have. Instead of feeling guilty about it, lean into it. You are meant to do that. Pursue your geniuses.
2) When you figure out what your working genius and working frustrations are, it can change your career and your life.
3) Doing things outside of your working genius exhaust you, so it’s best to limit the amount of exposure to those.
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Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: What is Your Working Genius? with Pat Lencioni
[1:58] – Pat shares something interesting about himself that most people don’t know.
- He has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and he only found out about it when he was 25 years old.
[3:01] – What exactly is a working genius?
- It’s a God-given gift or talent people have that gives them energy and joy at what they’re really good at – which they’re meant to use.
- When you figure out what your working genius and working frustrations are, it can change your career and your life.
[3:56] – Pat shares the first 3 out of the 6 types working genius.
- The first is the genius of wonder, making people sit and ponder at things for a long time.
- It’s one thing to realize that something’s missing, but somebody must come up with a solution. That’s the second genius, the genius of invention.
- The genius of invention needs somebody with the genius of discernment who has instinct, intuition, and judgment – who knows how to curate and assess an idea or product to know whether it’s good or bad.
[7:04] – Pat shares the last 3 out of the 6 types of working genius.
- The genius of galvanizing is getting people excited about an idea – firing people up.
- The genius of enablement – that’s someone who can hear the pitch from the galvanizer and know how to help and provide what’s being asked for.
- Lastly, is the genius of tenacity. They make sure that the idea or product has impact. They make sure that things are finished.
[11:31] – How were the 6 types of working genius created?
- He came up with this idea one night after a leadership meeting. The next morning, one of his consultants shared it with a CEO
- This tool is specifically related to getting things done. Entrepreneurs love it. They can understand it and adjust roles, and look at their influence in the organization knowing what they’re good at and what they should stay out of.
[13:32] – There are a lot of self-assessment tests out there – what makes this assessment different?
- This tool is applied to getting work done.
- When people can come to terms with their geniuses, and go to their boss and tell them the things they love to do, it feels liberating.
[16:42] – How can we go about identifying areas of genius, frustration and competency?
- Know which things give you energy and that you’re drawn to do naturally.
[18:49] – What are Pat’s areas of working genius?
- Pat loves invention and discernment.
- Doing things outside of your working genius exhaust you, so it’s best to limit the amount of exposure to those.
[20:15] – Pat shares the impact of this tool to his organization.
- He doesn’t need to feel guilty about what he’s not good at, or judge people for what they’re not good at.
- They’re putting people in seats that are matched up with their natural, joy-filled, energy-giving activities.
[22:15] – Pat’s takeaway and call to action for Fire Nation.
- Nobody should feel bad about wanting to use their God-given talent. We’re here to serve others by using the talents we have. Instead of feeling guilty about it, lean into it. You are meant to do that. Pursue your geniuses.
- Pat’s Website – Enter promo code FIRE and get 50% off of Pat’s products!
Speaker 1: Light that spark Fire Nation. JLD here with an audio master class on what is your working genius? To drop these value bombs, I have brought Pat Lencioni on the mic. Pat is the founder of The Table Group and author of 12 best-selling books, including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage. He is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on leadership, teamwork, and organizational health, and he is here today to talk about his newest model, The Six Types of Working Genius. And Fire Nation, we will go through those six types, we’ll talk about how a person can identify their area of genius, frustration, and competency, and how to apply it in your business, and life, and so much more when we get back from thanking our sponsors.
Pat, say what’s up to Fire Nation, and share something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know.
Speaker 2: How you doing, Fire Nation? I have – I had obsessive-compulsive disorder my entire life, and I didn’t know it until I was 25. And it is so amazing to look back and see how many of my blessings came from my difficulties. And though I wouldn’t wish something like that on anybody, it’s actually shaped me and-and provided me with some opportunities that I didn’t have. So, I guess I would just say sometimes the challenges are actually blessings in disguise.
Speaker 1: Well, I love that you shared that because it’s actually kind of themed today, I’ve done now over 2,600 interviews, and nobody’s ever shared that specifically for the first 2,700, except the person I just interviewed two days ago. Like literally –
Speaker 2: No way.
Speaker 1: – he’s like I can’t leave the house if I think a light might be on, he’s like, my son has to go back into the house and just like check every room, just in case. He’s like there never is a light on, but I still have to go check it out. So, that’s really fascinating.
Speaker 2: I know what that’s about.
Speaker 1: Yeah. For sure. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show Girls, by the way, on HBO?
