When Work Brings You Joy
I thought something was wrong with me.
My first job out of college was at a food distribution company, widely known for their branded olives. Black olives, green olives, stuffed olives...and so much more. I'll never forget sitting in my first formal review at the company. My boss was on maternity leave at the time, so I was meeting with her boss who lived out of state, but periodically came into town. As we sat in an empty office, he gave me his feedback from across the table, which likely largely came from Boss #1. The news was as expected: I was a hard worker, always willing to pitch in with a positive attitude. Oh, how I loved chasing that A+ even outside of school. But, then came the hammer.
"You need to work on your follow through."
I gulped, having just realized I wasn't receiving a perfect score on this evaluation. He gave a few examples that shined the light on my ability to dream up ideas with a creative zest, but lacked the tenacity to see it through to the end. His recommendation was for me to focus on that in order to be successful throughout my career path. While I was crushed, I knew he was right. Brainstorming was way more fun to me than putting a bow on a project. I had a tendancy to move on to the next shiny new penny well before the first initiative had made its way to completion! So for the next 20 years, I worked hard in this area to ensure I didn't receive another review like this again. I loved dreaming about possibilities and ideas - pacing around rooms and brainstorming ideas or strategies. Completing the projects, however, didn't fill my bucket. Little did I know at the time, the joy of ideation and frustration of tenacity would align so well with a model that would roll out decades later: The Six Types of Working Genius. Turns out...there wasn't anything wrong with me after all. I simply wasn't working in my areas of genius.
Assessments weren't new for me. In fact, I was raised with a heavy focus on building and maintaining independence. My mom, a certified Gallup Strengthfinders and DiSC coach, helped hundreds of people gain a better understanding of who they are, how they are wired and identifying volunteer opportunities that aligned with their natural gifts and talents. Helping others lean into their unique makeup wasn't just a job for her, though, it was a calling. She deeply cared about helping others learn about themselves and setting them up for action. I guess you could say it runs in our family blood.
I learned a lot about myself through her teachings and recognize the immense opportunity provided to me at a young age to truly know how I was created and recognize my self-worth. Like my mother, I consider it my own personal mission to help others gain that same level of confidence in who they are so they can take that knowledge to make better decisions, increase their rate of success and see positive outcomes both personally and professionally.
That's why I fell in love with Patrick Lencioni's book, Six Types of Working Genius. In fact, the model is focused 80% on productivity and 20% on personality - shining a much needed light on action and outcomes, in addition to knowledge and understanding. This framework provides a level of comprehension about who you are, and who your team members are, that is invaluable from a personal perspective - similar to what I experienced in my mother's teachings growing up. Yet, if all we do is put a name to an overarching set of descriptions, then all we've done is label someone. To see sustained job satisfaction and prolonged productivity, teams need to take the knowledge they uncover and put together an action plan. This is my favorite part of Working Genius: taking into consideration the individualization of each organization and every team member, then structuring each layer for multilevel success.
A healthy organization is able to accomplish more together. But what makes them healthy? Trust, mutual respect and working towards a common goal to name a few. Yet the best teams learn, understand and embrace one another's positions and strengths. The Working Genius model has produced thousands of "aha moments" that led to increased productivity on teams. Perhaps most important, however, is the joy and fulfillment that are derived out of the action plan and understanding of themselves and others.
From increasing productivity and creating healthy teams, to supporting individuals in the workplace and at home - Working Genius is an investment that benefits everyone. I look forward to connecting with and supporting you!