The 6 Types of Working Genius

Like most of Lencioni’s previous booksThe 6 Types of Working Genius is presented largely in the form of an extended fable. This first part of the book follows entrepreneur and advertising executive Bull Brooks through a journey of frustration and discovery to eventually stumble upon the “6 Types of Working Genius” concept to rescue his struggling company. The latter portion of the book is an explanation of the principles in prose form.

Lencioni describes six different “natural gifts” which he calls “geniuses” (descriptions from

  • Wonder – pondering the possibility of greater potential and opportunity in a given situation.
  • Invention – creating original and novel ideas and solutions.
  • Discernment – intuitively and instinctively evaluating ideas and situations.
  • Galvanizing – rallying, inspiring and organizing others to take action.
  • Enabling – providing encouragement and assistance for an idea or project.
  • Tenacity – pushing projects or tasks to completion to achieve results.

Furthermore, Lencioni proposes that every person has two areas of natural gifting (“geniuses”), two in which the person can work competently, and two areas of struggle and drain.

Some strengths we found in this particular framework:

  • Unlike most other personality or gift assessments, this tool was designed specifically for the way people work together.
  • Lencioni has broad and extensive experience consulting business leaders, including a focus on Christian entrepreneurs.
  • The tool is designed not only to explain each person’s part in a project but also how each person can interact with others throughout the project life-cycle from Ideation to Execution.

Some potential concerns to keep in mind:

  • While the tool has been very well-received, it is new (released in 2022) and thus is not yet supported by research to validate its reliability.
  • If you are already familiar with different preference or gift-type assessments and have experience applying them to your teams, you may not want to add yet another assessment.
  • The fable portion of the book, in the form of a narrative set in a work environment, is sprinkled with salty language.

We at US Navigators Missional Enterprise have found the book and its principles helpful, and are beginning to use it within our own team as well as with the business leaders we support1.  In particular, the tool has helped clarify the potential reasons for workers’ frustration in certain roles as well as guide the reallocation of personnel.

For a quick summary of the Six Types, check out the introductory video below (19 minutes) from Faith Driven Entrepreneur, featuring Lencioni himself. We encourage you to check out the video and discern whether reading the book might be helpful for you and your enterprise. If you prefer a podcast discussion, you can listen to the Faith Driven Entrepreneur interview (39 minutes) with Lencioni about his book.

Verse(s) of the Week:

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6 (ESV)

Let’s make this verse our prayer this week, asking God to empower our teams to produce rich harmony in both work and ministry for his glory.


A mention of a resource in this e-newsletter does not necessarily constitute a complete endorsement of the content by US Navigators Missional Enterprise. However, we strongly believe that each resource described contains a significant amount of helpful content in line with our vision and values, and we encourage you to read (or listen) for yourself and glean from it what the Lord has for you.

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