Speaker 2: No, I’m familiar with it, but I haven’t seen it.
Speaker 1: They do a lot of great episodes in a row, like three or four in a row, where the main character actually is really dealing with some difficult OCD and that kind of stuff. And it’s really awesome that you know, how they’re kind of bringing that to the mainstream and showing how like how that can, you know, a) affect you; but b) it’s like it’s not that uncommon, it’s just a reality that a lot of people have to deal with. So, very cool stuff all the way around. And Fire Nation, as you heard in the intro, we’re gonna be talking about some really cool things. We’re talking about your working genius. So, Pat, you created a lot of awesome things. What exactly is a working genius? Your most recent creation here.
Speaker 2: It’s a God-given gift or talent that people have that gives them energy and joy and that they’re really good at, which they’re meant to use in the course of getting things done. Not everybody has all the working geniuses; nobody does; there are six of these things, and two of them are something you love, two of them are something you really hate –
Speaker 1: Hmm.
Speaker 2: – and there’s too many people in the world that are doing the wrong things and wondering why they’re not happy or successful. And when you figure out what your working geniuses are and your working frustrations, it can change your career and change your life.
Speaker 1: Fire Nation, I hope you’re listening close because you know what my next question is gonna be. Which is what are these six types? And I want you to be sitting there, Fire Nation, and identifying the two that you love, the two that you hate. It’ll be very fascinating; we’re gonna be getting into some more details and specifics around that. So, Pat, take it away, what are the six types?
Speaker 2: The first type of working genius is one that people don’t even recognize as a genius; it’s called the gift or the genius of wonder. And these are people that can sit and ponder things for a long time, and they contemplate, and they think about, is there something missing here? Could this be better? Whether it’s – is our product really the right one? Are our customers happy? Is there a better way to do this? Is there potential here that we’re not realizing? And people who can sit in that and ponder are a genius in the sense that every organization needs them. I was just with an executive team of a multi-billion-dollar software company, and they didn’t have any executives on their team that had the genius wonder.
And at first, they were kind of skeptical, and then when we went through their business, they realized nobody ever pondered what was missing at their company and what their customers were going through. And the CFO said if we don’t sit and ponder more, we’re never gonna be able to come up with a new product. We’re never gonna see what’s missing. And so, the genius of wonder is the first one, and it’s really important in any venture, in any activity, but it’s not enough. You know it’s one thing to realize that something’s missing, or something’s wrong, or something could be better. But somebody has to come up with a solution, and this is the second genius, which is the genius of invention.
The genius of invention is people who like to come up with something new, original, novel, out of nothing to solve problems, whether it’s a product, or an approach, or an idea, or a concept some people are just naturally gifted, and they love creating new ideas. That doesn’t mean they came up with the need, but they love to solve the problem. So, the genius of wonder needs somebody with the genius of invention. And a lot of entrepreneurs have this, but it’s not the only genius because not everything that somebody with the genius of invention comes up with is actually good. They need somebody with the third genius, which is the genius of discernment.
The genius of discernment is instinct, and intuition, and judgment. The kind of people that know how to curate and assess an idea or a product, and they just know whether it’s good or not. And they know how to tweak things, or they know how to evaluate things, and they push back on the inventor, and they do an iterative process in making it better. Or they say, hey, I’ve seen this before, I think, and this is a bad idea, and they save the inventor from doing the wrong thing. We actually presented this stuff to one of the most innovative companies in America, and the guy in charge of innovation said, we come up with inventions, and we just throw them against the wall and hope they stick.
We have totally missed out on the genius of –
Speaker 1: Mm.
Speaker 2: – discernment, and as a result, a lot of things failed that they could have caught earlier or tweaked. And they’re gonna try to change the way they’re organized to make those things work. So, the genius of wonder, the genius of invention, the genius of discernment. Once you’ve discerned something you think it’s a great idea, then comes the genius of galvanizing. Now, I don’t have this one, but I often have to do it, and it drains me of my energy. The genius of galvanizing is when you say this is a great idea let’s go get people excited, let’s go recruit people, tell people about it, and sell it, let’s fire people up, and if you’re an entrepreneur, you know you have to do a lot of these things.
