SPS 185: Writing Great Fables & Discovering Your “Working Genius” with Patrick Lencioni

Posted on Dec 3, 2022

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Chandler Bolt: [00:00:03] Chandler Bolt here and joining me today is Patrick Lencioni. He only goes by Pat. He’s the founder and president of the Table Group. He’s really a man who needs no introduction. But I’ll give him one anyway. He’s the host of three podcasts. He’s the author of 12 best selling books with over 7 million copies sold. I think he’s the girl of fables, the greatest of all time that writes really high quality fables that are both interesting, but then also teach you something which is really hard to do. Usually it’s one of the other. It’s interesting, or it teaches you something. You’ve probably heard of many of his books, this book right here, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. We’re about to go back through it as a company book club with my whole company, irrespective of this interview. And then I’ve got on my own. I will also, irrespective of this in interviews, because someone recommended it’s like one of the few books by him that I haven’t read yet. Let’s see, which one was it? I think it’s the motive. So I’m about to be in the middle of two Pat Lindsay only books. Totally independent of this interview, which is how good his books are. So honestly, if you want to talk about fables, how do you write a great fable and ask a lot of other people? But this guy’s the goat. And then we’re gonna talk about Working Genius, his new book. What are the six types of working genius? How can you use this working genius to write and launch better books? So great to have here. [00:01:34][91.0]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:01:35] It is great. This is a party. I just love to talk about this kind of stuff. So it’s fun. Author to author, speaking to people out there who are interested in this. So I love it. Thanks for having me. [00:01:45][9.7]

Chandler Bolt: [00:01:46] So let’s start here. Why books? Like, why are they such a big part of your life and a big part of your business? [00:01:51][5.5]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:01:53] Wow. Well, you know, what’s interesting is it probably could have been movies. I grew up I grew up fairly poor. So we weren’t I was not going to go into the end to be a writer or a movie maker or anything like that. I was I needed to get a job. And that was very clear to me to make money. My dad, God bless him and my mom, they sacrificed so I can go to college and do something practical. But as it turns out, my personality isn’t all that practical. So I took a screenwriting class in college. Now, I will tell you, I had always loved writing since there was a TV show. You’re way too young for this, but you may have heard of it called The Waltons. And it was really popular when I was a kid. And there was this guy, John-Boy Walton, and he was he’d write in his journal every night at the end of the show. And I thought, Oh, I like that with that guy is doing. And so when I got to college, I majored in economics. But a little bit to my father’s chagrin, probably I took a class in screenwriting and I loved it. And I. So when I got out of college, I was a management consultant working like ungodly hour. But I would stay at the office from ten to midnight after I’d get off at 10:00 at night and I would write screenplays for fun. And so and my books are really more like screen. They’re dialog heavy. There’s not a lot of like description, like a novel. I would say they read more like screenplays. And so, so I thought maybe I would be a screenwriter one day. And I had a little success in terms of people taking an interest in my screenplays, but I didn’t want to move to Hollywood and do that. So I thought, it’ll just be my hobby. So maybe a hobby is meant to be a hobby. So I kept going in my career and one day I came up with a theory on leadership because I was working with a variety of CEOs. This is before I started my own company and I came up with this theory and I started to share it with people and somebody repeated it back to me a year later and I said, Where did you hear that? And they said, That’s your theory on leadership. And somebody said, You better write a book about that. And I was like, I don’t know. And they said, somebody else is going to. And I said, okay, I’m going to write a book. So this is too long. I know. I’m sorry, but I thought, Oh, a business book. I get really depressed when I read some business books because I don’t finish them. And I think, Oh, this poor author wrote all of this stuff. And I read the first two chapters and I set it aside and I thought, How do I write a book that somebody is going to want to read all of it and get all of the goodness from it? I thought, Oh, maybe I can use my screenwriting skills to write a story that goes from scene to scene, but by the end of it, people will be hooked and they’ll say, I just learned all that. And then I’ll put a little thing in the back of Here’s what you just learned. So I did it. I didn’t think I was going to ever get published. I was going to take it to Kinko’s to hand it out to our clients. And an accident. A friend of mine’s sister, brother’s girlfriend, sister, worked at a publishing firm. They saw it by accident, kind of. We asked them to look at it and they said, Yeah, we want to publish this. So 12 books later, here I am. So it’s a lot by accident. Thank the Lord. And I really do love writing, but I like writing dialog more than anything. [00:04:53][180.4]

