Mark Cole: Hey, welcome to the John Maxwell Leadership podcast. Mark Cole here, and one of the things I've told you before, one of the things that I love about being with John is who I get to meet when I hang out with John Maxwell. And today is no different, because I'm in studio with John, in Florida. He's been recording all day. And man, John, you've been speaking to thousands and thousands of people today, haven't you?
John Maxwell: Oh, yeah. I've found that you don't have to get on a plane. In fact, if I go to the studio and just do all these lessons for all these different organizations, I go home which is six miles away, and I speak to about 10 times as many people as if I had been live at some event. So this is pretty good.
Mark Cole: And then today, we're joined not in studio. We're really social distancing, because about 3,000 miles away on the phone is an incredible friend of John Maxwell's. I call him a friend as well, but he is a mentor, chances are, to many, many of you on the podcast, Pat Lencioni, we are so glad you're on the call today. Welcome.
Patrick Lencioni: I am glad to be here too. Yeah, but it was six feet or 3,000 miles. Either of those, you have an option. I don't have a mask on. So I guess that's why it's 3,000 miles.
Mark Cole: That works. So on the podcast today, again joining John, Pat Lencioni, founder of the Table Group, author of the upcoming book, I think most importantly to us is to watch he and John share the stage multiple times. I'm going to talk about his upcoming book in a minute, but if you have not read The Advantage, that's not the point of this podcast, but it is a book highly recommended to me by John, by some other mentors in my life. And I've now read it three times, Pat, because of how it shapes my thinking every time I have a new leadership challenge. And so, man, you're a talented thinker, a strategist, but most importantly, you're a friend. You're a pal. So welcome to the podcast, Pat. We're going to have a great day today.
Patrick Lencioni: Thank you for having me. I'm really looking forward to this conversation.
Mark Cole: So, there is this new concept that Pat is working on, and you're going to watch Pat and John talk about the genius John Maxwell. Because, and I say that, and John's kicking me under the table here because he doesn't like calling him genius. But let me explain. Pat's writing a book right now, but has just released, just now, an assessment, a content, a concept called the Six Types of Working Genius. And John has taken this assessment, we're going to give you a chance to take it today at the end of this podcast. John's taken it. But Pat, before we even talk about John's assessment and what you discovered, tell us a little bit about the concept, why you wrote the book, tell us what we're going to get when we start engaging in this content.
Patrick Lencioni: I have to say that this tool came about by accident. Although, with God, there's no accidents, and I mean that. But I would say I had mild dissatisfaction in my work for years, and I didn't know why. And in the middle of COVID shutdown, we had just come back into our office this past summer. And I was sitting there, I was doing a webinar of all things for a whole bunch of Catholic priests and their staff members. And then after it was over, I had to have a little meeting with the people that ran that organization and give them some feedback. And then after that was over, I was like, "Oh, we got to come up with a new idea." And my co-founder of my company, Amy, turned to me and said, "Why are you the way you are?"
And I said, "I don't know, but half of it drives me crazy. Half of it, I love. I wish I could figure it out." And that provoked a four-hour conversation that led to me going onto a whiteboard and writing this model. And I wasn't trying to come up with a model, I was just trying to explain why I was dissatisfied and what I loved. And immediately somebody in my organization saw it and said, "This is bigger than the Five Dysfunctions of a Team," which was one of my books. And the next day, 12 hours after I came up with that, one of our consultants who had seen me write it on the whiteboard shared it with one of his CEO clients. And the guy started to cry, because he was so overwhelmed by how it explained why he was frustrated and what he needed to do differently.
So, we didn't think we were going to be doing this, but it came about this past summer and right away, we said, "We got to get this out." And so after three and a half months of banging on this and testing it out, and it's all about helping people experience greater joy using the God-given gifts they have, so they can be the people they're meant to be.
Mark Cole: You make a statement, Pat, that I've heard you make about this content. You say that most people have two areas of gifting that you call "working genius." What's the best way for a leader to find this strength and to stay focused in this area?
