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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Craig Groeschel » Craig Groeschel - Leveraging Your Working Genius

Craig Groeschel - Leveraging Your Working Genius

Craig Groeschel - Leveraging Your Working Genius
Craig Groeschel - Leveraging Your Working Genius
TOPICS: Leadership Podcast

Craig Groeschel: Pat, man, it's great to have you back. Welcome to the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast.

Patrick Lencioni Returns: It's great to be here and, you know, that you said that we're good friends, and we really are. You know, I mean, 'cause sometimes people say, "You know, I talk to this person," but I really feel like we are good friends, and every time I get to be with you, it's just a blast.

Craig Groeschel: Thank you, well, to even to say that, is very meaningful to me. And this was kind of a real, I hope this doesn't come across like bragging, but it was a real personal blessing to me. You just released the 20th anniversary of your "New York Time" bestselling book, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team", right? That came out just months ago last year.

Patrick Lencioni Returns: Yeah.

Craig Groeschel: So that book, 20 years ago, was a formative book in my leadership. We took our whole team through it. And that was the beginning of kind of the Pat training at Life.Church. And we've gone through every single one of your books, and so that book really shaped me. And then, it was a real, real, real blessing to me that you asked me to endorse your 20th anniversary book. And so to see my endorsement on a book that 20 years ago really shaped my leadership was an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience to help others know a book that shaped my life. And, like I said, you have been probably in the top three leadership mentors to me, and so I'm incredibly grateful.

Patrick Lencioni Returns: So there's two above me?

I would say top three, and I'm not gonna list them in order, because I don't, it's kind of like I've got three best friends, and they're all best friends, right?

I was really psyched that you would endorse that, so it was an honor for me too, really.

Every single one of your books, everyone should read them. But let's dive in and I wanna ask you just a few general questions, and then we're gonna get to your book, "The 6 Types of Working Geniuses". But the last time we talked, the world was changing rapidly, and I think you'd probably agree that the workplace is really, really different today than it was a few years ago?

Truly, yeah.

I'd love to know from your perspective, Pat, what are you seeing? What are some of the new challenges that we need to be aware of, and how are you changing your thought processes on and how we should attack things as leaders?

You know, I talked about this, I think, on a podcast recently and that is that it's almost as though there's a renewal of what I would call transactional work. There are plenty of people now in the workforce who don't actually interact with their colleagues very much, whether they're working from home or they're just doing. There's something that's happened in society where there's actually a lot of people who have almost no relationship expectations at work, which to me is a tragedy. But to them they don't really see it that way 'cause a lot of 'em have never known anything. We're raising up a new generation of people who see work as just something they do off and on their own, and that they don't really have connection to the organization or to the other people. And then, of course, there's, what I would call, relational work, which I think all work should be relational, but five years ago, this wasn't even a question. Now I talked to so many people who have redefined work or who have grown up in their last five years thinking that, you know, "It's really not about knowing people and an interaction with them, and love," I think love should be at the heart of all this. So it's an interesting time. If you'd told me 20 years ago that in the year 2023, a lot of people would have zero expectations for human interaction, I'd have been shocked. And it doesn't question the five dysfunctions of a team and the other stuff we do, it just means there's some people out there that don't even have access to those things.

Mhmm, so it's interesting, Pat, I worked with a performance psychologist. I was kind of interviewing him on this subject and he said, "That people right now, they're intentionally, their goal is to pursue kind of a work-life culture that is counterproductive to their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health". And essentially what it is, is it's a work culture, some people, that there's no accountability, like you said, there's no human interaction. It's, "Work when I want to, from where I want to, how I want to, wear what I want to". And although that actually sounds really, really fun, in many ways, he was arguing, and quite convincingly, that that is counterproductive. That even when you work with people that you don't like, there's a healthy dynamic that goes on and your culture starts to self-select. Meaning you either are part of the culture or you don't stay around. And when you work from home and you're disconnected, you create your own culture, and so when you come back, there's no common shared culture, no warmth, no love, no relationships. And I think we need to work to bring back the human connectedness. And what would you suggest, how are you, I know you're passionate about it, how are you coaching leaders to lead in a culture that's resisting what might be most important?

Well, what we're suggesting is that companies declare that they are a relational company and that it matters. And I'm actually suggesting that those that don't believe in that, declare that, so that people can, with their eyes wide open, go to work for a transactional company and know that's what this is. What I don't want is for that kind of culture to become kind of default or even accidental. Because I think the competitive advantage of a relational culture is great, but right now companies are kind of, like, trying to play in between and it's deviating toward just transactional. And so when you were talking, I was just thinking about the idea of a commute came up. I think most people justify this in saying, "Well, I don't have to do a commute to work, so that's why it's worth it". And I talk to people who say, "Yeah, this job". I say, "Are you gonna be able to go into the office"? They go, "I hope not". I'm like, "What do you mean"? He goes, "Well, I just don't wanna have to take the bus or drive to work". And I think that the comfort of avoiding a commute is so small compared to the loss of interaction and the human needs that we have that God put in our heart, I think it's a terrible trade off, but I think that comfort and convenience is trumping truth and personal growth. So I think that your guest was right on, what he said.

I wanna let that sink in. You said comfort and convenience are trumping truth and growth.