Chandler Bolt: [00:04:55] MM What was, what was the first concept for that first book. [00:04:58][3.4]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:04:59] That’s a, it’s funny, somebody asked me about this yesterday I don’t talk about that book is called The Five Temptations of a CEO. [00:05:05][5.4]

Chandler Bolt: [00:05:06] Okay. Yeah. [00:05:07][0.6]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:05:07] Yeah. And it’s but it’s the most allegorical of all of mine. It’s more like a film in the sense that it’s like there’s this guy, the CEO, he’s struggling. He thinks he might get fired the next day. He goes home, he his car gets locked in the parking garage in San Francisco because that’s where I lived. And and he and so he has to take BART, the rapid transit like the public transportation home and he gets on there right before it closes. And he’s the only guy on the whole train. And these these mysterious characters just keep walking to the train and sitting down with him, and they and they’re talking to him about things. And it’s kind of edgy, but it’s kind of allegorical. And he learns things from them and he gets to a stop and he wakes up and he’s like, Is was that a dream or was that a real or? And then he goes to his board meeting. So it’s very allegorical. That was kind of the setting of that, and it was really about poor leader leading as a human being. Then I wrote another book about organizations, and my third book is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and that’s the one that really took off. [00:06:00][53.0]

Chandler Bolt: [00:06:01] So yeah, well, I mean, when actually where I make this comment what? What does that mean? [00:06:08][6.6]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:06:09] Well, I’m glad you asked that because I use that without in Al. It would be more like mystical and like a true fable. Like there’s like, I think my stuff now we call them fables, but they’re really kind of just business fiction is really what it is. It’s a fable because it’s fiction, so we call it that. But I try to write really edgy, like I wrote fiction that people go, I was at that meeting. Yeah, that’s exactly how people talk and people will. Congo. Did you did you work with my company? And I’m like, no, I think that’s exactly what happens. And so I try to write really realistic fiction. So allegorical would be more symbolic. I think allegory would be that way, but I could be very wrong. And I’m glad you asked that question because I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure that’s in the right. Right. Family of words. [00:06:52][43.1]

Chandler Bolt: [00:06:53] Yeah, it’s I mean, I haven’t even asked you about writing great fables. And I think you’ve already hit on something that is very core to that is can can someone see themself in your story. Yeah, I just I can go to one time he said he said when you’re speaking, if someone comes up to you afterwards and says that was a really great story, was a horrible story, he said, But if they come up to you afterwards and they say, Oh my gosh, that was me, it was a great story because they saw themself in your story and in this case they saw themselves in your fable. Yeah. And I think this one reflection, actually, as you were saying, is the five dysfunctions of a team. I was thinking on this earlier why that book popped. So in my new book, I talk about kind of these these four pillars of a bestselling book person. [00:07:38][44.3]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:07:38] Oh, I can’t wait to. I got to go and read that. [00:07:40][1.7]

Chandler Bolt: [00:07:41] Yeah, I think you’ll love it. [00:07:42][1.0]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:07:43] I just love thinking about it that way. [00:07:44][1.5]