And it’s a gift, and some people love it; they love moving people and getting momentum, and recruiting, and inspiring. Other people hate it. And so, the genius of galvanizing is required; organizations that don’t have it find that they have really good ideas that never really come about, and they need a galvanizer; they need somebody with this natural skill. The next genius is the genius of enablement, and enablement is a good thing. It’s not like enabling an alcoholic. Enablement is the kind of people that can hear that pitch from the galvanizer, and say I will help, I know how I can help you I will do it, I will do it in the way need it, and I understand that, and I will help this get off the ground by coming alongside you and providing what you’re asking for.
It’s a gift. Too many people think that that’s easy, or they’re just nice, but it’s actually a genius that many people don’t have. And an organization with brilliant ideas but without anyone with the genius or the gift of enablement is going to find that things just don’t move forward. And then the final genius is the genius of tenacity. That’s the person that just doesn’t wanna help somebody, they want to make sure that something actually gets finished. They push things across the line; they wanna make sure that the idea, or the product, or the endeavor has impact. They are inspired by making sure things get finished, and they do not get energy if things aren’t getting done.
So, those are the six types of working genius. We each have two of them, but for everyone, two of them are areas of distinct weakness and frustration, and two are in the middle.
Speaker 1: Wow, I can tell you – writing these down, and I’ll go through them real quick Fire Nation. I can 100 percent identify my number one weakness, and I definitely have the two that I feel like are my genius. So, going through the genius of wonder, the genius of invention, the genius of discernment, then galvanizing, and then enabling, then tenacity. Number one, I mean that’s my weakness, I just don’t have that genius of wonder, I just don’t sit around and ponder things, I’ve tried sometimes, and I just don’t do it. The two that I really was resonating with when you were going through this Pat was the genius of discernment, and then the genius of galvanizing.
Like I’ve really –
Speaker 2: Right.
Speaker 1: – been able to really to identify great ideas in my life and then just rally people around that. Like I’ve had multiple very successful kick-starter campaigns, just getting my audience behind it, product services, courses all these different things –
Speaker 2: Exactly!
Speaker 1: Those are two of my geniuses right there, and I think enabling, I just don’t feel like that is one of my geniuses because I might be getting this wrong, so maybe clarify this for me, but I’m kind of hearing the like the enabler is a great number two or number three, like a teammate, stuff like that. And for me, like for better or for worse, it’s just like I need to be the leader, the number one. I’m not gonna join somebody’s team. Am I getting that one right, or is that something else?
Speaker 2: Yeah. To a certain extent, you are, and it’s hard to admit like cause I don’t have, that’s my lowest two. You and I share the lowest one, and that is I don’t have the genius of enablement, which makes me feel like man, am I not a nice guy? Do I not like to help people? You and I love to help people, but not necessarily on their terms; if they come to us and say I need your help, you and I tend to go, well, let me actually figure out what you really need, not what you’re asking for.
Speaker 1: That really resonates right there.
Speaker 2: Which doesn’t make my wife happy sometimes from like okay, don’t you think you want me to clean the garage, but I really think this is what you need. And so, we’re just not good at helping people on their terms because we need to be more involved in the invention, and the discernment, and the galvanizing because we’re similar. But there are other people in the world who hate invention and discernment and galvanizing, and they’re like, please give me clear marching orders, and tell me what you need me to do, and I will do it.
Speaker 1: I’m really resonating with this; it just makes total sense, and I can see it right away like you said. The ones that I love, number three and four, discernment and galvanizing, the one’s I’m just like not me, wonder and enabling for sure, very fascinating. And I do feel like invention and tenacity, I have those qualities but definitely not to the genius level, for sure.
Speaker 2: Right.
Speaker 1: Now, let’s kinda go through the six types of working geniuses, specifically where they came from. How do you create these?
Speaker 2: I have been using different assessments all my life; I’m kind of a gy – I love to learn about myself and learn about others. And I use them in my practice and the work I do; I have a small company. And one day this summer, in the middle of the COVID thing, I was on a Zoom call with 500 priests actually doing some –
Speaker 1: Oh, wow.
Speaker 2: – some leadership training. Yeah, I was fascinating. And then I got off the call, and I was kinda giving people feedback who had organized the call and had to push them. And then it ended, and I started coming up with these new ideas, and I was talking to my co-founder, and I was like, hey, we should do this and this, and she said why are you the way you are? And I said, I don’t know, but I can’t help it some of it I hate some of it I love, I really wish I could figure it out, and that started a four-hour conversation, John. And by the end of that conversation, I had written on this whiteboard, because I have whiteboards all over my office, these six circles.