Yeah. You know what's interesting? I learned something in the last few years, Solzhenitsyn, I don't know how to say his name. There was a book written called "Live Not by Lies," I don't know if he wrote it or if it was about him and stuff. But the Soviets took over Eastern Europe, not with a gun, but by denying people comforts and conveniences, and said, "Well, hey, if you wanna go to this kind of event, or if you wanna have this, you wanna have that, then you better buy into what we're doing". And it's amazing how powerful people's desire for comfort and conveniences, and how they'll give up really, really good and important things in the pursuit of that, and at the end of it, they're left empty. So it's an interesting thing. You know, the devil is not always very dramatic. Sometimes he just goes after, "Wouldn't you rather sleep in a little longer? Wouldn't you rather not have to go to that meeting and see that person that's kind of annoying"? It's like, "Well, yeah, but not at the expense of my soul's happiness".

Yes, yeah, well, I just wanna wrap back because you said it, and then you kind of kept going, but I really like the idea, you said that, "I think companies, organizations, should declare that we are a relational company," or, and there's no right or wrong way to do this, "or the opposite, we're a transactional company," and I think that's really, really fair. Because right now I think there are some that wanna be relational, but they're functioning as transactional at the expense of their people or vice versa, and so I like the clarity. In fact, Pat, we're doing this with our team. We have what we call Operational All-Staff. It's one of the two times a year we bring in all 44 sites, and all of our people, and gather together. And we're going back to just really the basics of talking about what we expect, what matters. And I think clarity of purpose and values, I think it really, really, really matters right now. And I love the idea of just being that clear. Like, we are a relational company. If you wanna go somewhere else where you don't have to have accountability, and intimacy, and hard conversations, and, you know, some of the downsides that go with that, then there are other places to go. But if you're gonna be here, this is who we're gonna be. So I like that idea a lot.

Cool. Yeah, and I think there might be a reshuffling, you know?


People might go, "Oh, okay, now that we're being clear," some people will migrate over to the relational ones, some people might migrate over to the transactional ones, but at least it would be intentional and with their eyes open.

Yes, I think that's healthy, wouldn't you agree sometimes?

Yeah, absolutely.

Yes, yes, so I wanna ask you a question. This is a side note, and then we're gonna get into your book. So my team asked me to recommend some of my favorite leadership books, and we narrowed it down to 44. You hold the record of the most books by one author. So you made it on there three times. What I'd like to know is, and this is kind of even a selfish question, how do you approach learning? When you've always got a very unique approach to leadership, do you start with the problem? Do you start by observing? What is it that generates your creative thoughts about leadership that so many other people miss? Where do you start in your mind?

Yeah, and I love the question, 'cause sometimes you answer like, "I don't know, I've never thought about that". But mine is completely observing and experiencing things, and often it's my own pain or my own angst about what I'm seeing, and then the idea comes. So I never sit down and go, "You know, the next book we write has to be about this. I wonder what my perspective on that would be"? It would be something I've gone through, or my company's gone through, our clients, I'm working through or gone through, and I go, "Wow, look at this". And I say this, what I'm about to say, very sincerely, but it always, and it's hard to say this, because the idea that this would be a trite thing or that I didn't mean it would be so painfully cheesy to me. But God gives us everything, you know? Bragging is crazy 'cause God gives us gifts, and they're gifts, so we get to use them or deny them. But I think that he has just given me gifts and insights around things that seem like they're important, and I think, "Wow, maybe I should do something about that". So "The Working Genius", my last book, I was so aware of the fact that that came out of nowhere and that I wasn't really completely driving the bus on that one, and I was like, "Oh, thank you God, that you made this so abundantly clear that this was just a gift you put in my lap". And, again, I don't say that insincerely. That would be so gross for somebody to say that. But I'm profoundly aware of the fact that he said, "Yeah, I'm gonna give you things, you're gonna be a vessel to put things out there for people, and you should be happy about that, but don't think it makes you important".

No, that's what I like, 'cause a lot of times we talk about your ideas before they're actually books, and so I think you're just a...


You're just a student of what's working, not working. And then, I'd just like to hear in your mind, can you tell me, because it seemed like, and correct me if I'm wrong, but it's almost like you were following a path that you didn't pave in this book, and you discovered the six different types of geniuses. First of all, kind of tell us, give us an overview of what they are, and then if you can too, how did you come across these when for years no one else has really kind of looked at it the way you did?

Well, and it's just because I'm so smart. I mean, it's not at all. And that's why I say that God just kind of said, "Hey, you can do this now. I wanna show you something really simple". And, you know, one thing about all my books, Craig, and I like what you said, you guys were already thinking about it before I wrote it, they're all simple. And I think that I'm kind of looking at things that might be more complicated than they need to be, and trying to make it simple for people to understand and apply. But, in this case, I think explaining the origin of "The Working Genius" is worth doing.