Chandler Bolt: [00:07:45] Hirst’s in pain. Promise price. Right. So in my mind, that’s why that book popped off is because there’s a there’s a person which is a manager, a leader. There’s a pain that they have, they know that they have, which is dysfunction in their team. And then there’s a promise in the book, and then the price is pretty straightforward based on the book. But I think that that book and I’d love to hear your perspective as an outside observer. When I look at that book, I’m like, that book speaks directly to a pain that people know that they have. And I and it’s a widespread pain. And I think. I think that’s one of the big reasons why it’s done so well. Any anything from your perspective on where you think that book demo? [00:08:23][37.8]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:08:23] You know, I love what you’re saying. I think when I shape my characters, even the good ones are flawed and even the bad ones have redeeming qualities because and I think that’s true in movies, you know, when I watch a movie and like, okay, there’s clearly the bad character. There is clearly the good character. It’s so flat. And and I think that we need to show that we’re all sinners, we’re all we all struggle. And so I think people read my book and I don’t present my characters like I’m the perfect leader. And so they go, Oh, okay, I’m going to learn. We learn from people who say that, who put their imperfections out there, and we go, Okay, your credibility just went up. But when people come up and say, Here’s the perfect way to do something, it’s like, I don’t even think you’re in touch with yourself. So. So I really think that my characters have to be realistic. And let me tell you something, Chandler, that I love when people come up to me and say, I can relate to your characters. And and there are people that come up to me and can relate to the tough character. There’s a character in the five dysfunctions of a team who would be the negative one, the difficult one. And people will come up to me and say, that was me. I’m the one. I’m the difficult one. So when they can actually see themselves as kind of the antagonist and they feel comfortable saying that it means that they were open when they were reading it to going know this is real and I don’t need to protect myself. So when people go, I was Mickey, I was that that character, I’m like, wow, you rock because you just admitted you were the hard one. And they go, I need to change. So I love. [00:09:50][87.1]

Chandler Bolt: [00:09:51] That. That’s that’s the beautiful thing about, I guess, fables and stories versus traditional nonfiction is when you get lost in the story, you can be open to the last and the change. Could you see yourself in it? We’ve kind of been down this road a bit, but I’d love to just backtrack. Zoom out again. I said it in the intro. The Goat, the greatest of all time, fables. What’s your secret? How do you write great fables, like on a big picture? [00:10:19][28.4]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:10:21] Well, I won’t argue with you. I mean, in terms of. I would I don’t it’s hard to hear that. And I don’t want to go back and say I’m the goat. But if you say so, I’ll let you. That’s very kind. So? So if you’re saying so, how do I do it? I, I the process is, is really fun for me and it’s really hard. In other words, when you do something that you love and you grind like, it’s wonderful. And so but I love doing that. And I am I’m not like other. I mean, every writer’s a little different. I follow my nose. So I do not sit down and map it all out and have an outline for the whole thing and then and then just execute along that. I actually create as I go, but there’s something else I do is I don’t write full time. People ask me, how long does it take to write a book? And I’d say It’s about nine months. But it’s but if you condensed it, if I were a full time writer, it would probably be two and a half. But I can’t do that. I have to do a come to work and work with people and they go off for two days and I go to a little hotel that’s halfway between my office in my house. So then I can go home and have dinner with my family. And I come back and I tend to write between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. and then I get up in the morning and I write, I’m clearest like in the kind of late evening and early morning, which is weird. And then I do other things. I need to be distracted. The best writing for me is when I’m sitting in the lobby of a hotel. With by myself. But there’s activity around me and there’s people walking by so I can write and kind of look around. And I think it occupies the front of my brains, the back of my brain can work and and I follow my nose. I make things up as I go. The other key, though, Chandler, is my editor who’s sitting outside here on the other side of the glass here, Tracy, who I’ve known for 27 years. Tracy reads what I write every day that I finish. So I’m writing for her. So while I’m writing, I she is really the my audience because when you’re writing a book, you never get audience feedback. I mean, no reader feedback for nine months. So I write and I send it to her at night and the next day she, she’ll go, Oh, I love that. Or, Ooh, that didn’t work. And so it’s great that I get immediate feedback. And so it’s a very iterative process. I don’t like write a manuscript in the mountains, in the snow, and then mail it to my editor and get it back with red marks. You know, it’s a very iterative process and Tracy is a huge part of that. I trust her gut implicitly. So when she says that doesn’t work, I go back and redo it. [00:12:55][154.1]

