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Teamwork Success- Identifying your Team working Geniuses

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The 6 Types of Working Genius
Patrick Lencioni
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 12 minuuttia.



“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie. Known as the Father of Modern Philanthropy, Carnegie points out that each contribution is significant to any team accomplishment. When people work together, collaborative effort will bring success toward a certain goal. Defining teamwork is simple, however, understanding and working well as a team can be challenging and sometimes complicated. Forming a team to work together for a specific objectiveTeamwork also can be understood in diverse ways, sometimes it depends on the type of your work, the environment, and the challenges that your team faces. Through teamwork, any sort of task can be big and complex and may become easier and faster. Working collaboratively can accomplish big projects and achieve enormous results, which are impossible by doing alone. When the member in the team works collaboratively by putting in their skills and output, in this way, we can say that the task is individual however the goal is shared. It is functioning interdependently and sharing accountability to achieve certain goals. Knowing the potential, skills, and gifts each person in the team possesses is also a significant factor to consider working cohesively and attaining success. Most times, we tend to be idealistic and complacent that we can try to work on something that we know ever since difficult for us to do. And each time we tried it just frustrates us and feels of less value. Worst case scenario, we are burnt out and not happy to our work environment.


Patrick Lencioni’s – The 6 Types of working Genius is


A Brief Overview of Working Genius


Everyone has natural, God-given talents when it comes to work. As it turns out, there are six different types of talents, or geniuses, and each of them is required for accomplishing any kind of endeavor. Each of us has two areas that are considered our true geniuses or gifts. These are the activities that give us joy, energy, and passion. We call these our areas of Working Genius. Two of the six types are what we call our Working Frustrations, activities that rob us of joy and energy. Most of us aren’t very skilled in these areas.

The final two are what we call Working Competencies, activities that neither feed nor drain us and which we can do well for a limited time. (WorkingGenius.com)


The Six Types of Working Genius form an interdependent model, a comprehensive process for accomplishing any type of work. Each type of genius receives and/or gives something to adjacent types, creating a natural workflow starting with Wonder and culminating in Tenacity. The model below depicts the flow of the six types and includes a short definition of each genius. (WorkingGenius.com).


The 6 Types of Working Genius is a terrific and better way to understand our natural gifts, process our frustrations, and team cohesiveness and effectiveness. Belonging to a team could at times make us feel frustrated, misunderstood, not effective, burden, feel stuck, and don’t have the idea how to work together, highlight, and value the individual uniqueness, talents, ability, and gifts that could be more useful for the team to work together in unison. Working Genius is a great guide to help us and all those who are working in teams to transform all these unpleasant emotions and difficulties into working together as a team. So, let’s look at each working genius and understand how being able to work together effectively with the recognition of your own work genius and your other teammates.

The 6 Types of Working Genius


Image Source: WorkingGenius.com © Copyright 2022 The Table Group, Inc.


WONDER: They identify the need for improvement or change in the team. This is the first type of genius pointed out by Lencioni. These are the people in the team that would ask big questions and are creative thinkers. They discover new ideas, explore, and push the limits of possibilities. Wonder Geniuses are important in the organization because they bring in innovation and stay ahead of the curve.

As they are exploratory, they have the potential to identify things from a new perspective. They are not constraint by what is conventional nor afraid to challenge the normal and what has been used to. This provides the team with a problem solver and great inventors as they are the ones who can generate breakthrough ideas that can bring transformation for the team and the entire organizational process.

Wonder in the team could provide the feel of ease for any challenges especially for team innovation, however having one in the team could be challenging too. Wonders tend to struggle to focus on one project over a longer time as they can be easily distracted by new ideas. So, providing them with the proper structure and framework to stay on track is an immense help to concentrate and function while feeling the liberty to continuously explore fresh ideas.


INVENTION: They confirm the importance of that need and generate an idea or solution for any problem or project of the team or the company. They are known to be creative as they top on creating new things. From the ideas of Wonders, they can craft into tangible products or service. They can emphasize the team’s competitiveness. They have the skill to take complex ideas and break them down into functioning pieces. They both see the big and small pictures as they are good at paying attention to details. This ability makes them effective project managers or team leaders.

On the other hand, Inventors can struggle with perfectionism. As they are focused on details they can be lost in the bigger picture. So, to keep them highly functioning and effective being in a team, never constrain their freedom but provide enough structure to keep on track.


DISCERNMENT: They assess the merit and workability of the idea or solution for a project of the team. Discernment is the “decision makers” of the team. They can see the pros and cons of an idea or project. They can weigh and discern things fairly and can finalize the decision or make the best choice for the team. For a team and organization to stay strategic and produce smart moves, discernment geniuses are valuable in this matter. They can see things objectively and are not affected by personal biases and criticism, making them effective problem- solvers and decision-makers. They can produce the best decision amidst the noise.