Okay. So I just realized one day at work, this had been going on for 20 years, that I love my job, and the people I work with, and what I do, but darned it if I wasn't grumpy often when I came to work. And I would come excited, I would never leave the house in the morning grumpy. I would never be like, "Oh no, it's Sunday night, I have to go to work tomorrow," I love coming to work. And then, I would be like, "Why am I so cantankerous"? You know, and this went on for 20 years. And, finally, right after we came back from Covid and we were doing a lot on Zoom, I was in a session where I had three meetings in a row, and I went from really excited, to kind of frustrated, to really excited again. And one of my colleagues, Amy, said, "Why are you like that"? And she didn't mean it like in a critical way. And I was like, "I don't know, but I've gotta figure this out. This has been going on for too long". And four hours later, we emerged with, 'cause I had a whiteboard and a pen, a blank whiteboard, which is my favorite thing, and these six circles came up. I thought, "Why do I get grumpy"? "Well, what kind of work am I doing when I get grumpy? And what kind of work am I doing when I'm not"? And then, I came up and suddenly there were these six circles on the board of the six different kinds of work that are required in every project or every activity. And that's what "The Working Genius" was, there's six kinds of work, and two of them I loved, they made me happy, I could do 'em forever, I could do it for 12 hours and go home with energy. Two of them on the other end were if I had to do it for two hours, I would go home and go, "Oh, it was a terrible day". And then, two were in the middle where I could do 'em, I didn't love 'em, but I could handle it. And so that's kind of where it came, and it was just me trying to explain my own angst, not me trying to come up with a model for the world. But within days and weeks, people were like, "Oh, wow, this is universal, this applies to me". People would be in tears going, "I finally know why I love my job, or I know why I hate my job, or why my wife and I have conflict". Or, "Why I thought I was a bad pastor, but I'm not a bad pastor". There were so many stories and we were like, "Yeah, this has to turn into something real".

Well, I know there are people like driving and listening right now, or running, on the podcast, and are like, "Tell us now"!

Okay, okay.

What are the six different types of geniuses?

Craig, I'm just not comfortable sharing it for free on a podcast. I'm just teasing, I wasn't holding back. Okay, so here's the first genius, is wonder, the Genius of Wonder. And my wife, this is her genius, one of her two. And it's where she gets joy and energy, that's what a genius is. And wonder, most people that have this as a genius have never been acknowledged that it's a genius. In fact, many of them have been told, "Why are you still doing that? Why do you ask so many questions? Why are you always pondering things and wondering out loud"? And it's a genius, and it's the first genius on almost anything. Somebody has to say, "Maybe there should be a different kind of church. Maybe there's a better way to do this. Maybe our customers aren't that happy. Maybe we could rethink this". Somebody has to say that and put that out there in order to get the ball rolling. And so wonder is an absolute God-given genius. And there are human beings, Craig, that do this every day for long periods of time and it gives them great joy. My wife had no idea that her ability to stare out the window, and ask questions, and ponder things, was a gift that was required in the working world and in every part of life. She thought she was impractical. So wonder is the first genius, and it starts up there at like 50,000 feet, head in the clouds.

So before you go onto the second one, I just kind of wanna interrupt you and say, I can almost imagine there are people right now saying, "That's me, and I felt devalued for a long time". And in the workplace, if we don't have someone like that, we're not likely to get better, we're not likely to make changes. But what's interesting is, do those people, like your wife, those that have wonder, do they come across as threatening sometimes because they're always asking questions?

Well, see, because we didn't understand these different things and that it was required, for people with different geniuses, they found it threatening or like frustrating because it was somebody asking a question when they were like, "No, no, no, let's just do this. Can't you just get in the boat and row"? But it's like, "I don't know, could there be a waterfall over there? Are we gonna row right off that waterfall? Maybe we need to think about this". And so sometimes you attribute that to like, "Oh, you're not bought in or you don't trust me". And so now that we know that these are real, I had the CFO of a multi-billion dollar technical company, once they saw their team's working genius say, "This is why we're behind, and we have been for 10 years. Nobody around here wonders, nobody asks questions, nobody ponders. And until somebody on this team starts doing that, we're screwed".

Yep. Yeah, I can almost imagine, you know, people right now in meetings having shut down people with wonder and inadvertently really cut off the possibility of growth and expansion. And, so yeah, I think it's really, really, really important. And as we look at these types, I'm guessing that you also talk about you really need to have the different types of people and different types of work going on to really be effective.

Wasn't it a beautiful thing God made us to need each other? He didn't give anybody more than two geniuses.


And so the idea that you can not only be comfortable with people who have different ones, but celebrate them and thank them for completing you. Right?

That's good.

It's like you can think about what you've done at the church, and if you look back, you'd say, "If I hadn't had other people with other geniuses than mine, this would've never worked".

Right, yeah, 100%. And until you start embracing that, sometimes, you know, someone with a different type of genius, they can kind of get on your nerves. But you have to be able to tolerate what's different in order to celebrate what's effective, and I think this is beautiful. You talked about that one, and I'd love to spend hours on it, but can you give us the second one?