Chandler Bolt: [00:12:55] And so do you. Do you do those edits as you go or do you kind of let those stack and inform the next piece of writing and then do a full pass at the end? [00:13:04][8.3]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:13:06] You know, I by the time the book is done, I’ve read it probably 50 times because I cannot. And it’s there’s a limitation to my brain and to the way I think every time I sit down to write. So I write for two days and let’s say four days go by, then I’ll go back and write for two more days. I will always start by reading from the beginning. And I edit every time through I edit. So by the time it’s finished, I’ve just. There’s Soma. It’s been it’s been cleansed so many times that it’s pretty close to done. And I do that because because I’m not a full time writer. I forget where I was and I need to get the voice back and and the story back. Luckily, and I say this for luckily my books are short and I did that on purpose because time is the biggest commodity that we’re in. We don’t have. And so I like to tell people, if you can’t read my book on a flight from Austin to to Atlanta, then you’re probably you’re not going to get to the rest of it. So. [00:14:04][58.9]

Chandler Bolt: [00:14:05] Hmm. Got it. When I would imagine that comes from the screenplay background. Yes. [00:14:09][3.8]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:14:11] 2 hours. Yeah. Mm hmm. 2 hours. [00:14:13][2.5]

Chandler Bolt: [00:14:14] So, look, what would you say if you had to distill it down into? We give a broad range, 2 to 5 kind of core elements of a good fable. What are they in your mind? [00:14:27][12.4]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:14:28] Oh, I love it. This is fun. Okay. And I get this. Some of this from Screenrant. First of all, you have to hook people. The beginning. Everybody wants to figure out if I do, I really want to read this. And so if the first few in a screenplay, which is either 120 pages or 2 hours, the first ten pages, if you don’t hook people by then, you lose them. In the first 10 minutes of a movie, people decide whether they like it or not. I talked to somebody already, so I turn that movie off after 30 seconds. They said, Well, that’s ridiculous. You got to give it 10 minutes. So in the first few chapters, a person doesn’t go, Oh, I care. And to care there has to be something at stake that you relate to. You have to go. I really want to know if this character is going to succeed or fail, because if he fails or she fails, I’m going to feel bad. You have to be personally invested in it. If you’re so removed from it, you’re like, Oh, I don’t really care what happens. So I’ve been writing some of my books before, and I said, and we and Tracy and I sat down. I said, I don’t think there are the stakes are very high. If I were reading this book, I don’t think I would care if this character succeeds or fails. So I have to go back and make it heavier just in terms of what could possibly happen. In the last book I wrote. I was writing it. And I said, I need the pain. Which is what you wrote about to be higher. Because I think it is because I was writing about frustration in work and I was just going too fast and I thought, I don’t think his pain is apparent enough. And so what I did is I wrote about his wife’s frustration with what he was putting the family through because of his job being so miserable. And suddenly now his family was on the line, which is real. And and I and Tracy and I were like, Yes, now we care. Now we care. So. So I think it has to be there has to be a hook. And then you have to care. There has to be the stakes have to be high. I’m a huge believer in this. This is so fun to talk about. I feel bad for being all words, but. But I think that it has to move quickly. My favorite movies and my favorite books move. There’s a scene in in movies that you should get into the scene at at the as late as possible. Don’t put a bunch of stuff that doesn’t need there, and you should get out of it as soon as possible. And like Guy Ritchie makes movies, and I like his movies and he never put too much. He’s like, I know you already know this. I don’t need to show you this part of it. And you jump right in and then you jump right out and and like, I literally write short chapters for a reason and because people go, Oh, yeah, okay, I got it. Ready to move on. Now that’s different than writing. Dean Koontz is my favorite author and he is so descriptive and powerful and theoretical and theological, and I love that. But that’s a different animal. That’s a different animal. So I think it’s hook people at the beginning give them a reason to care. Keep it moving. And then I think that realistic dialog and realistic characters is important. You know, boy, this is so fun. I love doing interviews where I didn’t plan what I was going to say. Something just occurred to me. Chandler It’s that the beauty of making it fiction rather than not fiction. Is that I get to anticipate the objections of my readers. Through characters who are voicing the same things readers do, because literally interest in a character will go, will say, Well, that’s crap. And and and and the guy will go, Oh, what do you mean? Like, Oh, that doesn’t make any sense. He goes, Oh, wait a second. And then they figure it out. And the reader was thinking the same thing. I’m a big believer in anticipating objections. And I get to do that through the characters who call out the theory that’s unfolding just the same way a reader would and say, Well, that’s not realistic or that’s touchy feely. So what I do is I bring in a character who says, that’s touchy feely, and then they figure out, Oh, okay, it’s actually not. But then the person who’s thinking that when they’re reading it goes, Yeah, I was thinking the same thing that that character thought. So I think anticipating objections is another one. And then I will say having a good ending is good too. And I’m terrible at it. My personality. I want to I get, you know, most of the way through the book and I’m like, good enough. I’m on to the next one. And Tracy, my editor, will go Get back in there. This sucks. The ending has to be as good as the beginning. So I think that I think there are filmmakers who make movies that you really love and the end doesn’t satisfy. And so I really try to wrap it up in a way that that is real. So I that’s my theory. But I just made it up and I think it’s true. It’s hook them, make them sure they care, keep it moving, have really realistic dialog that that the reader goes, yeah, I was thinking that too. And then make an ending that pulls it together and leaves them. But not perfect. Not saccharine endings. Yeah. Like ending where they’re like. [00:19:17][289.9]

