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Literature of Leadership - The 6 Types of Working Genius

THE 6 TYPES OF WORKING GENIUS: A Better Way to Understand Your Gifts, Your Frustrations,

and Your Team. Patrick Lencioni. (2022, Kindle Edition)

The 6 Types of Working Genius is Patrick Lencioni’s latest book. Lencioni is a highly acclaimed bestselling author of numerous organizational development and leadership books such as The Advantage, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, The Ideal Team Player, to name a few. In his newest book, Lencioni provides a

framework for quickly uncovering a person’s unique talents within a new model for how any type of work gets done.

As the title suggests, the model consists of 6 types of genius: Wonder, Invention, Discernment, Galvanizing, Enablement and Tenacity. In testing the model with thousands of individuals, Lencioni discovered that each of us has two work areas where we thrive (i.e., our true Working Geniuses), two areas where we struggle (i.e., our Working Frustrations), and two areas that fall in between (i.e., our Working Competencies).

Even though each area is called a genius, Lencioni points out that no one person can claim all six as their individual geniuses. That said, every collective endeavor requires each of the six geniuses to be successful.

This is where the utility of the model comes into focus. Through the use of a simple assessment tool (available online at and at an additional cost), individuals can quickly identify the type of work that brings them joy and energy, and that which leads to frustration and burnout.

Beyond its application for discovering one’s personal geniuses, the model and tool offer value in building cohesive and productive work groups and teams. Lencioni demonstrates this using a Team Map—a visual portrayal of the collective geniuses and frustrations of team members—from which team gaps can be assessed, and opportunities can be identified and leveraged.

The structure of the book follows Lencioni’s usual format, and begins with a fable that provides a fictional—but realistic—story around the Working Genius model and its application. Following the fable (which takes up about two-thirds of the Kindle version of the book), the second part of the book delves into a detailed description of the Working Genius model, including an introduction to the assessment tool and report within the context of its application.

This book is an easy read and provides a simple and practical framework with utility at work and in life.

Image source: Amazon


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