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The First Leadership Gap Working Genius Revealed

I’m extremely extroverted. I’m energized by crowds and conversations. I’m thrilled by back-to-back meetings, invigorated by hallway conversations, and look forward to chatting with my family at dinner. Some of our children are introverts. They are energized by reflection and tranquility. Being mindful of our personalities is vital when we go out together, or when we go on vacation. I used to hear, ‘Dad, are you going to talk to people we don’t know?’ Meeting strangers is draining for them. They want time to recharge with our family while I’d be willing to meet half the resort. 

According to The Table Group Working Genius is 80% productivity and 20% personality. WG not only reveals your Geniuses, but helps you understand how to connect with others and relate to their Geniuses. My Geniuses are Invention and Galvanizing (IG). I can quickly process new ideas and gather a group to implement them. Those strengths come with some gaps. 

Being mindful of your productivity tendencies is as crucial as being mindful of your personality tendencies. 

My First Glaring Leadership Gap

As I mentioned in my last article, Working Genius helped me to identify three glaring gaps in my leadership that I’d never had the language to articulate previously. Those gaps created tension and frustration as I led teams. One of my gaps was moving from inventing an idea to galvanizing that idea without discerning the merit of the idea. 

Moving from Invention to Galvanizing without Discerning

I’d come up with ideas, determine their necessity, and rally the team, or an even larger group, around the idea. This at times led to disastrous results. 

I would exasperate team members during a brainstorming session where I would not only invent ideas but also begin to galvanize the team toward implementation. Their frustrations were birthed from:

  • Skipping over Discernment. I wasn’t allowing other team members to experience the joy and fulfilment of using their Genius. As has been said on the WG podcast, ‘When you skip a Genius, you skip a person.’ My discerners felt ignored, even rejected.
  • My wanting to implement every idea (I thought my ideas were always great and necessary). The team didn’t have enough resources, capacity, or knowledge to do so. We needed to discern the best ideas for our organization at that time. 
  • Having numerous unfinished projects. In not discerning which ideas were vital, we would be finishing a project when we determined something better should be done. Hours would be spent on an unnecessary idea. As the WG model suggests, this creates turbulence with your team when you move from almost finishing a project back to the whiteboard. 
  • My galvanizing the team more forcefully when there was resistance (instead of relying on discernment). When they were frustrated, I turned on my extroverted, galvanizing personality to push us forward. 

It’s not that I didn’t value feedback or the opinions of others. I did. But I didn’t understand the stages of work or value the Genius of Discernment. 

I mistakenly believed that the team liking an idea was the same as discerning an idea should be implemented.

One of the complications I’ve recognized is that I have no gut…no natural instinct. I discern with facts and figures. It was hard for me to imagine that I could trust the discernment of others when it’s foreign to me. In observing WG applied on a variety of teams, I’ve seen how discernment is the critical step after inventing and before galvanizing ensuring the idea is the one the team should move forward with. 

In recognizing my Geniuses and my tendencies, I’ve been able to not only appreciate the Geniuses of others but observe the joy and fulfillment they experience as they use them. There is greater success in implementing ideas that are properly discerned which builds a healthier team dynamic. I’ve learned the value of the Genius of Discernment.

If you would like to know more about WG, you are welcome to DM me on LinkedIn or send an email as I take great delight in helping teams thrive as they discover and implement courageous vision. 

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