Chandler Bolt: [00:19:18] Then that violates the principle that you mentioned a second ago, which is realistic dialog and characters. Right. And then I love how you talked about the stakes need to be high and whether or not the character succeeds or fails and then it’s got to move quickly and and the whole get into the scene as late as possible. Out as quick as out as quick as possible. And it’s interesting, just here in the parallels, we’ve got a fiction kind of division of the company and the guy who runs that always talks about like it’s it’s the character arc or five story structure. Right? And there’s the slap. And the slap is it’s like it’s got to be the stakes need to be higher. Like you said, it’s not, oh, you lost your job. Okay, who cares? You know, it’s something that is visceral and emotional. And then even just to real quickly, I’m on page three of five dysfunctions here. And just just to illustrate what you talked about is that hook in the first ten pages, only one person thought Katherine was the right was was the right choice to be crowned CEO of the decision tech. Luckily for her, that person was the chairman of the board. It’s like you’re right in it. [00:20:28][69.3]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:20:29] Right? Right. [00:20:29][0.5]

Chandler Bolt: [00:20:30] Hold out. What and and so less than a month and it’s there’s just you’re in it and there’s automatically conflict. I mean, there’s conflict in the first sentence. So there’s oh. [00:20:41][10.7]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:20:41] I didn’t I can’t believe I didn’t say that. The essence of every story is conflict. There has to be something at stake. And it’s either man versus man or woman versus woman, you know, man versus nature, man versus himself, you know. And man versus nature is like Jaws, you know, it’s the shark in the water. And your man for the man versus himself is a beautiful mind. A man versus man is rocky. Now they’re all man versus himself or woman versus herself. But there has to be conflict. That’s what I’m going mean by stakes. It’s not necessarily conflict like people just arguing. It’s something tense. Mm hmm. The other thing I think is really important in my books, and I do this without really thinking about it, is there has to be some surprises. I like when people go, oh, my gosh, I had no idea that guy was going to quit. Or you know what I mean. Like I want them at some point to go I that I did not see that coming. But I don’t plan that when I’m writing. I just it just happens. And I’m like, whoa, that’s going to be interesting. [00:21:37][56.0]