I can’t quite remember; it feels like I blacked out, but we came up with these six ideas. So, I wrote it on the board, I went home told my wife about it, I was on a call that night with one of our consultants, and I wrote it on the board, I said hey, I came up with this idea today. The next morning, he was talking to the CEO of a company, and the CEO was saying, yeah, I’m kinda frustrated by things on my team and in my organization. And the consultant said, hey, wait a sec, let me show you something, he drew it on the board, and the guy started crying.
Speaker 1: What?
Speaker 2: He was looking at – and he said I finally know why I’m so frustrated and why things aren’t working. This is the biggest lightbulb. And so, within 12 hours of us coming up with the idea, a CEO was applying it because he didn’t need – but to have it explained to him quickly, and he said this is the problem. And that’s what we found about this tool; it’s specifically related to getting things done. Entrepreneurs love it; they can quickly understand it, and readjust their team, change the roles, even look at how they’re influencing their organization, what they’re good at, and what they should stay out of.
And it’s such a quick application, and it’s so practical and applied.
Speaker 1: Pat, there are a lot of assessments out there –
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: – what specifically makes this assessment different?
Speaker 2: When I do the other assessments, and I love them because it’s fascinating. The Myers Briggs, and there’s Disk, and there’s they Anemogram, and all these things. It’s really interesting to understand your personality and some of your motivations.
Speaker 1: I’m an eight on the Anemogram, by the way.
Speaker 2: So, you know what you are.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: This one is actually applied to getting work done.
Speaker 1: Ohh.
Speaker 2: It’s like we have a new product we wanna launch or a program we’re running, or a company, or a start-up, whatever it is it’s about getting things done, and this explains to you the different roles people play naturally, and it’s allowed us to reorganize our company. After being in business for more than 20 years, we finally looked at this and said, oh, that’s why. We hired a kid who was 22 years old, John, and he has the genius of galvanizing, like you. He loves to ge – like, come on you guys, let’s do it.
Speaker 1: Mm-hmm.
Speaker 2: He was working on a team of people 20 years older than him who didn’t like doing that. And they said you’re gonna galvanize this team. He goes, what are you talking about? I just got out of college; I don’t know half the stuff you do; it doesn’t matter. So, he’s loving his job, and they’re giving him permission to galvanize them because he’s good at it.
Speaker 1: Right.
Speaker 2: And that’s the beauty of this. When people can actually come to terms with, oh, these are my geniuses, and go to their boss, or go to the people that they work with and say if you want my best, I love doing these things. And by the way, these other things, I’ll try it if you want me to, but I’m not great at it. It’s so liberating; it’s so liberating.
Speaker 1: Fire Nation, we have so many more interesting, value bombs to talk about. We’ll be talking about your specific areas of working genius, how this model has impacted Pat’s life, and organization, and business, of course. And so much more when we get back from thanking our sponsors. So, Pat, I wanna talk about areas of genius, specifically the areas of genius, frustration, incompetency. How can Fire Nation – how can we go about identifying these areas in our lives?
Speaker 2: Well, we have an assessment that’s a great thing to do because it quickly – it-it takes 15 minutes to figure out. A report comes back, and it explains all this and what you would do with it. And just to let you know, it costs 25 bucks to do, but I guess there’s a discount for your folks. It’s Fire, capital letters, F-I-R-E, so it’s 50 percent off. And so, we really encourage you to do this. Talk to your family about it, talk to your co-workers about it. The thing to think about is which of these things give you energy, and what are you drawn to doing naturally? I – there’s a couple things here that I love to do, and I will constantly want to do that.
Now, here’s what’s interesting, though; sometimes it’s not necessary or appropriate, and now my teammates, and my wife can say I don’t need your invention right now; we’re beyond invention stage, we’re looking for this. It gives us language so we can avoid feeling guilty and avoid judging people but actually know what we should be doing and what we can do better. So, in my family, my wife and I – we, of course – we went home and did this. Neither of us have tenacity. Okay? We looked back at our marriage, and we said, oh, almost every argument we had, almost every frustration we had and continue to have, is because neither of us like to finish things and follow through.
We love coming up with new ideas; we love talking about them, we love getting things started, and then we’re like, I thought you were gonna finish that. We are in the process of reorganizing and figuring out how we can outsource some things because it’s gonna save us from getting frustrated at one another, and it’s gonna help our family. And that’s the beauty of this, whether we’re planning a family vacation, or launching a new product, or starting a new company, I’m gonna know what I need from other people, and I’m gonna know what I bring to the table.
