The Role of Working Genius Assessment for Career Development

The Role of Working Genius Assessment for Career Development

Around 50 million hardworking Americans bid farewell to their jobs in 2022, surpassing the previous record of 47 million voluntary quits in 2021. Finding and keeping exceptional employees is more than just another item on a to-do list—it’s a genuine concern. If you feel like this employee shuffle is like an expensive merry-go-round ride, you’re right. The Society for Human Resource Management estimates that replacing and training a departing employee can cost a staggering six to nine months of their salary.

We’ve all heard countless reasons for job exits, but here’s the truth: People who absolutely love their jobs are not the ones handing in their notices. So, how can we increase love and fulfillment in the workplace? How can we infuse more joy into each workday? How can we transform co-workers into a dream team? The secret lies not just in assigning people jobs but in placing them in positions that leverage their unique talents while minimizing their involvement in tasks that drain their joy and energy. Yes, you heard it right. Discovering and nurturing the Working Genius could be a game-changer.

What is the Working Genius Assessment?

The Working Genius Assessment is a pioneering occupational personality assessment, conceived and developed by Patrick Lencioni. As an esteemed author, speaker, leadership maestro, and founder of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to helping leaders improve their organizations, Lencioni has a reputation for his profound books on teamwork, organizational health, and leadership, such as “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” and “The Advantage”.

Unlike other well-known workplace assessments like StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and DISC, the Working Genius Assessment narrows its focus to identifying and harnessing an individual’s intrinsic areas of working genius—these are the innate abilities that invigorate and engage them at work. This assessment completely changed the way leaders think about their work and their people, enabling them to tap into their collective genius, thereby enhancing their efficacy and impact.

Benefits of a Working Genius Assessment - Brad Sugars

Benefits of a Working Genius Assessment

The Working Genius Assessment is far from just another personality test; it’s a tool that can revolutionize the way you approach talent in your organization. By identifying the Working Geniuses, and the areas of competency, you can align the tasks and responsibilities to maximize the engagement and satisfaction within your company.

On the other hand, recognizing the working frustrations allows you to pinpoint the aspects that drain your team’s energy and cause dissatisfaction, ultimately helping you avoid burnout among your team. Let’s take a closer look at the key benefits of embracing this insightful instrument in your business.

Building Emotional Intelligence

One amazing thing about the Working Genius Assessment is how it helps build emotional intelligence among team members. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is all about understanding your feelings and those of others. It’s about empathy, self-awareness, and building effective relationships. The Working Genius Assessment uncovers the types of tasks that energize and engage individuals, as well as those that don’t.

This insight fosters self-awareness, helping individuals understand their reactions, strengths, and areas for growth. Moreover, knowing what motivates and drains your colleagues can lead to improved empathy and understanding, which pave the way for stronger and more harmonious workplace relationships. By highlighting the unique strengths of each member, this team assessment encourages mutual respect and appreciation, ultimately leading to healthier team dynamics.

Greater Productivity & Efficiency

Taking the assessment also plays a crucial role in boosting productivity and efficiency within teams. By recognizing the unique genius area of each team member, you can align tasks more effectively with individual strengths. This leads to a workforce where everyone is engaged in tasks that naturally energize them, fueling motivation and boosting overall productivity.

On top of that, when team members are working on tasks that align with their innate talents, they are likely to complete them more quickly and with a higher degree of quality. This increases efficiency and reduces time wasted on tasks that drain energy, allowing your organization to get more accomplished in less time.

Helping Individuals Recognize their Own Strengths and Areas of Expertise

The Working Genius productivity tool has a transformative impact on individuals, helping them recognize their strengths and areas of expertise. It’s common for people to underestimate their unique talents—or even be completely unaware of them. Taking the Working Genius assessment provides clear, objective feedback about an individual’s natural strengths and preferences, shedding light on tasks and roles where they can truly shine.

By gaining this self-knowledge, individuals can align their career paths more strategically with their innate capabilities, leading to greater job satisfaction, career fulfillment, and overall performance. Moreover, when individuals are aware of their areas of expertise, they can confidently contribute their distinctive strengths to the team, adding immense value and fostering a sense of purpose and belonging.

Increasing Collaboration

The Working Genius Assessment is more than just a tool for personal insights—it’s about fostering better collaboration within teams. By understanding each team member’s areas of Working Genius, you can create a collaborative environment where everyone fits together like puzzle pieces. For example, someone with a talent for ideation might pair well with someone who excels at execution.

This kind of strategic pairing can lead to amazing results, as each person brings their unique genius to the table, complementing each other’s strengths and offsetting weaknesses. Additionally, knowing each other’s areas of genius encourages open dialogue on the best ways to work together, promoting effective communication and mutual understanding. This ultimately leads to more efficient teamwork, fewer misunderstandings, and a stronger sense of unity.