The second one is the Genius of Invention. So somebody wonders and asks the question, and then there's people, I'm one of these, who wakes up every morning saying, "Oh, please let me come up with a new idea". Please let me, I can't help but do this. I'm at my best and I'm happy when you pose a problem, and I have to come up with an idea out of nowhere. Original thinking, you know, really thinking about how we can do something novel, and new, and innovative to solve that problem. Now here's the thing, Craig, I love to do that, and some conversations, some situations, don't call for that. So there are times when people need to say, which my wife does, "I don't need your I right now, your invention, I just need you to do this for me". And it's okay to say to a wonderer sometimes, "Hey, I love your wondering, but we're not in the W phase of the work anymore, so I appreciate when you did that then, but right now..". So it's not like we get to just show up at work and do what we do all the time, but they're all so important. And there are plenty of places in my work I get to be an inventor, and those are my favorite days. So wonder leads to invention, and those first two are where ideation happens, but that's not where it stops. After invention, we need to get to the next genius, which is discernment. So I can come up with an idea, but somebody has to actually evaluate whether it's a good idea. And people with the Genius of Discernment, I love this genius, is they have gut feel that's just extraordinary. They have instinct and intuition. They see patterns and they see how things connect. And these are the kind of people you go talk to and you ask them their thoughts on something, and far, far, far more times than not, they're right on. And you say, "How did you know"? And they're like, it's not expertise, it's not experience, it's not data. There's just people that God gave an amazing intuition to. One of them is in our office, I love to talk about Tracy in my office. She was one of the founders of the company. Tracy, when I'm talking to my wife, Laura, at home, and I say, "Should we refinance our home? Or where should we go on vacation? Or what do you think we should do about this"? Oftentimes, she'll just say, "Have you asked Tracy yet"? And it's not because she's an expert on home refinance, or vacation, or anything else, it's because Tracy has really good judgment. And Tracy said when she was a little kid, her girlfriends would say, "Ask Tracy". And so it's a gift God gives people. And people with discernment want to be trusted and consulted. And they often will take that idea that somebody has and they'll say, "That's a great idea". Or, "Hey, I don't think that's a great idea". Or, "I think you need to tweak it a little bit more". And so the inventor and the discerner work together, Tracy is my book editor. So I'll write a chapter and she'll read it and go, "Hey, that one, that character doesn't work for me". And I don't even go like, "Prove it". I'm like, "If you think that, then I'm rewriting that chapter".

That's so valuable. And in any organization when you have people like that, I love that there's some people, it's almost like "The Matrix". They can take different ideas from different places, and then bring 'em into kind of a concise conclusion and help see why something will work. It's a special gift.

And I know there's a neuroscience in there, but it's impossible to trace linearly, you know what I mean? But there are people who can just look at 12 different variables and go, "It's that". And you go, "Why"? And they go, "I don't know". And then, you do the research and you go, "How did you get that right"? And it's like they just see things differently. So it's not magic, but it's just a different way of thinking and coming to things, and it's a gift.

It is. And so that would be one of mine. And so, you know, Pat, we have 44 different church locations, and I can walk into one of 'em and just ask a few questions, hear a few conversations, and it's like the three biggest opportunities and three biggest challenges just shout at me. It's just super, super clear. I don't how it happens, but it is a gift.

It is a gift.

And once we get through them, I'm gonna ask you how do we determine what ours are? But let's get through 'em first. And then, I want you to help us figure out how our listening, our leadership community, will know what their gifts would be. So we've got wonder, we've got invention, we've got discernment, what's next?

And we're slowly getting closer to the ground. You know, we start with our head in the clouds, and we invent, we discern. Then we're getting a little closer to the ground, and the next one is galvanizing, the G. And that is there are people who are born, they love to wake up in the morning and rally the troops, and rally 'em again, and remind people, and get 'em moving, and excite them, and inspire them, and sell to them, and they naturally have this in them. And, Craig, we discovered this model because I'm not that person, but I was doing it every day in my job 'cause they thought, "Well, you're the president, you're the guy in charge". And I'd come to work ready to I and D, and then I'd constantly find myself pushing the ball uphill. And that was what was making me grumpy, it was burning me out. And I wasn't terrible at it, but I didn't like it. It didn't feed me. So there are people in the world who love to galvanize others. One of them works for me, and I made him the chief galvanizing officer of our company. And he said, "But I'm kind of young for that, and I haven't been here as long as you guys have". And we said, "It doesn't matter. It's your genius, we want you to do it".

Love it, love it, yeah.

So galvanizing is a genius.

Okay, and you got two more.

The next one is the one that people often don't understand is a genius too, and it totally is. It's called enablement, the good kind of enablement, enabling others to realize their dreams and get things done. People with the gift of enablement are the ones that when somebody says, "I need help," they go, "Yes, what do you need? I can't wait to help you". And as a follower of Jesus, it's hard for me to admit that this is one of my frustrations. When my wife says, "I need your help, Pat". I don't go, "Oh, great, great, great"! I'm kind of like going, "Ooh, what is it gonna be"? And if it's one of the things I'm good at, I love it, but there are other people that are just ready to help on your terms in any way you need them, that's where they get joy and energy. And when they wake up in the morning, if they know people are gonna be calling them and asking them for help, they're like, "This is gonna be a great day". And there are pastors who don't have this, Craig. I've talked to pastors who go, "I feel really bad," I say, "Why"? And he goes, "I don't really don't like counseling people. And they come and ask me for advice and they need my help, sometimes I feel like I just don't wanna, I wanna solve their problem, but I don't just wanna sit there and listen to them, and encourage them, and affirm them". And it's like, "Yeah, that's not one of your gifts". And they're like, "But I'd love to write a homily and a sermon, and I love to inspire people"! And it's like, "Yeah, nobody, save Jesus, has all of these". And so a lot of pastors have said, "I felt guilty for years for not having that". And it's like, "Yeah, you can't have 'em all".

