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Andrew Estes - The Clarity Project


  • Writer's pictureAndrew Estes

Unleashing The 6 Types of Working Genius in Church Leadership

Hey there, fellow church leaders! If you're anything like me, you've probably spent countless hours pondering how to strengthen your leadership team, deepen your impact, and align with your God-given calling. Well, it's time to bring out the big guns - Patrick Lencioni's The 6 Types of Working Genius. I recently had a chance to sit down with a good friend of mine who's certified in the Working Genius and get his thoughts on how church leaders can utilize this incredible tool for their teams. The Working Genius, combined with content from personality profiles you know and love like DiSC, Myers-Briggs, Insights, and the APEST spiritual leadership model, is incredibly powerful information to know personally and for your team.

Discovering Your God-Given Gifts, Passions, Tallents, and Calling

First and foremost, let's talk about personal calling. God has uniquely wired each of us for a specific purpose within the kingdom, and finding that purpose is like striking gold. It's not about landing a fancy title or chasing the latest leadership trends—it's about knowing what you do no matter what you do! I've written a lot on the power of personal calling and Younique to help you discern this for yourself. The investigation process used to get breakthrough clarity in your life and leadership utilizes multiple assessments to discern how God has uniquely crafted each one of us.

The 6 Types of Working Genius

Patrick Lencioni's Working Genius framework can be a game-changer in understanding our unique contributions and frustrations within a team, whether a ministry team or in the marketplace. He identifies six core types of working geniuses: Wonder, Invention, Discernment, Galvanizing, Enablement, and Tenacity.

The 6 Types of Working Genius for the Church

Wonder: The natural gift of pondering the possibility of greater potential and opportunity in a given situation

Invention: The natural gift of creating original and novel ideas and solutions.

Discernment: The natural gift of intuitively and instinctively evaluating ideas and situations.

Galvanizing: The natural gift of rallying, inspiring, and organizing others to take action.

Enablement: The natural gift of providing encouragement and assistance for an idea or project.

Tenacity: The natural gift of pushing projects or tasks to completion to achieve results.

Maybe you're the Wonder-worker, always asking the "what if" questions that lead to innovation and fresh perspectives. Or perhaps you're the Discerner, gifted at sorting through chaos and making sense of it all. Understanding your working genius is like finding your spiritual GPS on a team—it keeps you on the right path.

This can impact a lot on a team. When you're discerning a discipleship path, planning an outreach event, creating an equipping class or curriculum, or planning Sunday morning services, each team member brings specific strengths and weaknesses to the table. Of the 6 types of Working Geniuses, Lencioni suggests that we each have 2 geniuses, 2 "working frustrations," and 2 "working competencies." Our geniuses give us energy when we get to work in them; our frustrations drain us if we have to stay there too long, and our competencies lie somewhere in the middle.

Personality Profiles

Now, let's sprinkle some personality profiles into the mix. The Working Genius claims to be around 20% personality and 80% productivity. Personality profile tools provide invaluable insights into how you and your team members tick. They're like a magnifying glass that helps you understand your strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles.

For instance, if you're a "D" (Dominance) on the DiSC scale, you're probably a natural driver and risk-taker. If you're more of an "I" (Influence), you excel at building relationships and motivating others. "S" (Steadiness) folks are steady rocks in the storm, and "C" (Conscientiousness) individuals thrive on precision and detail. If you're Conscientious, you might be more prone to have a genius of Tenacity, but not always.

APEST Spiritual Leadership Model

Now, let's bring in the APEST or 5Q model developed significantly by Alan Hirsch, straight out of Ephesians 4. This Biblical framework identifies five spiritual leadership roles: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, and Teachers. Each role plays a unique part in building up the body of Christ.

5Q - Alan Hirsch APEST Ephesians 4

  • Apostles are the visionaries, always pushing the boundaries of the church's mission.

  • Prophets bring the spiritual radar, discerning God's will and speaking truth.

  • Evangelists are the bridge builders, connecting the lost with the Gospel.

  • Shepherds are the caregivers, nurturing and guiding the flock.

  • Teachers equip and educate, ensuring a solid foundation of faith.

When you overlay this model with your Working Genius and personality profiles, magic happens. You can see how your unique strengths, giftedness, and abilities fit into the grand tapestry of your church leadership team in a way that no one else could possibly bring!

Making It Work

So, how do you bring all these pieces together? Here's a simplified roadmap:

  1. Know Thyself: Understand your Working Genius, DiSC profile, and Insights personality. Embrace your God-given calling and align it with your leadership role.

  2. Team Dynamics: Get to know your fellow leaders in the church. Identify their giftedness, passions, and natural talent. Recognize the strengths and complementarity within your team.

  3. Divine Synergy: Align your team's God-given calling and learn where you're lacking. Are you lacking a shepherd's gentle touch? Do you need an apostolic visionary to steer the ship? Are you missing a Galvinizer to inspire the team toward action? Knowing the gaps on your team, whether it's in APEST or Working Genius, is crucial to understanding how to be fully formed as a team, and make an eternal impact on the Kingdom!

  4. Constant Reflection: Regularly revisit your Working Genius, personality profiles, and APEST roles. Adapt, grow, and refine your leadership approach as you discover new dimensions of your team and your church's needs.

Remember, church leadership is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It's about finding your divine calling, embracing your unique gifts, and collaborating with your team to advance the Kingdom more effectively.

So, grab check out The 6 Types of Working Genius, blend it with your favorite personality profile, and weave in the Jesus-given gifts of APEST leadership. You can't accomplish the Great Commission alone! Develop a team with the power and understanding to do everything God has entrusted us to do!

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