Discovering Creative Solutions

When you have a clear understanding of your working geniuses, you can strategically leverage their strengths to tackle challenges and problem-solving. For instance, those with a genius for coming up with ideas may excel at brainstorming innovative concepts, while those with a genius for persistence will ensure projects are seen through to completion.

By bringing these contrasting talents together, your team can generate a diverse array of solutions and choose the most promising ones. Furthermore, individuals who are engaged in tasks that align with their natural genius are often more likely to think outside the box, which can lead to breakthroughs and unexpected innovations.

Types of Working Genius - Brad Sugars

The 6 Types of Working Genius

In The Six Types of Working Genius, author Patrick Lencioni challenges leaders to help their people unpack their innate talents and leverage them, not just for the benefit of the organization, but for the direct benefits they of joy and fulfillment. Let’s take a closer look at the main types of this assessment which may help you identify your Working Genius.


The working genius of Wonder is like having a natural inclination to ask deep, thought-provoking questions about any situation. This innate ability to wonder, question, and ignite curiosity creates an atmosphere that encourages out-of-the-box thinking and innovation. People blessed with the natural gift of Wonder have a talent for asking the right questions at the right time, sparking insightful conversations, and paving the way for creative solutions.

They are often the ones who ignite new ideas and perspectives, fostering a continuous process of learning and personal growth. Their insightful questions act as a catalyst, not only inspiring innovative ideas but also nurturing an environment that fosters curiosity and exploration.


The Working Genius of Invention is deeply connected to our innate ability to conjure up imaginative strategic concepts, devise fresh solutions, and formulate innovative and efficient procedures. Those blessed with this type of genius have a natural flair for thinking outside the box, giving birth to new ideas and approaches that have the potential to transform the status quo.

Their minds are a breeding ground for creativity and innovation, and they excel in developing original strategies and processes that can propel an organization forward. They are the powerhouses of ideation, their inventive genius igniting the spark that leads to breakthroughs and novel solutions.


The brilliance of the Working Genius of Discernment reveals itself as a natural talent for assessing situations, forming educated judgments, and making impactful decisions. This innate ability is vital in navigating toward the optimal course of action. Individuals blessed with this form of brilliance intuitively grasp the intricacies of a situation and can sift through numerous options to choose the most fitting path forward. They serve as the guiding compass of an organization, skillfully discerning the right decisions to propel the team in the right direction.


The genius of Galvanizing embodies the remarkable ability to inspire and mobilize people, uniting them under a common vision and fostering a deep commitment to achieving shared goals. Those blessed with this unique form of genius are natural-born leaders, capable of igniting passion, cultivating enthusiasm, and creating a dynamic momentum that propels the team forward. Their compelling talent to rally the team harnesses the collective strength and dedication that is vital for reaching our objectives together. Galvanizers, therefore, play a pivotal role in transforming vision into action, acting as the lifeblood of any successful team.


The working genius of Enablement is fundamentally about empowering and supporting individuals. It’s about equipping them with the necessary tools, helping them overcome obstacles, and providing strategic advice and motivation for success. People with this genius serve as the backbone of a team, offering support and fostering a nurturing environment where everyone can thrive. Their ability to empower others, combined with their dedication to helping others exceed expectations, makes them an invaluable asset to any team.


The Working Genius of Tenacity embodies the relentless drive to bring tasks to fruition. Individuals blessed with this form of genius exhibit an unwavering commitment, steadfast determination, and a laser focus on task completion. They represent the embodiment of perseverance, powering through challenges and staying the course until objectives are achieved. Their tireless pursuit to cross the finish line ensures the successful realization of goals, making them an indispensable asset to any team seeking to translate vision into reality.

Working Genius

The Three Phases of Working Genius

As we delve deeper into the dynamics of the Working Genius model, we will now explore its three distinct phases. These stages represent the lifecycle of a task or project, from inception to completion.


The first phase of the Working Genius model is called Ideation. It’s like the birthplace of creativity and innovation, where needs are identified, and solutions are proposed. It’s where the spark of a new idea comes to life and the drawing board is buzzing with potential. Ideation is a critical starting point for any project or initiative as it sets the tone for the work that follows.

It’s where thoughts come together to form actionable plans, where potential turns into possibility, and where the power of a well-asked question and a fresh idea can pave the way for transformative change. This first step in any kind of work is like fertile ground where the seeds of success are planted.


The second phase in the cycle of the Working Genius model is Activation. It’s like the moment of truth, where we put creative ideas to the test. Activation is where ideas are pruned and polished, separating the wheat from the chaff, and allowing the truly transformative solutions to rise to the top. It’s a crucial step where the path forward becomes clear and the team gears up to shift from planning to action.