Yeah, well, one thing I learned too about that type, because I'm not that either, I'm not a good helper, and I also find it difficult to ask for help, but if you're asking an enabler to help, that's one of the greatest compliments that brings them great joy, and they feel valued the more that they add. And so I think that's important for those of us that don't have that, to rob them of their contribution is really selfish on our part, and holds the team back from doing what we could do together.

That's such a great point, Craig. One man's trash is another man's treasure and one person's joy. And we go, since it's hard for us, "I don't wanna burden them". And it's like, "No, you're not actually burdening them, you're setting them free to use the gift God gave them to change other people's lives, including yours". That's not selfish, that's a gift.

No, and what I learned, I've got a few people around me like that that are just amazing, that the more that I give them, the more joy they have, and it feels counterintuitive, but it's true.

Now, they wanna be appreciated though.

100%, yes.

But not in an ostentatious way. They just love when you come by and go, "You made a real difference for me. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that". And they're like, that is the currency they want.

Yes, yes, yes.

Whereas an inventor loves when people go, "Wow, that's a really inspiring an innovative idea". You know, everybody has different wants from their geniuses.

Yeah, and so your number six, the final one on the ground is what?

It's one I have none of, it's called tenacity. And it's one thing to enable somebody and help, it's another thing to say, "I'm gonna push this through, I'm gonna finish". People with tenacity have dogged pursuit of crossing things off the list, accomplishing the goal, meeting the target, meeting the number on time and saying, "Yes, we did it"! And they're the kind of people that are unhappy if they don't see something finished. Which is, I mean, of course, I like to see things finished, but I don't wanna be the one to have to do it. When I write a book, I get about halfway through it and I start to lose interest. So people with more tenacity than me have to go, "Pat, get back in there. You gotta make the end as good as the beginning". And I love that because it's easy for me to move on to the next shiny object. People with tenacity just really get joy and energy out of finishing things and accomplishing things.

So let's try to put this on the bottom shelf for people, because I can imagine there are a lot of people out there that feel the same frustration that you do. They go to a job and some days they come home and they say, "That was amazing". And other days they're like, "I don't wanna do this ever again". And so identifying, I think it's really, really important to know why you're good at something, what you're passionate about, and then if you can do most days in your top genius or at least a significant part, you're gonna be adding value and you're gonna be fulfilled. How do we determine, I've got a lot of people listening that say, "I wanna know what my two would be," what advice do you have? What kind of tools do you have to help them discover their working genius?

So we have an assessment, it's "The Working Genius" Assessment, and it takes 10 minutes to 12 minutes to fill out. And we ask questions in a way that's gonna get right at this. And the face validity of the results for people have been off the chart. People look at this and they go, "Oh my gosh, of course this is me". But we also tell them after you look at those results, or they could go through the six things on their own and decide. But the assessment which we priced, it's $25. And we want a person to give it to their junior in high school. You know, my wife and I discovered what my son is, who's 16, and it's changing the way we're parenting him. I had no idea he was a W, I. And so I understand why certain things are hard for him, and I have more grace for him, and it's changed the way we do that. We want people to go out and say, "Hey, for a couple cups of coffee, you can figure out this and set yourself free". And so if you take the assessment, the report comes back, it'll tell you what your combination is and it'll describe it, it'll give you a real confidence that you've hit the right one, and it will encourage you to read the descriptions of the others just to make sure. So in 10 minutes, 12 minutes, you can get that report back immediately. And it's the speed to understanding that you got the right one is fast and to applying it. I wanna tell a story, Craig. We had a guy, I believe he was in a church, and he was going in for his performance review and he hadn't been doing very well. He wasn't doing very well at all, and he knew it was gonna be a little bit ugly. And good on that church for actually doing performance reviews and telling people the hard truth, too many churches don't do that. So he went in and he did "The Working Genius" right before he went, and he looked at his results and he said, "Well, crap". He went into the meeting and said, "Before we do my evaluation, can you guys look at my 'Working Genius'"? And his boss and the other guy there looked at it and said, "Well, no wonder you're struggling". He said, "You're not doing work that you're good at". They said, "We have a role over here that you'd be really good at". The guy wrote to us and said, "I got promoted instead of criticized, because they saw that I was on the wrong seat on the bus and they could utilize my God-given talents". Everybody should experience that. Everybody should experience that.

So we've got the book, which is a great resource. How do they find the assessment tool?

Go to Working, there's two Gs in there 'cause it ends with a G, and starts with,, and it lays everything out. There's free resources, there's ways to get certified. We've had people in churches and other organizations get certified so they can do it for the people in their organization. There's all kinds of resources and things that people can do.

I think I read in my notes, you've taken about a quarter of a million people through this, maybe more by now.

We're almost at a half a million now.

Almost at a half a million people, that's amazing. And so I would say on a side note, you mentioned, I think your son knowing what his were, what I found a lot of times is what I learned at work really applies at home, and I think it...