As they are decision makers, they can face the challenge of weighing options on decision making thus making them stuck of being indecisive. Thus, giving them the right and enough information, they need can lead them to the right, clear and definite decision for a project or for the team.

GALVANIZING: They generate enthusiasm and action around the idea or solution for a project or the entire team. They inspire and motivate people in the organization to achieve remarkable things. They can enthusiastically keep people marching in the right direction. Galvanizing geniuses are valuable in team composition because they can establish team cohesiveness and a strong t spirit. With their strong ability to connect with people emotionally, they are known to be remarkably effective communicators and can inspire others to act. They can make the emphasis of generating purpose and belonging and inclusiveness within the organization.

Galvanizing tends to be too focused on the big picture and could overlook the necessary details for attaining success. Provide Galvanizing members in the team the freedom to inspire and motivates others but ensure that they stay on track for the benefits of the project and the team.


ENABLEMENT: They initiate support and help implement the idea or solution. They can encourage, support, and help others improve the quality of work and team success. They can spot and tap the strengths of the members, boost their morale, increase productivity, and build a happier and healthier work culture. They are valuable in the team for building a strong supportive working environment. As they see potential in others, they are great mentors and coaches that adhere to others to grow and develop their full potential. Enablement geniuses are the ones who can provide the environment and cultivate learning and growth for the organization.

Enablement geniuses can end up too focused on others and too committed for the team that could tend to forget their own needs and goals. As others need support and encouragement, they too need the same, thus reciprocating these efforts to the Enablement geniuses can help them better succeed while they can be a great support power source for the team that can yield enormous success for the entire organization.


TENACITY: This is the sixth working genius. They commit to ensuring that the idea or solution gets completed and that desired results are achieved. They are the individuals in the team that are bound to complete the tasks. They have high dedication and perseverance on working the solution and completing the process for finality. They are the completer and achiever of great things behind the complex process of all the things that take place. They are indeed a need for the team as they bring projects to the final stage of success providing the maximum value of a product or service after all the complexity. They can stay focused and determined on their goals. They are not swayed by setbacks or afraid of failures. They can be great team leaders and project managers for their ability to focus on achieving success as they see a project through completion no matter what it takes to get the final step.

One of the things that can hold the Tenacity genius is being too focused on the big result without looking at the importance of the process and journey. They tend to forget to enjoy and see success on small things along the process. So. It is best to give them the support for them to achieve their goals and provide them with the necessary complements on the small step and success they made and encourage them to enjoy the process along the process of achieving the final success.


Identifying your own working genius.


Since we have mentioned and described each working genius, the next step is to identify our own geniuses. The best way to effectively identify your work genius is to take the assessment test however you can initially ask yourself some of the questions below provided by Lencioni so you can have initial assessment of your own working genius and even to your team.


*What activity or task do I look forward to the most at work?

*What activity or task do I find myself doing naturally and effortlessly?

*What activity or task do I constantly receive positive feedback on?



Your answers to these questions can help you point out your own working genius and as well as with your team. This understanding can help you contribute better to your team or organization.


By being able to identify your own working genius, you can focus on polishing your strengths while seeking assistance from others who have complementary skills for your abilities so it will yield better result that can provide you self-fulfillment and maximizing your value contribution for the team.


Unlike your other skills that can be learn and master over time, you’re working genius is considered as a gift from birth, so it considered as in born and natural to you and that you need to nurture it but on the other hand as there are also skills that you don’t possess and even how you tried you end up frustrated and felt less of value. However, knowing your own working genius can help you process your frustrations which create unhappiness and burnout at work. Your work frustrations can be best channeled by seeking help and support from others who have the skills and talents for it. It doesn’t mean you aren’t skillful enough or fit for the task but it’s a way to achieve job satisfaction and finding a more effective solution on the job that leads you to dissatisfaction and burnout.


Being able to identify your working genius can bring you the sense of purpose and fulfillment to the job that you are doing. Working out your genius and in correlation with achieving your task successfully can lead you to feeling more happiness and success. A better understanding of your working genius can provide a framework of actions which focuses on taking more tasks and projects of that area.


A successful team learns how to work in unison and with harmony. Knowing your own working genius, working frustrations, and working competency, team dynamism can be effectively put into place. Identifying your own working genius, competency and acknowledging your frustrations can lead to creating synergies with other gifts, and frustrations, leading to a more successful and fulfilling work environment.



