CNLP 391: Patrick Lencioni on How to Discover Your Working Genius, Uncovering Why Some Aspects of Leadership Drain You and Others Energize You, and How to Get the Best Out of Your Team

Patrick Lencioni noticed that no matter how long or how well a leader leads, some things continue to frustrate almost every leader.

Pat and his team came up with a new assessment called Working Genius designed to help every leader figure out what energizes and what drains them, and where their best contribution comes from.

Pat explains all six types of Working Genius and how to use the insights to best position yourself and your team.

Welcome to Episode 391 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about why he thinks you’re going to need to pivot in 2021.

Guest Links

 Twitter | LinkedIn | Table Group | Working Genius

Episode Links

The 30 Day Pivot

The world has never changed more quickly than it’s changing right now, and leaders have never felt overwhelmed.

I constantly hear from leaders that everything is changing so fast it’s just impossible to keep up…decision fatigue is a real issue these days. You may not even feel like you have the bandwidth to do one more thing.

What if you could short circuit that?

Here’s the thing… you and your team get overwhelmed by decisions for a few reasons:

  • You can’t figure out the best path to take.
  • You tend to be a perfectionist.
  • You’re driven by a fear of making the wrong decision.

Decision-making can be exhausting. And when the decision-making process is tiring, it makes taking action even harder.

If you want to simplify your decision-making and get your team action-oriented, check out to start making progress in the next 30, 60 and 90 days.

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Get Dwell today by going to and get 20% off an annual or lifetime subscription.


Patrick Lencioni’s Working Genius Assessment, use code CAREY to get 50% off

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

The Motive by Patrick Lencioni

CNLP 299: Patrick Lencioni on His Personal Leadership Crash, How He Moved Through It, and How to Check Your Motive as a Leader

CNLP 348: Patrick Lencioni on How Virtual Teams and Events are Often Better, His Best Advice for Church Leaders and Preachers, and Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Responsibilities

CNLP 222: Patrick Lencioni on Saying No to Steve Jobs, Motivating Millennial Workers and the Three Qualities You Need to Look For to Create the Ideal Team

Table Group Consultant & Practitioner Alliance (CAPA)

Homes of Hope International

7 Things That Vanished in 2020 That Make Leadership That Much Harder by Carey Nieuwhof

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1. The pandemic ironically caused work relationships to become more personal, and that’s a good thing

The Coronavirus pandemic probably taught you a lot about what can be accomplished via remote work. One of the best things Pat and his team noticed was that they became much more invested in each other’s personal lives while taking Zoom calls from their homes. Pat is going to keep that as a part of their culture moving forward.

2. Leaders need to stop feeling guilty for their natural giftings

So many people spend their entire lives trying to be good at things they aren’t naturally gifted at. With his new assessment, Working Genius, Pat hopes to give people permission to acknowledge and avoid what they aren’t good at, and try to focus on the things they’re great at!

3. If you’re in the wrong role, change it.

So, what if someone takes an assessment and realizes their position is the opposite of their natural gifting? Pat recommends you bring the assessment to your boss, and ask him/her to look it over, and potentially try to find some pivots that might put you in a position to thrive.

If you can’t find a pivot like that, Pat recommends you shouldn’t hold onto a job in which you aren’t gifted. Look for something in which you can thrive.

Quotes from Episode 391

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 391

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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So you want change? Here’s your step-by-step plan to follow through.

Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels when you bring something new to the table? In my early days in leadership, I’d constantly ask myself:
  • Why aren’t people buying in?
  • How come I keep carrying the weight of this alone?
  • How can I create a plan and actually hold people accountable to it? 
After years of doing this over and over again, I realized there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. That’s why I created The 30-Day Pivot. If you want change, and want to do it quickly, this is your step-by-step plan to follow through.


Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.

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Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

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Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Rachel Cruze

Rachel Cruze identifies 7 money tendencies everyone has: From safety or status, abundance or scarcity and experiences or things. She runs through all 7 motivators to help you understand your tendencies. She also outlines what she learned during the crisis of 2020 and how you can prepare for an uncertain year ahead.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 392.

CNLP 391: Patrick Lencioni on How to Discover Your Working Genius, Uncovering Why Some Aspects of Leadership Drain You and Others Energize You, and How to Get the Best Out of Your Team


  1. Patrick on January 16, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Wow! Lencioni (and team) has distilled something fantastic here! My wife (a DI) and I (a WI) have been processing this together over the last few days, especially in relation to ourselves, each other, our kids, work, and childhood and previous work experiences.

    As a W, and fan/student of MBTI and Enneagram, I believe there is a healthy, wholistic use for all three assessments. One way is to think about it in terms of biblical distinctions: Mind-MBTI, Soul-Enneagram, Body-Working Genius. Another is in terms of Sinek’s Golden Circle: What-MBTI, How-Working Genius, Why-Enneagram.

    Would love to hear what Carey and Pat, as Ds, think as well! God bless you both!

    P.S. As an INFJ and a W, it helps me appreciate your work SO much more, Carey, to understand you are an INFP and an I! I often bounce back and forth between your thoughts and perceptions of the future with sort of a love-hate relationship. Now I know why, and that helps take it all in stride. 🙂

  2. Gary Chevalier on January 14, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Love this episode! Can’t wait to take the Working Genius assessment. I am all about strengths-based policies and I love a good assessment! I love that this one is specifically focused on work-life. Thanks fellas!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 14, 2021 at 5:41 pm

      Excited to hear that Gary!

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