Oh, Craig, my wife, it's a long story. My wife is a W, I, we didn't know that of course until this came about. She's been raising kids at home, which is not W-I work, it's a lot of T work, and it's been frustrating. She's gonna come and develop this for families and couples. But one of the things we realized is most of what we do at home is work, whether we're planning a vacation or organizing our home. And most of our arguments for years, between Laura and I, were because neither of us had a genius in an area and somebody had to do the work, and neither of us were good at it, wanted to do it, and it drained us. And when we figured this out, we have now gone from blame and frustration to grace and a little comedy. So when something doesn't get done, she and I have no T at all, so things will fall through the cracks. And we look at it now and go, "Oh my gosh, we have no T. Can you believe we just dropped that ball"? And though we have to try to fix it and we're trying to outsource things... We had a guy call us, Craig, this is the last story about this, who said, "I thought my wife hated me," and we said, "What"? And he would laugh and he goes, "No, really, I kind of thought she did. I mean, I know she didn't hate me. But every time I would come up with a dream, she would criticize it". He said, "On our anniversary, we did 'Working Genius.' One of mine is invention, one of hers is discernment. So she was loving me by giving me feedback about my ideas, because she didn't want them to fail," and he thought she was trying to crush his dreams. And he said, "That turned what had been a tense relationship, into an understanding of our God-given gifts and how we love each other," it's crazy.

So you can give me direction here, I don't know if this is wonder, I don't know if I'm wondering or if I'm inventing, but I'm wondering if you could do this for marriage counseling and I'm wondering if you could do it for parenting? Or, am I inventing that you could do this? Or, maybe I'm discerning that there's more to this than what you've already done? Like, I'm not sure what it is.

I think you're discerning, I think you said, "Wait a second, Pat, there's more here".

Yeah, I think so. I would imagine too, like, we do just a whole barrage of different tests when we're interviewing people, I would assume that this is becoming a tool that a lot of people are doing in interviews.

Yeah, you know what's good about this? It's about how you go about getting work done. It's not your personality, it's not how you see the world, it's not that. It's really about what kind of work activities at home, in volunteer jobs, at church. And in the book, there's a scene where he goes to church to volunteer and how they use it there. But this is about the very tasks that give you joy and energy, and the tasks that rob you of that. It's very specific, which I think is why people are running with it so fast, because it's not trying to be everything. It's about what do you do really well, and what crushes you to have to do?

This may seem obvious to you, but I can only imagine someone listening to this and they might say, "Okay, I have this particular genius, but I'm not getting to use it very often, and so I'm frustrated". What advice would you give to that person to go back to the office and say, "I have more in a different area possibly"? How would a person suggest that, without sounding like they're disgruntled, they're upset, they wanna bring more? Give us some advice.

Yeah, my advice is just to go share it. Just to go, "Hey, I learned something about myself, and since you're my manager, I thought it'd be helpful for you to understand it, 'cause I want to do the best possible job for the company. I want to give and do more, I really do. And I realized that there's some things I'm really good at, if there's any way I could use those, I would love to". Most managers that are even decent will say, "That would be great". And, by the way, what I'd advise those people to do is to get their team to do it. And we have this thing called the Team Map. And you look at it and it shows you like, "Hey, nobody on our team has this genius". Or, "Oh my gosh, we can move this gal over to this job, and we can fill a gap that we have on our team". And until you see it on the map, you don't really realize where your gaps are, and where you have an abundant source of different things. So it's definitely share it with your manager. And unless they're a terrible manager, they're gonna find it interesting and helpful. And if they're so terrible where they say, "I don't care, you just have to do what I'm asking you to do," that's probably a good provocation for looking for something else.

How incomplete would a team be without one of these geniuses?

Well, and it depends on which one they're lacking. You know, if a team doesn't have W, they often keep trying to solve problems that nobody's actually said, "Maybe we're solving the wrong problem here". If there's no T on the team, and we've seen teams that don't have T, nothing actually gets done, and people are constantly looking at each other and saying, "Why didn't that project work well"? When a team doesn't have anybody that galvanizes, people are like, "Why aren't we excited? We're doing such interesting work and people like it. Why do we not get excited about what we're doing here"? 'Cause nobody's coming along and reminding them and exciting them. So every one of these, if it's lacking, is gonna cause a unique potential problem. And it's so fun to watch people borrow from one another. We had a CEO almost fire his head of sales, who was this wonderful woman who fit the culture, but when they had to re-shift their strategy, she couldn't come up with a new strategy. They tried and he was gonna fire her. And then, they took "Working Genius" and she goes, "I have no I, and nobody in sales has I. We're really good at helping, we're Es and Ts". And so they found a guy in marketing that had I. He came in three hours, invented a new strategy, and the CEO said, "I almost fired one of my best performers 'cause I thought, 'Well, if she can't come up with a new strategy, maybe she's not the right person.'"

Right, I'm afraid that might happen a lot. I've seen it around here that sometimes someone they really have passion, they have gifts, but they may not be exactly suited for one place. And what is incredibly freeing to me, Pat, is to think about this, you are the CEO, you're the founder, you're the president, you're the CEO, and yet you delegated what many would consider to be the CEO role, which is the galvanizing, you know, the rah-rah, "Here's what we stand for, here's where we're going". And yet you recognize because you don't have it, you're going to put someone else in that role. And I can only imagine there's a lot of people out there going, "I didn't even realize I could do that". Right?

Right. Well, I have CEOs who say, "I don't have discernment. So when I have to make a decision, it's really tough for me to look at it". And they're like, "So I have to find somebody on my team that has it and borrow their discernment," and say, "Hey, this is what I think the data says. What is your gut telling you"? Every leader has to know what their gaps are and allow other people to fill it. Now, that doesn't mean I don't have to galvanize sometimes. But I shouldn't be the chief galvanizer or else I'm gonna burn myself out and I'm not gonna be doing the things I'm meant to do.

