Last week, I kicked off a brand new series titled, What’s My Genius? exploring the Working Genius framework and our faith.
This week, we tackle the first two geniuses – wonder and invention.
In case you missed it, Patrick Lencioni wrote a new book titled The Six Types of Working Genius.
As a quick recap, there are six types of working genius,
We all have two geniuses, two frustrations, and two competencies. I shared that my geniuses were wonder and enablement.
My frustrations were galvanizing and tenacity, and my competencies were invention and discernment.
The Geniuses of Wonder and Invention
Let’s dive in and take a look at the first two geniuses – wonder and invention.
Wonder is a responsive genius, meaning someone with this genius reacts to the world and environments around them.
I have the genius of wonder which is big picture thinking. When I get to operate in my genius, my joy meter is pegged to the right!
When I am around thought leaders, and we are ideating, thinking about big projects or long-range plans, my brain is firing on all cylinders and my joy is off the charts.
I love to think and work at the 30,000 or 50,000 foot level. I love asking questions and imagining how we can solve bigger issues than the ones right in front of us.
For my day job, I was interested in solving issues that were 5, 10, or even 15 years into the future. I love to joke with my millennial or Gen-Z colleagues that I am trying to solve problems that there children or grandchildren may face.
This is big picture thinking! Can you see into the future? I can’t either, but I can see where the trends may direct us.
The person who has the genius of wonder is focused on the future, can help create a compelling vision, is probably a strategic thinker, is curious, and loves to think about big ideas and things.
Invention is a disruptive genius, meaning someone with this genius drives change in the world, people or an organization.
The genius of invention is one of my competencies which means I can invent things or ideas, but if I were to do it all the time, I would become exhausted. My joy meter would begin sagging, and I would eventually burn out.
Someone with the invention genius loves to create and build new things. They want to tool and re-tool an idea – in fact, they can’t help themselves – they just want to create.
Patrick Lencioni has the genius of invention. He loves to create new things. Many times, his colleagues tell him that they don’t need his “I” today, they just need him to understand what is going on.
My friend Carlo most likely has this genius. He is always thinking of new ideas or apps that can better our world, and within the organizations he serves.
People with this genius get their joy from inventing and coming up with new products or ideas.
When we get to know people, we often ask, what do you do? as our opening. I was speaking with someone recently about a new position they were looking to create inside their company.
As we discussed what they wanted the position to look like, I shared that they should be looking for someone with the genius of wonder and discernment.
Sometimes we fall into the trap that our geniuses should equate to our station in life or a certain position within a company. The truth is…some positions may be better suited for people with certain types of geniuses because that is what the role requires.
Each of us have to work within the six letters or types of geniuses every day; however, how much time we spend within each of our geniuses, competencies, and frustrations is up to us.
Faith Meets Wonder & Invention
As we explore our working geniuses, it is natural for us to look at how the genius of wonder or invention align or guide our faith.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”1
Do you ever stop to wonder what it was like before the earth existed? Before people existed?
What about when Adam and Eve had sinned, and realized they were naked? I wonder what that first look was like between them.
Wonder exists in nature. If you have seen the northern lights, the majesty of a sky that dances with beauty.
In Antarctica: A Year on Ice, a documentary filmmaker and researcher shows us what it is like to work and live on one of the world’s coldest deserts.
The temperature only warms up to about freezing on summer day, and during winter when a handful of people remain at the research facilities they are treated to southern light show so beautiful only a few have witnessed it.
Have you ever wondered when you look at the map of the world how the land masses appear to fit together like a puzzle?
The scriptures are full of wonder.
The story of Joseph comes to mind when I think about invention and discernment.
Joseph was sold into slavery at a young age, and God had His hand upon him as he prepared people for the lean years ahead.
God gave Joseph wisdom and discernment, and invention as he interpreted dreams for members of the royal court. When Pharaoh needed a dream interpreted, God used Joseph to pave the way for redemption for the people of Egypt as well as the Israelites.
He gave Joseph wisdom to craft and invent ways to help people prepare for a famine, and to survive it.
There is now working genius in the Bible per se, but God gave talents, abilities, and spiritual gifts to His people. He uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things in our world today.
Encouragement & Challenge
This week, be curious and see what your working geniuses are (if you haven’t already). Head on over to workinggenius.com to take to the assessment, and learn more about your yourself.
God created you – and there is only one you in a world full of 7+ billion people.
Let me leave you with a cool story about invention. I was listening to the Deep Dive podcast, and Ali Abdaal was interviewing Cliff Weitzman, the founder of Speechify.
Cliff is extraordinary. He is originally from Israel, and he has dyslexia. When he was younger, he couldn’t read. He talks about how how his brain has to work harder to decode the words on a page.
He built Speechify to get him through school. He can absorb a great deal of audio information because he listens at 700 words per minute. He listens to about 100 books per year not to mention podcasts and other material.
Cliff invented something to help him get through school, and wound up changing the world. The testimonials during this near two hour podcast were amazing. He is engaging, and I can see how he would have the genius of invention.
What are your geniuses, and what will you do with them?
Lord, thank you for your blessings and for the geniuses of wonder and invention. Give us wisdom as we learn more about ourselves by understanding our geniuses. Please use our geniuses to strengthen and guide us and bring us closer to you. Amen!
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- The Six Types of Working Genius – Patrick Lencioni (book)
- Working Genius
- Working Genius Assessment
- The Working Genius Podcast
- Patrick Lencioni Returns: Leveraging Your Working Genius
- Speechify – text to speech reader (Cliff Weitzman)
- Your Not Lazy: How to Learn Anything Faster with Cliff Weitzman, Founder of Speechify (Dive Deep with Ali Abdaal) – podcast
- Genesis 1:1 ↩︎
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