Patrick Lencioni: Well, I like to say this, everybody should be using their God-given talents. But if you don't know what they are, it's hard to use them. So that's why we have this assessment that you go, and you just answer these questions. It takes about 15 minutes, and it gives you the results back. And then it says, "Now read these six different types and make sure these are yours." And people very easily go, "Oh my gosh, these are the two things I love doing. Whenever I'm successful, I'm doing those." And here's the two things I hate doing, and when I struggle, I'm doing those. And it changes everything. You reorganize your teams, your own life, your family.
This has helped me and my wife understand things. Just last night, we avoided a big fight because we understood what we're good at and what we're not good at, and it gave us language to explain that to each other rather than to get frustrated. So, it's one of those things that really does change the way you look at your day-to-day life.
Mark Cole: So, we're going to have a good time with this. As those of you that listen to the podcast, we're talking Pat Lencioni. He has this tool, the Six Types of Working Genius. If you want to go and download the show notes today, go to MaxwellPodcast.com/WorkingGenius and you'll get the show notes. Because we're getting ready, Pat, to put John on a couch and you're just going to work with him and help him understand himself.
And then, by the way, we're done with that. We're going to let all of you take this tool and hopefully avoid some arguments with your significant other like Pat did last night. This podcast is already laden with great promise. John, you did take this tool. I was supposed to, I didn't. Enough about that later. But tell me your thoughts on it after taking the tool [crosstalk 00:06:44]-
John Maxwell: Well, what's the surprise is that I took it and you didn't.
Mark Cole: Yeah, thanks.
John Maxwell: That's the surprise. No, no, no. Normally, you do it and I don't. Okay. I'm not really like a big test-taker. The first question I ask is, "How long is it going to take?" And even going in and trying to discover yourself, it's kind of like, I kind of figured out who I am quite a long time ago. And so, I just kind of stayed there, and I'm very comfortable there. But because I love Pat and I love your title, The Working Genius. And so, I took it. What's interesting is it didn't take long at all. I'm going to guess, it didn't take me over 10... maybe 10 minutes to take it. I mean, it was just very simple kind of multiple choice, just punch the right one and keep moving.
And so, but what was surprising is how quickly I got my test results back. And when I saw them, I'll have to say Pat, because I've taken these kind of tests. In fact, I can read the questions and basically kind of figure out where they're taking me. But I was a little surprised. I was a little surprised. And so, I'm glad that you're on the call, because I think you're going to help me maybe with my surprise a little bit, and understanding. Yeah, yeah. I looked at the test and I thought this was a very good test. And it was very kind of like made me aware. It was kind of revealing to me a little bit.
So, thank you, and I'm glad I took it. And we want all of our podcasts listeners to take it. And of course, Mark will keep telling them how they can do that. But set it up for us, because you're the guy that designed it. Set it up for us, and Pat, go at it. You can talk about everything I put on that, doesn't bother me at all. And let's have some fun, okay?
Patrick Lencioni: No problem. And you and I are similar in some ways, which is not a surprise, and different in a few others. You and I have the same what we call working frustrations, our weaknesses, if you will. The things that drain us. But before I get into those John and Mark, let me just say this. The best way to look at this is there's these six different areas of genius. And as it turns out, all six are critical and necessary for accomplishing any kind of work, whether you're running a corporation or a department, whether you're running a family, whether you're launching a new product, running a church or a school, all six of these are required.
And if any one of them is egregiously missing, you're going to have problems. So there's six things, they're all necessary. And all of them really are geniuses. I mean, people are naturally gifted by God with these and that makes them a genius in this area. And so, here's how it works, though, with those, with the twos. Two of these things, you're just naturally good at and you love doing them and you're probably drawn to that. And it gives you energy and joy. And boy, we should get energy and joy from our work more.
And I like to look at it like, it's like a cup. If you pour coffee into a cup and put a lid on it, it's going to hold the energy for a long, long time. It's going to stay good. That's what you're working genius is. Now on the other end of the scale, we have these things called working frustration. You have two of those. This is like when you pour coffee into a cup and it's got a hole in the bottom. Not only is it not going to hold its heat, it's not even going to hold the actual liquid. You're going to get drained.