The final phase of the Working Genius model is Implementation. This stage is all about taking action and making things happen, transforming visions into reality. It’s the culmination of all the previous stages where ideas, carefully planned and refined, are finally brought to life.  Implementation is the phase where the rubber truly meets the road, where ideas become tangible outcomes, and where hard work pays off.

It’s the stage of making things happen, witnessing the results of collective effort, and, ultimately, where success is achieved. This phase is all about getting things done and bringing it all together. The cycle of work is then complete, ready to begin anew with the spark of the next idea.

Working Genius Unique Pairings

In understanding the dynamics of the “Working Genius” model, it’s noteworthy to explore the concept of unique Working Genius pairings. These pairings represent a combination of different geniuses that shape distinct personality types in a workspace. Here’s an overview of these unique pairings:

  1. The Creative Dreamer (WI | IW): This pairing is a blend of wonder and invention, resulting in individuals filled with a constant stream of questions and ideas. They often have their head in the clouds with idealistic visions.
  2. The Discriminating Ideator (ID | DI): A fusion of invention and discernment, these individuals are creative and intuitive, confidently generating new ideas and using their instincts to solve problems.
  3. The Insightful Collaborator (DE | ED): This pair combines discernment and enablement, resulting in intuitive team players who offer compassionate support in providing others with what they need in the right way.
  4. The Contemplative Counselor (WD | DW): Individuals with this pair of geniuses, wonder and discernment, serve as insightful advisors, slow in declaring certainty but deep in wisdom.
  5. The Evangelizing Innovator (IG | GI): As a combination of invention and galvanizing, these individuals are excitable promoters of new ideas, blending curiosity with infectious enthusiasm.
  6. The Judicious Accomplisher (DT | TD): A combination of discernment and tenacity, these individuals are reliable, prudent, and focused, balancing practical urgency with intuitive judgment.
  7. The Philosophical Motivator (WG | GW): This pairing of wonder and galvanizing results in curious, enthusiastic proponents of ideas and people, a unique blend of eagerness and caution.
  8. The Adaptable Designer (IE | EI): These individuals generate new ideas in response to others’ needs, thanks to a unique combination of invention and enablement, which results in creativity and flexibility.
  9. The Enthusiastic Encourager (GE | EG): Individuals with a combination of galvanizing and enablement are warm affirmers of others, quick to support and inspire those who need energy or reassurance.
  10. The Idealistic Supporter (WE | EW): Combining wonder and enablement, these individuals are loyal contributors, carefully considering others’ needs without demanding attention.
  11. The Methodical Architect (IT | TI): Individuals with invention and tenacity are precise problem solvers, blending innovative thinking with practical implementation.
  12. The Assertive Driver (GT | TG): This pairing results in a taskmaster extraordinaire, willing to push others and dive in themselves to ensure tasks are completed.
  13. The Careful Implementer (WT | TW): Combining wonder and tenacity, these individuals are thorough contributors, a unique blend of steady reliability and quiet depth.
  14. The Intuitive Activator (DG | GD): These are instinctive decision-makers, capable of assessing situations quickly and accurately and marshaling people to act.
  15. The Loyal Finisher (ET | TE): A combination of enablement and tenacity, these individuals are dependable doers, willing to step up when needed and determined to fulfill.


How long does it take to complete the working genius assessment?

The Working Genius assessment is designed to be quick and efficient, typically taking about 15-20 minutes to complete. This allows for a thorough evaluation of your unique genius types without taking up too much of your time.

Remember, the assessment isn’t about being fast, but about being accurate and introspective. So, take the time you need to reflect on each question and choose the answer that best aligns with who you are, not who you want to be or think you should be. The more honest and authentic your responses, the more accurate and beneficial your results will be.

Can your working genius change?

While individuals can develop and strengthen different aspects of their working genius over time, the foundational elements of your working genius generally remain stable throughout your life. This is because they are deeply connected to your inherent characteristics and natural tendencies.

However, it is important to note that circumstances, experiences, and personal growth can lead to changes in how these geniuses are expressed or prioritized. Therefore, retaking the assessment after significant life changes or a period of personal development could provide new insights into your current working genius profile.

How do I apply for working genius?

Applying the Working Genius model to your team starts with each member completing the Working Genius assessment. After that, team members should have a conversation and discuss the results together. This conversation will help each member understand not only their genius but also the talents of their teammates. From there, tasks and responsibilities can be aligned with each team member’s strengths.

For example, those who excel in wonder and invention can focus on brainstorming new ideas, while those with a knack for tenacity might be best suited for implementation. It’s important to regularly review and reflect on the team’s performance, making sure that tasks are assigned according to each person’s strengths. Lastly, it’s crucial to foster a culture of respect for everyone’s unique talents, recognizing that each individual brings valuable contributions to the team’s overall success.

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