I wanna chase one little rabbit, because I think this could be super helpful to someone. I'm gonna tell you what we do, and then you can comment on it. What we found, Pat, for example, we have 44 different campus pastors. And people always say, "What's the best personality type, age group"? blah, blah. And the answer is, it doesn't matter at all. If they have leadership instincts, they have to be relational. But they can be a coach, they can be a cheerleader, they can be a driver, they can be an administrator, it doesn't matter. But here's what we found, is that a personality type is often way more successful when they have the right person sitting next to them.


And it is so, so, so, so, so important. So if I've got someone that is a great administrator, but is not very relational, we need to pair them with someone who is incredibly relational. And I am thinking right now, I can only imagine all of the people listening right now that might have someone who's very, very capable, but because they're not paired with someone that has discernment or paired with someone that has tenacity, that they're underperforming. And so I would just suggest, and you can comment on this, that when you're looking at the working geniuses and you're looking at maybe a team member that has a lot going, but they're not quite getting it done, it could be because they're not paired with or have the right support around them, and I think that's really the whole point of your book. But I've found that a great campus pastor is often great because of the person next to them, not just because of their own greatness.

Exactly, and I would say this, we like to say is the only type that's not good to be a leader is a person that doesn't know who they are, if they don't know their limitations. But this requires, first and foremost, humility, vulnerability, and enough security in themselves to say, "Hey, I suck at some things". And then, to find people who compliment them and celebrate that person, not to feel threatened by them, but to actually build them up to say, "This person, this woman, this man next to me is making, one plus one is five. And without them, it's nothing". So you're exactly right. It's wrong to profile based on, "Oh, we need everybody to be the same". But it is right for people to know what they are and fill in their gaps.

Okay, so I know some people right now wanna be vulnerable and they're gonna wanna say, "I'm not good here". In some cultures, you almost can't do that. How do we change a culture that is lacking in vulnerability, authenticity? How do we take one that's all show and break it down and say, "We actually can do way more if we can show up and be transparent, be vulnerable, show our weaknesses," how do we do that?

Well, it has to start at the top. The leader has to say, "I value genuine vulnerability. And I will demonstrate it. I will value it in the men and women who sit around the table with me leading the organization. And I will go out there and I will talk about it and reward it. And when people do it, I will not support them being punished for doing that". So that's what it takes. 'Cause they can say it all they want, but if it's not being modeled from the top, it just doesn't stick. I've been learning that just recently in the last few days in working with organizations, and seeing that the leader not willing to do something, but wants his direct reports to do it. It's, like, they're never gonna do it if you won't.

Yeah, and so I could almost imagine someone right now saying, "Well, my leader won't do that". But here's what you can do, you're leading something, so in your area you can model it there.

Well, and you know something else, Craig? So when people say, "My leader won't do it," sometimes just seeing their results is enough to make somebody go, "Oh," it's like liberating. They can go, "Look at this, you guys, I suck at this. It says right here, I suck at this. I can say that out loud now 'cause this result, there's language for it". Whereas without that language to come to work and say, "Yeah, I don't really like to have to inspire people every day". That sounds like, "What"? But it's like, "Oh no, it's called galvanizing, and look right here, it's not one of my geniuses". So sometimes just giving them the structure allows them to be more vulnerable. Does that make sense?

Yeah, no, 100%. It does, it does. And that right there is going to bring cascading benefits in the organization. It's gonna give us the ability to give real and honest, real-time feedback, coaching. And without that, what was the book you talked about, you said that you have to get naked?

"Getting Naked".

Oh, the whole book is called "Getting Naked," yeah. And that was...

Not necked, not necked, naked.

Well, where I'm from, it might be naked, you know? Just learning to be transparent and vulnerable in a professional organization, that was kind of a groundbreaking idea when you wrote that, for me.

Yeah, and again, there's organizations that will say, "We don't want you to be that way," probably the transactional ones. And the relational ones will say, "We need you to be that way," because that's the only way these relationships work. Hey, Craig, I haven't said one thing. The most fundamental benefit of this book is that people can stop feeling unnecessarily guilty about who they are. There are people that go through their lives feeling like, "Well, I'm just lazy". It's like, no, you just don't have tenacity. "I'm not smart," no, you don't have invention. You're smart in other ways. "I'm just a pushover". No, you're an enabler and you help people. You know, "Oh, I'm impractical," no, you're a wonderer. To let go of that guilt and realize we are not meant to feel guilty for gifts God gave us, that's huge. The other thing is it helps us avoid judging others because they don't fit a mold that we think. So sometimes it's easy for us to judge people and go, "Man, he's really smart, but he never finishes, and I guess he just doesn't care". And then, you look at this, he goes, "No, I care. It's just really hard for me to do the last 10%". So when we can avoid unnecessary judgment and guilt, boy, it sets people free.

I love that. And then, it also gives us a tremendous value for those who are different. And it helps us to see.