You don't get joy or energy from that thing. And having to do it is really difficult, requires a great deal of effort and even then, it's not very satisfying. And then you have two in the middle that you can probably do pretty well, but you don't necessarily love it. It doesn't feed you, but you can manage to do it for awhile. Eventually, that's like pouring the coffee in the cup and not putting a lid on it. Eventually, the heat's going to be gone and eventually, it'll evaporate. So the point here is what are your two areas of genius, where you get joy and energy and you can retain that? What are the two frustration, and the two in the middle, which we call working competency? And John, your greatest gifts, and it's so fun for your listeners probably because they know you in many ways, but you are very clearly, your two areas of working genius, it's off the chart here, is the genius of wonder and the genius of discernment.
Now let me tell you what those are. A person with the genius of wonder, and this is not one of my geniuses, is somebody who loves to ponder things. They sit and they look at the world around them. And you think about when you were a pastor and why you got into the work you did, and they can spend hours contemplating, "Is this right? Is there something missing here? Is there a potential that the world doesn't see here?" It's not that they're necessarily going to solve it, but they have a great... They have a genius for noticing and for sitting in it and wondering, and pondering. Not everybody has this.
I'm shocked in the work I've done, how many executive teams that don't have this, how it hurts them, and how some of the most skeptical analytical people will realize that there's no wonder on their team. And they'll say, "We are not seeing potential with our clients or in our environment, and it's because we never sit here and just think about it and talk about it and ponder." So the genius of wonder is a rare and important thing. And John, does that sound like you?
John Maxwell: Yeah. Especially the issue of possibilities. I ponder a lot about what could be. One of my favorite quotes, it's attributed to Kennedy, but he really wasn't the originator, is some people look at the world and ask why, some people look at what could be and ask "Why not?" And I remember reading that at the age of about 20, I was still in college when Kennedy, Bobby was assassinated. And I remember saying, "Oh, I am a "Why not?" person. Why not? And yeah. So when I ranked high on the genius of wonder, I understood that.
Mark Cole: You know what's interesting, Pat, John? This morning, before we went into studio, John and I had breakfast. And it was a wandering conversation we had this morning on how are we going to get... John's working on a book, Change Your World, and you're talking about how are we going to get people involved? What are we going to do to really create this movement around this idea of values-based people-centric leadership? And now that I hear Pat saying that, working alongside you for 20 years, you're constantly in the room... Two things, wondering if everyone else can see what you see and then wondering why they can't. What is wrong with everybody else?
John Maxwell: Oh, I am guilty on the wondering why... Yeah, why aren't the other people seeing this?
Patrick Lencioni: Absolutely. That's the essence of it. And the problem is people like you that have this often don't understand that this is a very tangible, real genius. They go, "Well, I just do that." What they don't realize is so many people can't do that. They don't have that capacity for wondering about potential, and for, "Something here is wrong," and they just want to get on with things. And they won't sit in that area of like, "I think there's more here." My co-founder Amy, she has this, my wife has this too. And they actually love contemplation and they love sitting in their wonder. And I get too impatient. And it's a wonderful thing for me to understand that they're great at this. And it's a genius, and I need to tap into that.
John Maxwell: Yeah. I think what makes that interesting to our podcast listeners is I think people see me as a person of action. Very much so, because they see me in an action mode when I'm teaching and trying to move people. But I do, I really do spend a lot of time in reflection. Thinking and about possibilities and options and scenarios, it's one of my favorite things.
Mark Cole: You know what's also interesting, Pat? And you probably do this in writing your books as well, but you take something complex and you sit and wonder and think about how to make it simple.
John Maxwell: Yes.
Mark Cole: But not lose the significance of its layered meaning, layered learning, layered teaching. And so, that's another thing to where as Pat describes this, I'm going, "That's exactly why John will take a very sophisticated idea or thought when applied, and work hard at thinking and contemplating how to make that simple for the mass amount of people."
Patrick Lencioni: Now the thing for me is though, I don't do this very well. I do it when it's forced upon me, and I usually do it when I'm busy and in the midst of things, because I'm working on the virtue of patience. But it's difficult for me to sit still. And in the shower, and my hip is bad, so I'm not running anymore. So if I get on the elliptical and don't turn the TV on, or if I get in the shower and allow myself to stand there, I'll do it there. But otherwise, I'll just bop around from one distraction to another. And I know that I need to go be by myself and think about things, but it's not natural for me to do that. So, that's what we mean by natural genius. Now, your second natural genius is one we share, and that is the genius of what we call discernment.