Chandler Bolt: [00:21:39] Hmm. That’s cool. And what you’re speaking to, which I think is interesting as well, is, again, pulling from the fiction world is this concept of Panzers versus plotters. So do you plot everything ahead of time or do you write by the seat of your pants, which I think you call kind of like falling your nose. [00:21:54][14.7]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:21:55] Which I’ve never heard that I’m a panther. [00:21:57][1.4]

Chandler Bolt: [00:21:58] Your pants are, baby. [00:21:58][0.6]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:21:59] That’s right. [00:22:00][0.2]

Chandler Bolt: [00:22:01] It’s in the mirror every morning and other things. [00:22:03][1.9]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:22:04] I love that. There’s a word for that. Yeah, and it’s legitimate. [00:22:08][3.5]

Chandler Bolt: [00:22:09] And I think I’ve made up. There are other humans like me. [00:22:11][2.7]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:22:13] Yeah, I think my favorite writers, Dean Koontz. And if he’s a plotter, then he is a genius. And because it seems he takes in all these places. But I got to believe it’s just, like, inspiring it. He’s just inspired. But, man, I can’t imagine being a plotter. Not my personality. [00:22:28][15.8]

Chandler Bolt: [00:22:30] Oh, man. I want to. I want to talk about working genius stuff and this thing about I think this is some concepts that are going to be really helpful for authors before we transition there. Any kind of final pieces or tips that you would give on writing Great Fables? [00:22:45][14.4]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:22:46] Oh, my gosh. So just as you were talking about being a panther, it’s that’s my gift. That’s my genius. But other people will be a plotter. And everything we do in how we work and a writer is not a writer is not a writer. We all have different gifts, God given talent, and there are six choices. And they’re all necessary in any business or run. In a family or any work of any endeavor. And there are six of these things that are necessary. But each of us only has to. Two of them we hate. And that’s why I have to have other people around me when I write to make sure I do like a show, so I’ll go through them. Okay. The first genius is the genius of wonder. This is the person who can sit by themselves for hours and go, Oh, I wonder why this maybe this should be different. Why is the world like this? Why is our company like this? Why isn’t there a book about this? I wonder if there should be this. I don’t. That’s not my genius. But there are people that do that. And it’s a every business needs it. Every family needs it, every project needs it. And every book need somebody to say, maybe, maybe this is maybe there’s something left here that nobody’s figured out. Okay? That’s the genius of wonder. They ponder and it’s important. Very few people that have this genius get affirmed for it. They’re like, Why are you still asking questions? Why do you why is your head in the clouds all the time? Because God gave them that genius and they’re good at it and they love to do it. It gives them joy and energy to wonder. Mine is the next one. Which comes from 50,000 feet down to about 40,000 feet, which is the genius of invention. Bit like some people wake up in the morning and love to come up with new things pretty much from scratch. They like to come up with a new idea, a whiteboard, a blank whiteboard, and a pen is like their best friend, and they don’t want a lot of restrictions. They’re like, Oh, let me answer that question you were wondering about. I wonder if teamwork is is this all there is? It’s like, oh, wait a second. And then boom, they come up with a theory. It’s it’s a they should never brag about it because it’s a gift. Who brags about gifts they’ve been given? You know, so I have a natural gift to do that. But that’s not enough. The next. The next genius is called discernment. So it comes wonder invention and then discernment. Discernment is a is an absolute gift and a genius. And some people love to do it and they’re great at it. And that is the use of their intuition and their instinct. So when Tracy reads my book and she has great discernment, she doesn’t give me data about why this doesn’t work. She doesn’t go and find five other books and point that out to me. She just says, in my gut, this character isn’t real. In my gut, this plot is. It’s taking too long. And I don’t ask her to prove it to me. I go trade. I know that she has the genius of discernment. And, you know, she said people have been asking her her whole life since she was a little girl for her advice and not about expertize. Thanks. I’ll be at home and I’ll say to my wife, Laura, should we buy a new house? Do you think we should refine? Should we go to Greece on vacation this year? What do you think? Do you think this outfit looks good? And she’ll say, Ask Tracy. Tracey just has this innate ability and it’s an absolute genius. It’s very real. It’s God given to evaluates pattern recognition, it’s integrative thinking, and some people are great at that. So if you’re a writer and you’re like that, that’s my second one too, is that you’re pretty good at evaluating whether this