Another important key point of identifying your working genius is pointing out your career aspirations. As you see things clearly and understand your potential well and see your weak points, it is the best help for individuals to master their gifts while trying to work out and improve on their frustrations. It might not be at the point of making this at their best skills but somehow, it’s a manageable ability. One could find ways to improve their weak skills and enhance them without feeling burden for getting the mastery and perfection on it.


Hope that at this point, you can feel at ease now with finding your happiness and fulfillment in your team at work. Getting the depth into this team simplification guide from Lencioni, can further achieve your own career satisfaction and happiness within your team and at work every day. Finding your own natural gifts and competency and putting them fully in full potential and trying to find the talents in the team that can complement your frustration skills are leading you and the team to success. During the NBF 2023, Lencioni mentioned: “The more time spent in your area of genius and the less time spent in your area of frustration, the more productive and happier you’ll be. I want people to feel less guilt about themselves when they’re not good at things that aren’t their genius and be less judgmental of others. When you’re trying to pretend like you can handle it all, all you do is lose credibility. Burnout happens because you’re doing stuff that drains the joy and energy, rather than the things that feed you.” (NBF 2023).


Identifying your working geniuses can simplify teamwork


A team is composed of people with different working styles, skills, competencies, and attitudes. This is why forming a successful team is difficult to attain and teamwork can be a challenging element and can take a complicated process to achieve. Patrick Lencioni’s book, the 6 types of working genius, is a great way to help us understand the individual potentials and gifts in the team and how this could work effectively when put together in a team. Most cases, the team could not function as expected and difficult to collaborate because members and team leaders fail to tap the individual’s strengths and unable to put them together to work cohesively. So, people feel frustrated, unsatisfied with their work, underutilized, undervalued, misunderstood, and stressed out. So how does Lencioni point out these 6 types of working geniuses for better teamwork and potential to transform your team into a successful team?


Identifying one’s working geniuses can bring joy and productive living. Knowing your own geniuses can bring happiness and energy to your work and life. So many individuals are still unaware of their working genius. They do things continuously and stick to it even if they aren’t happy and feel fulfilled. This led them to feel lost and miserable every day. Lencioni advises that the more time you spent in your working genius and less time focusing on your area of frustration, the more productive and happier you are. He emphasized that one should be less guilty when they aren’t good in some areas and be less judgmental for others. When one is forced to handle everything, you lose credibility. This will drain your joy and energy and eventually feel the burn out. Your working frustrations sap your happiness rather than feeling fulfilled.


When the team identifies their working geniuses, the team can fully maximize their skills in the organization, establishing and fostering trust and promoting productivity. When the team is open and transparent of their strengths and weaknesses, vulnerability-based-trust is developed. When one can admit his vulnerability and humble criticism, it can bring growth for the team. During the NBF 2023, Lencioni added that “conflicts become healthy when individuals trust one another because they reflect a collective commitment to finding the right answers. In contrast, teams devoid of conflict may indicate deeper issues. With conflict, making informed decisions, and achieving active commitment to a decision becomes more manageable.


When a team understands the decision-making process after everyone’s opinion and thoughts are expressed, it can bring about a high level of commitment from the team. Accountability is attained through commitment. Lencioni stated that, there is difficult to attain accountability if there is no commitment. In great teams, accountability is peer-driven, swift, and effective. Letting down peers is more impactful than disappointing the boss. Yet, leaders must lead by example in accountability for the team to follow suit. Accountability is importantly significant because this will avoid the last dysfunction of a team which is attention to results.




Each one in the team has something exceptional to bring in at work. Like a gift, some have kept them wrapped up and unopened. If one doesn’t know his gift and hasn’t contributed to the team success, it is likely that issues toward one’s behavior at work would be experienced as well as the relationship and contribution to team project are affected. In a team, if members fail to identify their working genius, working competency and working frustration, then it is likely that the team will have difficulty in bringing results for their work. There is no trust to begin with, as the team are not able to see their weak areas and could just be trying too hard to deliver the work because it is needed, which leads to frustration and burnt out and poor work result. If people can recognize their working genius, work could be easier, efficient, and productive, making each team feel the energy, joy, and fulfillment of what they are doing. Knowing the 6 different types of working geniuses in the team and putting them into practice can yield better and meaningful teamwork. Indeed, becoming an effective high-performing team takes time, guidance, and practice but great teamwork can be effective by realizing the team working geniuses. As unique individuals working together, using their best potential, complimenting their working frustration with the working genius or competencies with others can lead to more productivity, better working environment, and bring so much fulfillment towards work and a happier personal life. Using their working genius, working collaboratively enables the team to achieve big projects and audacious goals with less difficulty and challenges.






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Quote from Andrew Carnegie



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