And this is that you have a gut feel, John, an instinct and intuition about what works and what doesn't. You can see patterns and evaluate things and tap into integrative thinking. It's not linear. It's not data-driven. It's instinctual, and this is a tough one because people don't know how to see this. And that's what people with discernment have. You know how to curate things. You can look at the world and say, "What's going on out here that's interesting people need to know about?"
And this, it turns out, is a very specific genius. And people that don't have it just don't have it. They're like "I got to see the data. I got to see it linearly," but you have the genius of assessing things and just having a sixth sense about, "I think this is the right thing," or "This is the wrong thing." They're the best at looking at something and giving people feedback and saying, "Hey, here's..." Mentors are fantastic at this.
John Maxwell: Patrick, when I wrote the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, the two hardest laws to teach, and I'm in love with both laws, but it was very hard to teach was the law of timing and the law of intuition. And when I came through this test, because it was very frustrating for me to teach it, because it's hard to teach intuition. It's hard.
I mean, well, how do you know it's the right time? Well, the answer is I know it's the right time. But that isn't the answer they want. And so when I took this test and I saw that that was the second one that I was strong in, boy, I thought "I am that person." But I can't even explain it enough, and that frustrates me, because you always want to give application and something tangible for people. But I came to the conclusion that we are intuitive in the area of our natural giftedness.
Patrick Lencioni: Right, right.
John Maxwell: And so, I think everybody is intuitive, but I think they're only intuitive in the area of their natural giftedness, whatever that might be. Mine happens to be in leadership. But see, I loved your test, because to me, it helped me become aware of two of my strengths.
Patrick Lencioni: Here's the thing about you though. You would have intuition and discernment even in areas that are new to you, because you know how to recognize patterns and use your gut. And other people sometimes say "No, until I'm an expert, I can't. I can't." But I could take you into a new area, and it wouldn't be that you would say, "Well, I'm an expert in this," but you'd probably say, "My guess is that this is probably where you're headed here." And more often than not, you'd be right.
Mark Cole: Pat, John always loves to make himself approachable and accessible. Let's talk about the working frustrations here.
John Maxwell: That's right. Let's go to my... That's so true. Let's go to my weaknesses, because I've always majored in weaknesses. It's always been a strength of mine, is how many weaknesses I have.
Patrick Lencioni: Well, I think that if you can't identify your weaknesses and there's humility and insight involved in that, it's tough to appreciate your strengths. Now, I'd love to kick your butt around this, John, but you have exactly the same weaknesses I do. There's two. They're called tenacity and enablement. Now, tenacity, don't get me wrong. People would go, "Look, he's written all these books, he does all this stuff." But you don't love the finishing.
People with the genius of tenacity are like, "I love to take it through to the very end, dot the Is, cross the Ts and make sure it gets finished and that we see the impact of it. That stuff is fun for me. Please let me be the one to crack the whip and drive this to the end, even after people have lost their interest, I want to finish it." Okay? Now, I move on to the next shiny object, because of my genius. But there are people in the world who have the genius of tenacity. They actually wake up every day hoping that they can be put in charge of things to drive them through to the very end. Does that sound like a weakness of yours?
John Maxwell: Oh, no, no. Once I have the concept down and once I've laid out the principle, honestly, I'm ready to go to another one. In fact, I've had Charlie [Wetzel 00:20:29] for years be with me in the writing team, and basically, it's "Charlie, I've laid out the whole book. I've even written the book. Now, would you put the finishing touches on it because I'm no longer interested."
Mark Cole: Yeah, Pat, I don't know if you're like this, but this is John. And again, been with John for 20 years. Before I can sell his book because it's been published and we haven't got it on the brack yet, he's already talking about the book he's writing now is his favorite, and we haven't even started to sell the one that's hit the market yet. And I'm going, "Can we wait just a little bit here?"
John Maxwell: Hold on. You know what? This podcast, this podcast. I've got Pat over there, who has the same weakness I have. So that's like two drunks and just one more drink won't hurt you. And then, I got Mark who knows me so well, for 20 years, who as you're talking about this, Patrick, he's over there amen-ing and running around the room and pointing to me and said, "This is you!" It's uncanny though how well the test really reveals this. I think that's what I want our podcast listeners to catch today.