Speaker 1: So, you just touched upon tenacity as not necessarily being your area of genius, and we’ve talked a little bit about – because it seems like you and I are similar in some ways on this. What your areas of genius actually are? Let’s go a little bit deeper for you on this. Like what are your areas of working genius?
Speaker 2: Okay. So, I love invention and discernment, so I could sit around all day long – and you know what’s funny, John? Five years ago, I said to people in my office; you know what would be my perfect job? I could sit at the end of this table here, and you could parade people in a half-hour at a time, and they would say, here’s a problem, and I would go, okay, I have an idea. Let’s talk about it, let’s evaluate it, let’s figure out how it works, can I be using my instincts, and my intuition, and I’d send them out of the room, and somebody else would go rally people around it and get it done.
And I realize now why is because I love to invent, I can’t help but invent, I do it in the shower, I do it when I’m exercising, and I love to discern, I love to curate things and evaluate things, and those are the two things I’m best at. My staff at work will tell me now we need your I or we need your D, and they know that if they’re having me do other things outside of that, it’s probably going to exhaust me, so we wanna limit the amount of exposure I have to those.
Speaker 1: See, this is fascinating stuff Fire Nation, like when you can identify for yourself which ones are really your areas of working genius you focus there. That’s your 80/20, that’s where you’re spending at least 80 percent of your time, and energy, and focus because that’s where you’re gonna be doing the best for your company, and then bringing other people who have the enabling, who have the tenacity that maybe you are lacking whatever that might be – fill in those gaps. Now let’s talk specifically about how this has impacted your organization; Pat, break that down for us.
Speaker 2: Okay. So, here’s the deal the co-founders don’t have a galvanizing at all; it’s what we call their working frustration; it’s their lowest two. For me, it’s in the middle, so every time I came up with a new idea, they would turn to me and say, well, you’re gonna have to galvanize around this, you’re gonna have to push the rock over the hill. And I got to the point where every time I invented something; I would get kinda bummed out because I knew it was gonna mean that I had to do the galvanizing. So, we looked at the rest of our company, and we found two people in our organization who were strong on galvanizing and, we raised them up and put them in roles that would take more of that off my plate.
And it wouldn’t force me to try to get the people that hated galvanizing to do it because I used to get frustrated at them. I used to judge them and say, why don’t you care enough to do this? They hated that part of the job, and so now I don’t have to feel guilty for what I’m not good at or judge them for what they’re not good at. We looked at the entire landscape of our organization, and we’re putting people in seats that are really matched up with their natural joy-filled energy-giving activities.
Speaker 1: I mean, Fire Nation, how sweet would it feel for your organization to be running on their areas of working genius? And if you knew that everybody on your team was sitting there, and focus on their areas of genius, so they’re happy, they’re thriving, and they’re operating at the top level of what their competency is – I mean that’s gonna be just a great, fantastic feeling. So, Pat, you shared a lot of awesomeness today; I mean, you’ve offered this great discount Fire for 50 percent off, so I mean Fire Nation, we’re talking $12.50, you can take this assessment, and potentially change your life, your businesses life, your relationship as Pat was talking about with his wife.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: There was like we don’t like tenacity like that’s why we never finish things. Like, think about the value there. So, Pat, what I want you to do is this, give us one key takeaway of everything that we’ve talked about today that you really wanna make sure Fire Nation gets. Then give us the direct place that we can go to, to enter a promo code Fire for 50 percent off, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Speaker 2: What I would say is this, nobody should feel bad about wanting to use their God-given talents; that’s why we’re here is to serve others and serve the world by using the talents we have. So, instead of feeling guilty about that, lean into this and say this is going to make me more valuable to the people around me, it’s gonna make me more fulfilled, it’s gonna make me a better person in the world. And so, don’t feel guilty about that; you are meant to do that – pursue your geniuses. And you can do that by going to workinggenius.com, and there’s two g’s in there workinggenius.com, and again the code is Fire.
We just want the world to get in touch with their geniuses, be a lot happier people, a lot more successful organizations, and a better world, I think.
Speaker 1: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with; you’ve been hanging out with PL and JLD today so, keep up that heat, and head over to eofire.com, type Pat, P-A-T in the search bar, the show notes page will pop up with everything we’ve talked about today. We’re talking show notes in the biz. Your direct call to action workinggenius.com, when you get there, promo code Fire is gonna get you 50 percent off this amazing assessment. Pat, I just wanna say thank you, brother, for sharing your truth, your knowledge, your value, your genius with Fire Nation; for that, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
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