works, but you kind of need an outsider to do it too. Okay, those are the first three. Wonder Invention Discernment. Next comes galvanizing. Galvanize ers are the ones that once an idea has been vetted, they like to get people excited about it and they like to go out and go, Come on, you guys, get in this room. We’re going to talk about this. I’m so excited. What are we going to do? Let’s move. They’re cheerleaders, salespeople, inspires, and some people wake up in the morning and love to do that. Now, here’s the thing, Chandler. I’m okay at that. I don’t really like it, though. See, it doesn’t. It’s not a genius of mine. I don’t get joy and energy from it. So if I do it too long, it burns me out. So galvanizing is important. Then there’s this thing called enablement. That’s the next one, which is really good. People that have this don’t think it’s a gift. And it is. It’s a genius. And that is the people that like to answer the call and just help and support and give support and help in the way the person needs it. You know, when somebody says, I need your help, they go, oh, my gosh, I’m getting so excited that I’m going to be able to help you. This is not one of mine. Now, I love to help people, but I kind of like to do it using my invention and my discernment. People with enablement are like, Whatever you need, I’m here. It’s a gift. And then the last one is called tenacity. And that is, there are some people that like to just finish things. They love to cross things off a list. They like to plow through obstacles. They have the tenacity to keep going and they get joy in energy from going. Yes, I finished it. I have none of this. Which if I tried to write a book by myself, I’d have a stack of half written manuscripts because the ending is really hard. I don’t like to land the plane. I don’t like to do the last thing I love a20. That’s good enough. I I’m ready to write my next book. Halfway through the previous one, and my editor and my team says, No, no, no, get back in there. So those are the things. Wonder, invention, discernment, galvanizing and a implement and tenacity. I think most of writing happens in the wonder, invention and discernment face. That said, that’s more of an intellectual internal process. And then the Getty is often like getting it out into the world and, and, and putting the finishing touches on it and those things. So I think most writers would probably probably find they’re geniuses in the in eye and area. Now, I want to say this. This is the last thing I’ll say about working genius, is that two of them are you’re working genius. You get joy and energy to that. That’s like pouring coffee into a yeti mug and screwing the lid on and it holds its heat all day. You’re like, how can it still hold its heat? Because it’s what it love. You know, I love to do those things. Two of the six are your working competency. You can do them. You don’t love it, but it doesn’t kill you. And that’s like pouring coffee into a cup, put a little bit on a plastic cup and I’ll hold the heat for a while. The last two or you’re working frustration. That’s like pouring coffee and a World Cup that as a hole in the bottom of it and it just leaks out. God did not intend us to spend most of our time and energy, our effort in the working frustrations. And people that do are burnt out there. They’re frustrated. Really bad things happen. And that’s what the book is about, is how to figure out what your working genius is so that you can spend as much time as possible doing the things that God intended you to do, because it will make you more successful, more happy, more joyful. And and you’ll be using the gifts he gave you to serve others. So many people spend their lives in their working competencies and frustrations, and they don’t know why. And it hurts their families. It hurts their companies. It hurts them. We have had so many people take this assessment that goes that you do separate than the book and say it changed my marriage, it changed my job, it changed my company, and it did it in about 15 minutes. As I do, they do this ten minute assessment and they look at the results and they’re like, crap. Now it makes sense. I you know something, Chandler? I was carrying around guilt. About my career for 30 years. The first job I ever had I failed at I mean, I. I survived it, but I was not good. And I thought, I’m a fraud. I was supposed to be talented. It was like the best job anybody got in my college, and I was not good. And I thought, well, I guess I guess I was good at school, but I’m just not meant to be good at work. And over time I started to come back from that. But when I figured out this model, I was like, That’s why I was actually meant to do the two things I hate the most. Nobody. I could never succeed in that. I thought I was lazy or stupid. And as it turns out. I’m neither. So many people are carrying guilt or they’re judging others as being not very smart or not caring enough. And it’s like once they see their working genius, they’re like, Oh my gosh, I’ve been judging you. Now I get you. So that’s what this book is about. And and the assessment that goes with it, it’s the most people have said this is going to be much bigger than the five dysfunctions of the team. [00:31:04][498.3]