Patrick Lencioni: That's what we were so amazed by, is how quickly people grasp this. And John, what you probably haven't done because you're so busy, when you get the results back, we really recommend people take 30 minutes or so to read through all the different descriptions and the application, because there's a qualitative element. But how quickly people go, "Oh, I need to change the way I get stuff done. And I need to appreciate this person more, or I need to hire somebody to help me in this area." The application of this on teams and in families and both as individuals and groups is quite fast. But let's get to your next area of weakness, John.
Yeah. Let's talk about another one, huh?
Patrick Lencioni: Yeah. And for $100, Mark, I'll send you all of his stuff.
Mark Cole: Thank you. Thank you.
John Maxwell: Hey, you went too low. Mark will pay a thousand for the stuff you know, buddy!
Patrick Lencioni: The next one is called the genius of enablement. Now, enablement is a good thing. It's not like enabling somebody in alcoholism or drug addiction. Everybody goes, "Enable? Don't be an enabler." No, enablement is the person who says, "I will come alongside you and provide you exactly what you need. I will be there. You've made the pitch for me. And I am going to help. I'm going to assist you in this. I know how to help people in what they need. And I'm going to make this real, I'm going to get this off the ground because I know how to respond to that need." And that is a genius that I don't have and that you don't have, John. Now, here's the interesting thing. People will say, "Well, John Maxwell is a kind person who loves to help people." Yes, but does he love to help people on their terms?
Like if somebody says to me, "Pat, I need you to do something for me." I'll say, "Oh, I want to help you. And I'm going to help you, but tell me what you really think you need," and I'll probably figure out, "No, I don't think that's really what you need. What you need is this." And I'll jump through hoops for them, but to respond to them in what they need without questioning that, and just to be there for them and do it on the way they need me to do it is very hard for me, because I need to discern whether or not they're asking for the right thing.
John Maxwell: I resonate completely. Completely with what you're saying. And my team's in the studio and they're all nodding their heads and saying you've discovered all of my sins here. Yep. But I'll tell you what, awareness is huge. In my book on the 15 Laws of Growth, one of my laws is you got to know yourself to grow yourself. And what I love about your test is it just helps us identify one more time who we are and where we need to focus and where we need to basically bring team around us to compliment us.
Patrick Lencioni: Yep. John, you know what two of the most powerful things about this assessment are? Is it reduces people's guilt because too often we look at these things, and I was raised to be an enabler and a tenacity. My parents basically said "Do what you're told and finish on time." And those are my two weaknesses. They didn't say, "Hey, Pat, come up with a new way of doing things or discern this or wonder this," because that's not practical. And that wasn't who they were. And so when people look at this, they go, "Oh, you mean this is not a weakness?" It's like, "No, it's actually the way God wired you." And the other thing that's really powerful, it helps people avoid judging one another. Because so often, when somebody's not good at something, we think, "Well, I mean, this is easy. Why aren't you trying? Don't you care?"
And then when you realize what their genius is, you go, "Oh my gosh, they care terribly, but they're not wired to do it this way, and I didn't understand it." And if we can reduce the guilt and judgment that we feel with other people that we work with and live with and celebrate their geniuses and have mercy and grace for their frustrations, it changes everything. We've reorganized my company as a result of this. And we'd been sitting on this kind of stuff for 20 something years, I've taken every assessment in the world, John. And until we did this one, which is so much more practical and applied, we didn't realize how we had been organizing ourselves wrong for years.
Mark Cole: You know what I love about it, Pat? And again, I have not taken it in full disclosure, but I promise you before... I will take it before all of our podcast listeners do. I'm going to beat them to it. But I love how you've changed languages from strengths and weaknesses, and you've called it working genius, which lets other people with different approaches to leadership feel like they're sitting at the table with a genius as well. And I love the word frustration as a counterbalance because so many times, in our strengths, we have very little patience with people that one, don't understand our strengths, but don't have the same strengths sitting at the table. And Pat, what I love that you've done here, and I'm getting ready to do the big reveal here, and I'm going to tell all of you listening to the podcast, how you can get this.
And then Pat, I want you to come back after I give this link, to where people can get it. I want you to talk about what do they do to really make this work? How do they infuse this into their team and start learning and approaching leadership with a much more effective way? So gang, Pat and his team at the Table Group have made this available for you for a significant discount. And you're going to be able to get that by typing in all caps, MAXWELL, when you go to this link.
