How Working Genius Rang True and Shifted My Perspective on Work

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Personal Growth, Reflections, Working Genius

Why I’m a fan of The Working Genius

In short: It resonated beyond just knowing where my competence was BUT gave me clarity, language and value for the work that energizes me.

Now let me tell you why this is so significant for me…

Like you, I think I’m a pretty valuable member to any team…why?

For me, it’s in part because I’m loyal and willing to learn new skills so I can contribute to the team. These are great qualities for a team player…UNTIL THEY’RE NOT.

I know what you’re thinking – Huh?

First, I’ll argue all day long that these are great qualities for a team player…but they need context or boundaries.

Being loyal with a willingness to do what is necessary to see your team succeed is fantastic, especially during those difficult seasons of transition, growth or just unforeseen challenges.These seasons require flexibility, loyalty & commitment.

Great characteristics but not a long-term strategy?

From my experience it may not be a healthy long-term strategy if your context leads you towards increasing work in activities that are draining and further away from the kinds of work you’re actually energized by. 

If you allow a short season to become “the norm” you risk being overworked but not in the traditional sense where we think we just need balance or time off. Instead, you are overworked by doing work that is slowly draining you and not doing enough of the work that is fulfilling to you! 

In my previous work experiences, I allowed my loyalty to lead me to become good at things that I didn’t enjoy (to be fair, I didn’t hate it either but over time it became less & less enjoyable).

If I’m honest, a fear of stepping into my strengths, a lack of clarity and confidence all played a role…but that’s for another post. 

Over time I would become comfortable doing work I was competent at which is still a temptation for me now when I’m working for myself. And this ‘false’ comfort creates the problem where I’m not giving myself enough time to work in my strengths, where I’d be energized – my Geniuses.

The Result…

The result of not working on my strengths was a much slower progression of my ability in those areas…which in turn created more frustration for not being as good as I knew I could be.

Not to mention the diminishing of passion for work, even when I loved the organization and people I worked with.

So what is usually a valuable asset – loyalty & a willingness to learn – becomes less valuable when pride about one’s work ethic and ‘competency’ combined with just enough fear about what could be, prevents you from stepping into your gifts.

And slowly, job satisfaction diminishes and is replaced with personal frustration because internally we know & believe we’re capable of more.

When I found myself here, time-off was nice and moderately helpful, but I also needed to participate in work that brought me joy & satisfaction…and I needed to figure out what that actually was (lack of clarity was a problem).

Loyalty & a willingness to learn are fantastic team player qualities and I’ll stand by that all day long.

Clarity – Another kind of loyalty & learning

BUT it’s ok to express loyalty to yourself as well – to get clear about where you love to contribute so you can develop your Genius.

It’s not selfish to do so – nor is it permission to avoid work outside your strengths.

BUT it is a recognition that the greatest way to serve your team is to bring the best of who you are to your team.

Upon reflection, perhaps I wasn’t as loyal as I thought because I wasn’t yet bringing my best. My willingness to learn and grow would have better served my team if I appropriately stewarded my gifts while also balancing those ‘gaps’ that we all need to fill at times. (every job is still a six-letter job)

As I mentioned earlier, a lack of clarity for what I really enjoyed about work was a big contributor to my slowly losing passion. It’s hard to get better at something you can’t articulate or don’t understand.

This clarity about what kind of work energizes me, may be one of the best things I’ve personally benefitted from The Six Types of Working Genius.

It gave me language that resonated & helped me identify what I already knew about myself but now I had words to describe it.

In addition to language, Working Genius provided me with context to see 1) how important my Geniuses actually are on a team AND 2) where my Geniuses fit within the process of getting work done (my Geniuses aren’t always called for) AND 3) how & when I can best utilize my Geniuses.

Our experiences may not be the same, but I believe Working Genius will resonate and be of value to you & your team.

Because you also have a unique value and Genius to steward for your team…do you know your Working Genius?

So what can you do? 

  1. Take the Working Genius Assessment – it’s hard to develop without awareness of where we need it.
  2. You know that gap you’ve learned to fill but don’t enjoy – don’t be limited by the thinking that you’re the only one who can do it. Spend some time brainstorming & asking questions – who may actually want to do it, can it be automated, can it be outsourced…?
  3. Ask for help! We all have to do work that’s in our competencies & frustrations and you’re still responsible for those things! BUT asking for help is NOT a weakness. It could look like working together or it could just be a conversation…”what would you do?” or “how would you approach this?”
  4. Take your team through a Working Genius Workshop. Change how you see each other, how you see work and how you communicate so you can be more productive and joyful as a team!
Working Genius Facilitator

A Team Session

You and I know that organizational health is not a luxurious add-on for your team but a necessary component for success. If you’re looking for the next tool to use for your team development, The Six Types of Working Genius is both simple & profoundly applicable.

As a Certified Working Genius Facilitator, allow me to walk you through a condensed Working Genius Team Session and I’ll allow you to decide the rest!