Bob Morris Book Review – Blogging on Business

The six types of active geniuses: A better way to understand your gifts, your pains and your team
Patrick Lencioni
Matt Holt Books/An Impression of BenBella Books (August 2022)

How to get what you do best and enjoy more aligned in all areas of your life

I have read and reviewed all of Patrick Lencioni’s previously published books and believe this will be the best yet because it will have the widest and deepest impact on the executives who most need the information, insights, and (especially) advice he provides. Again, he uses the components of narrative (i.e., characters, setting, conflicts and problems, tension, plot development, climax, resolution) to anchor his insights in human experience, to tell a story rather than give a conference. As is my preference in reviews of his earlier works, I will pass on the details of the story in the first part (“The Fable”) so as not to undermine Lencioni’s commendable storytelling skills. Those details are best revealed in context, within a frame of reference.

Let’s focus on his concept of “working genius” seen as the talents and temperament needed to complete tasks, produce results, achieve goals, etc. That is the essence of what he characterizes as “practical leadership.” Different tasks tend to require different tools and a different approach. For example, Lencioni focuses on six types of active genius:

MARVEL “implies the ability to reflect, speculate and question the state of things, asking the questions that provoke answers and action”.
INTENTION “is about proposing new ideas and solutions”.
DISCERNMENT “is related to instincts, intuitions and mysterious judgment.”
GALVANIZE “is about bringing together, motivating and provoking people to act around an idea or an initiative”.
EMPOWERMENT “involves giving people support and assistance in the way they need it.”
TENACITY “is about the satisfaction of pushing things across the finish line to completion.”

Briefly, the extent to which a leader, or whoever aspires to become one, masters each will determine the extent to which they will be successful, whatever the given task or circumstances. Here are two other key points: with few exceptions, it takes more than one type, and each of us has two that are considered our two geniuses, two because of our job competencies, and two types of work “that take away our joy and happiness.” Energy.” We call this “work frustrations”. Lencioni explains all this in detail in the second part, “Exploring the model”.

You need to know that the six types of work it is a significantly unique model in terms of its application to the specific activities involved in any type of individual or group work. Almost all activities in a workplace involve multiple people. With all due respect to Thomas Edison and the more than 1,000 patents he held, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people were involved in producing such products as the phonograph, the long-lasting (40-hour) light bulb, the quad electric recorder, the sextuplex and the multiplex telegraph, the carbon microphone, the first commercial fluoroscope (for X-ray examinations), and the stock market, as well as the development of their support systems.

Lencioni examines three separate but related phases of work:

IDEATION is made up of both WONDER and INVENTION. Its purpose is to identify needs and propose solutions. Innovation is most often associated with this stage.

ACTIVATION is made up of DISCERNMENT and GALVANIZATION. Its purpose is to assess the merits of the ideas or solutions proposed during Ideation, and then to rally people around the ideas or solutions that are worthy of action. Wide and lasting acceptance is essential for the ultimate success of the given initiative.

The third and final stage of the work, IMPLEMENTATION, is made up of ENABLING and TENACITY, and is about getting things done. In this context, I dare to recommend Edison’s advice: “Vision without execution is hallucination”.

Of the three, “the activation phase is the most important part to avoid going straight from Ideation to Implementation… Without proper activation, even good ideas will not be properly examined, modified, or improved (Insight), and people will not Be properly educated and inspired (Galvanizing).

I previously expressed the opinion that Patrick Lencioni’s latest book, The six types of active geniuses, is the best yet because it will have the broadest and deepest impact on the executives who most need the information, insights, and (especially) advice it provides. That said, the fact is that the value of your book, and of any other, depends almost entirely on how carefully its contents are absorbed and digested, and then how effectively that material is applied to its intended purposes.

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