So Pat, I can't tell you how much we love you and appreciate you, but the fact that you would give this at a 50% discount is just huge. And behalf of John and I, for our podcast listeners, thank you. Gang listening in, you need to go to WorkingGenius.com. Don't forget, two Gs right there, that can confuse you. WorkingGenius.com, plug in the word MAXWELL, and you will get a significant discount. Pat, would you add anything else to that call to action? And then I do want you to tell us what to do once we have taken the assessment. What's next? What do we do to make this really effective in our leadership?
Patrick Lencioni: Yeah. Go to the site and purchase it, and you can see there's ways to do it. It's pretty straightforward. And that's in all caps, that Maxwell, for the code. And by the way, it's normally $25. It's $12.50, 50% off. We priced it low because we want people to say to their kids who are out of college or in college, "Go do this and figure this out right now." We don't want it to be expensive or prohibitive. People were like, "You should charge more for enterprises!" And we're like, "No." We even have discounts if a company wants to all their employees to take it, depending on how big they are. But here's the main thing, when you get these results back, recognize this. Life is quantitative and qualitative. Look at your results, digest them, read the descriptions of these things.
We've even put some videos in the report, so you can hear us describe it. Come to the conclusion on your own, what your geniuses, frustrations, and working competencies are, and then share it with your teammates. The first day this went live, within two hours somebody wrote to us and said, "I just did it. My whole team's going to take it." I'm going to have my wife take it. This is explaining everything to me. So sit down, share your results with people, encourage them to talk about it. The language of this will help you so much.
I mean, we are so often at work saying things like, "Hey, John, we need your W, we need your wonder." You know? "Can you do us a favor and ponder this for a while?" Or, "Hey, Pat, I don't need your invention. That's one of them. I need your enablement here. You need to help me out, man. You can't just come up with a new idea." And it gives us vocabulary to draw upon one another's geniuses and avoid their frustrations. So just have the conversation with your team, have it with your family, share it with them and good things start to happen.
John Maxwell: I'd say, Pat, as you're talking about it, we'll get that at our John Maxwell Enterprise, that's for sure. Again, this is a very effective tool. One of the things that we love to do is we love to help people with something that is an equipping resource or tool that really can improve them and help them with their awareness so they can take action. And what love about the working genius test here, assessment that you have, is it's just simple and it works. When you were talking to me about my genius part and my frustration part, I mean, in the studio, Mark and I are looking at each other and we're just nodding, and we're saying, "He's got you, John, he's got you. This is exactly who you are."
And I just love offering this kind of a tool, Mark does too, to our podcast listeners. And thank you for the price break, that's incredible. I mean, 25 bucks is not that much either, but I just want to thank you. Because once again Pat, you have served people by making something very practical and applicable in their life. And so anyway, I'm glad I took the test. All your podcast people, go to take the test and remember, capitalize Maxwell. That's what they're saying.
Patrick Lencioni: The simple part of that. We said, "This is simple. It's fast and it's applied." And I love that. And my wife says the same thing about me. She says, "You're simple, Pat, but you work." So this is how I like to be.
John Maxwell: That's a pretty good compliment there, buddy.
Mark Cole: Hey, well, I know that all of you listening to the podcast has gotten great value, even before you go and take advantage of this tool that's going to help you. I love that here in the US at least, that it's just around Thanksgiving, and Pat gave a couple of examples of how this works at a personal level as well. So don't delay. Go to WorkingGenius.com. Again, that's two Gs in the middle. WorkingGenius.com. All caps, MAXWELL. You'll get the discount, but most importantly, go and make this help you and then help you add value to others.
That's what we're all about. If you've enjoyed the podcast today, I want you to subscribe. We love this community. We will continue to add value to you like we did today. If you want to download the show notes, go to MaxwellPodcast.com/WorkingGenius. Click on the Bonus Resource button, and you'll be able to get the show notes. Hey, if you want to be a part of this community in a greater way, I'm going to tell you, Change the World is right around the corner. It is our opportunity to do something significant with the leadership deficit that we're experiencing in the world today. We'll have more information for you later on that. But until then, let's listen, let's learn, let's lead. Have a great week, everyone.