Yeah, I love that. It was really, really freeing for me as a pastor, because we feel like if we're not doing something, we're letting God down, we're letting people down. But to recognize there are some things that I'm just never, ever gonna be good at, but that also gives me clarity on what I am good at. If you focus on those things, and then surround yourself with other people, then that's when it gets special. And, again, I'm heavily biased to the relational end of leadership. Why would we wanna be transactional if we can't enjoy doing it with people? This is what it, to me, is all about.

I agree.

Yeah. So let's have a little bit of fun, and then I'm gonna tell 'em more about how to get your book. On the lightning round, I'm gonna just throw some questions at you. Do you have a favorite leadership quote that comes to mind?

I love the Samuel Johnson quote that said, "People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed".

Mm, mhmm.

I'm just so amazed at like how many times I need to be reminded. You know, Jesus reminded people again, and again, and again.

You came up with the CRO, right? The chief reminding officer, I think that was you.



The chief reminding officer.

The chief reminding officer. I love that.

Yeah, so I think that's a simple, it's not a very inspirational one, but I think it's something I like to quote. So that wasn't very impressive, but I think it helps.

Incredibly important. So you're like always on the go, go, go, go, go, go, go. What's your favorite thing to do to recharge?

Watch movies with my wife.


And movies that we can talk about. And I think that it allows me to escape, and because I have some ADD, and when I get lost in a story, I like to read books too. But I like to do something with my wife. And when we watch movies that we both enjoy, it's like I'm in a great place.

So, like I said, you are one of the leaders that's most impacted me. I'm doing this, and you didn't ask me to, but your book, "The Advantage", to me, is just kind of like the "Bible" on leadership. You've helped me so much. I'm curious, Pat, who's a leader that you look up to or you've learned from that maybe impacted your thought process the most?

You know, I met Alan Mulally years ago, who turned Ford around, and what I loved about Alan was that he was like very relational, like, very comfortable confronting people and doing things. And here he turned Ford around and you think he would've done it through finance, and through technology, and all this stuff, but it was all interpersonal stuff. And he was such a good leader, but he was so humble. When I met him, he pulled out "The Advantage". And he opened it and there were scribblings and Post-it notes everywhere. And he said, "Pat, your book is how I turned Ford around. I didn't read it. But after I left, I read this and I said, 'This is it, this is how I did it.'" And he was so humble to say that. And what he did there was ridiculous. I mean, he took a company that was about to die, didn't take money from the government, changed the culture. So he would be one of them. Gosh, who else? Probably this pastor I met once in Oklahoma. He played college tennis. I can't remember his name, it's spelled kind of funny.

Yeah, he's hard to find.

I enjoy spending time with you, Craig.

Hey, thank you, man, you as well. Let me bait you, and I hope you give me an answer that I like, but I'll give you free reign, but there is one answer I'll like more than the other ones. Is there an event that you're speaking at this year that you're most excited about?

Yeah, I'm coming to Willow Creek for the summit this summer.

Come on, The Global Leadership Summit this summer.

The Global Leadership Summit.

First week of August.

And I love going there. That is the party. So I'm gonna be there this year and I can't wait. I've been a number of times over the past 22 years, and it's just so much fun to see who's gonna be there, and the audience is always so hungry. And the first time I went to one of those was one of the biggest moments of my career. I did not know that there were so many people interested in leadership, and principal, and faith, and I think that was a real change for me.

Well, I think that's how we got to know each other. It was through the summit. You've been one of the most consistent faculty members, and one of the people that made the biggest difference through the summit. And I do wanna just talk about it 'cause this event is near and dear to my heart. I'll be doing the opening talk this year, and then I was super excited that you said yes to come. And it's in the first week of August, and we broadcast to hundreds of sites around the US, also digitally, or they can join us live in Chicago. But I did a little work behind the scenes, Pat, and I got a discount through The Global Leadership Summit that's in honor of you. If anybody'd like to go, we'll put information in the Leader Guide. But they can use the code PL for Patrick Lencioni. PLGLS, for Global Leadership Summit, 23, for 2023, so PL...

Oh, I thought the 23 was, 'cause that was my uniform number in basketball in high school.

That's exactly why. I made a mistake, I thought it was because it was 2023, but it was because of your uniform. So it's PLGLS23. And we'll put information in the Leader Guide, and I'd love for them to join us there. You mentioned Laura, your wife. What's one thing you do that drives her crazy? What makes her like, just say, "Why'd I marry this guy"?

Oh, I talk and I'm intense, I'm idea. She's like, "Enough, enough, I need to be alone".

I believe it.

I remember we went to Europe once, and we'd sit in the train and I go, "Oh, look at that church over there! Oh my gosh, that mountain! Oh, this is beautiful"! And she'd be like, "Could you just be quiet for awhile"?

Final question, if there's one thing, when it's all said and done, my dad went to heaven last week.

Praise God.

And so I'm aware that life is fleeting. But when it's all said and done, if there's one thing that people remember Patrick Lencioni by, what would that be?

You know, that I really wanted others to grow, and that I was willing to love them hard in order to help them grow. I'm not a perfect man by any stretch. But I really do wanna see others become the best they can be. And sometimes I push 'em outta their comfort zone, and then later they say, "Oh, I'm so glad you did that". In the moment, it can be kind of hard. But I want them to think, to believe, and to know that I wanted the best for them.

Well, you've done that for me and so many others. And I just wanna thank you for your investment in leaders and your friendship personally.
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