At BlueCotton, we pride ourselves on being people first. It is, we believe, one of the core factors in our success. Different types of intelligence always have a place in our company. In addition to ensuring our people are happy and healthy, we focus on making sure that every employee is in a role that fits them. It started by asking ourselves: What is the genius talent that each of our team members brings to the table?
We found the answer to this by applying a concept known as Working Genius. The brainchild of business management expert Patrick Lencioni, this employee framework posits that there are six archetypes of workplace brilliance. Based on talent, personality and skillset, everyone falls into at least one of the six categories below (that are also summed up nicely in this article on Medium).
The power of possibility
These are the thinkers and dreamers. They’re able to identify untapped potential, but they usually aren’t really sure how to unlock it. Similarly, a wonderer can bring up possible problems and challenges but tends to lack follow-through on what to do about them. This type of work genius has a strong vision for the future that other types can support and motivate through their talents.
Every problem has a solution
Driven by creativity, inventors are passionate about problem-solving. They love to challenge themselves, explore new concepts and ideas, and collaborate with their colleagues. When a problem presents itself, an inventor dives into correcting it with passion and determination.
Always trust your gut
Discernment-driven geniuses are all about intuition. They’re skilled at filling gaps in data through their own experience and expertise. They tend to be incredibly observant, and they are particularly capable in unfamiliar situations. Their insights help them identify the best course of action at any given time.
Inspiration and motivation
A galvanizer has an innate understanding of what makes people tick. They know how to bring people together, energizing their colleagues in the process. A galvanizer is a natural-born leader and frequently the driving force behind new projects and initiatives.
The right person in the right place makes all the difference
“Enabler” is term that is sometimes used in a negative context (typically in health care settings). But in Working Genius, enablers are all about collaboration and helping teammates get things done. Most importantly, an enabler is usually able to recognize the talents of their colleagues. While galvanizers understand how to get people on board with a project, it’s the enablers who make sure everyone involved is doing what they’re good at – and that anyone who needs help receives it.
Keep going. Don’t stop until the finish line
You may have noticed that the other types of genius on this list share a significant weakness, if only through omission: Follow through. Without a tenacious genius, the team may have issues actually finishing any of the projects it starts. These geniuses are masters of the to-do list and are skilled at keeping other people focused on a project until it’s completed, even amidst waning interest.
Figuring Out Which Working Genius You Represent
Genius work starts with smarter planning, which means placing the right person in the best role for them.The simplest way to figure out where you and your colleagues fall in the above framework is to register for the paid assessment on Lencioni’s website. Although it isn’t free to take, it also isn’t particularly expensive at only $25. If you’d still rather not shell out for the Working Genius assessment, there’s another way – introspection.
Per Lencioni, most people are strong in at least two areas of genius, competent in two and weak in two. So, with that in mind, take a step back and think about the six types of working genius and your work style. Some questions you might ask yourself include:
- How do I approach new problems and challenges?
- Am I a people person?
- Do I tend to rely more on intuition or on hard data?
- How often do I tend to follow a project through to completion?
- Do I frequently catch myself daydreaming?
- Does helping people give me a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment?
- Would my friends or colleagues describe me as an empathic person?
The answers you provide to these questions can help you figure out which type of genius you are.