The Six Types of Working Genius

By Published On: January 4, 2022Categories: Blog0 Comments
A Woman Smiling Behind a Laptop with Energy and Joy Thanks to Her Areas of Working Genius

If I could just do this all day. . . .

Have you ever said that to yourself?  Seriously – even if it were golf or reading or taking a walk or being at the beach or. . . .

There’s nothing wrong with any of that – maybe not all at one time, but yes, all sounds good.

But also think about it this way. In your professional life, right now, what do you do that gives you joy and energy and fulfills you?  And I don’t necessarily mean leadership or communication or managing projects or sales or developing relationships.

More precisely, what gifts do you bring to life and work that enable you to get things done?  Those gifts may apply to professional life, personal life, or anywhere people gather to accomplish something.

Patrick Lencioni, a leading thinker and writer in leadership, strategy, and organizational health, has developed a model for helping people identify their natural talents and gifts which he calls “The 6 Types of Working Genius.”

Lencioni has discovered that there are two gifts that come naturally to you. You are good at them and they bring you energy and joy. They are your two areas of Working Genius.

And there are two that you do fairly well, but provide little joy or energy – your Working Competencies.

Then there are two that are neither natural nor energizing. As a result, you’re probably not very good at them.  Stands to reason, right?  These are your Working Frustrations.

So what are “The 6 Types of Working Genius”?

  • The Genius of Wonder: the natural gift of pondering the possibility of greater potential and opportunity.
  • 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.*

(*These descriptions are © 2020, The Table Group Inc.)

From those descriptions, what might be your two areas of Working Genius? More on that in a minute.

So what makes “The 6 Types of Working Genius” unique? While there are a myriad of assessments and profiles available (Everything DiSC®, MBTI, CliftonStrengths, Predictive Index, Core Values Index, etc.), “The 6 Types of Working Genius” is partly about personality and style, but mostly about productivity. In fact, it is 80% productivity. Why? Because it is about the art of getting work done. All six geniuses are effectively needed to accomplish any goal, task, or project and are part of the three key stages of work: Ideation, Activation, Implementation. The best teams are fully represented in every Genius.

Want to know more? Check out this brief overview, then contact Kurt Schoch for a complimentary Working Genius assessment. See how this understanding of your areas of Genius, as well as those of your team, can increase productivity, reduce frustration, and bring projects to completion well with greater impact.


Kurt Schoch is a PbPI partner specializing in leadership coaching and organizational development. The purpose of his work is to create the capacity for learning and growth within individuals, teams, and organizations.

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