Chandler Bolt: [00:31:05] So like it. [00:31:06][0.9]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:31:06] Looks like it we’ve we’re almost at a half a million people. [00:31:09][2.3]

Chandler Bolt: [00:31:11] Then if take in the assessment. Yeah, that’s awesome. So it sounds like and I want to get to that an assessment here in just a second. Then then we’ll as a final question wrap. It sounds like what you’re saying is lean into your you’re working genius as a writer, resident, author and then bring people in your team that that can complement those other pieces that you maybe don’t have as much. [00:31:35][23.9]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:31:36] Yeah, I was telling you about a friend of mine, Chris, who’s an author, and he’s at WRI, which is the first two. So his head is way up in the clouds and my wife is a Y and they’re called the creative dreamer, and they throw things against the wall. And about 60% of them don’t make a lot of sense because they don’t have discernment. But that’s okay. They need to do that. Then they need to turn to somebody else and say, pick the four that are good. Hmm. So he needs a ton of editing and he loves that now because he realizes, Oh, it’s just not my gift. So he’s inviting people and celebrating people who have that, where some writers are like, Oh, what’s wrong with me? Why do I need that? You know, and it’s like you because you just don’t have that, you know? [00:32:12][36.7]

Chandler Bolt: [00:32:13] So. [00:32:13][0.0]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:32:14] So everybody’s different. Everybody’s different. My son is a woody. He works with me. He’s what’s called the contemplative counselor. If he wrote a book, it would be he doesn’t have I invention. He would have to write a book that was curating other ideas and making sense of it so that people could do that. But when I say to him, he’ll critique my ideas because he has discernment. And I’ll say, What do you think we should do? Then he goes, Don’t ask me. I’m a I’m not an AI. I can tell you what’s not going to work there, or I can curate your idea, but I’m not going to be the one to come up with the new idea. And people have felt guilty their whole life, like, what’s wrong with me? And it’s like they look at this, they go, Oh, I just don’t have that one. Oh, thank God that I finally know that. [00:32:55][40.6]

Chandler Bolt: [00:32:56] So that’s that’s cool. So I took the test. G t what does that mean? [00:33:01][5.0]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:33:02] Oh, okay. What’s your what are your competencies? What are the middle ones? Do you have that in front of you? [00:33:06][4.8]

Chandler Bolt: [00:33:07] Yes, sir. It looks like W and D. [00:33:09][1.7]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:33:10] Okay. So w indeed. So wonder and discernment. Are things that you can do when you need to. Okay. You’re not blind to those things. So asking the deep questions and assessing whether something works. But you are a hey, when you see something that makes sense and it’s good, you’re like, okay, let’s get this done. And you finish things and you are in your capacity for getting stuff done. Is, is, is extraordinary. And you’re pretty good at knowing whether what you’re working on makes sense. But what you aren’t is the person who’s like once, like your book about the four things you know, the book, the the person pain promise and price you you saw that in stuff that you had noticed. And so you responded to that. And then you go, I’m going to tell the world about this. And then you actually do. So the T is the I always forget the name because I call it the butt kicker, because they just they’re the they’re the one that accomplishes things and gets other people moving. And so you are the guy that says, come on, people, we can do this and and you don’t like go, hey, it’s good enough that we had a good idea. You want to finish it, you know? So that’s why you’re the. Does that make sense? [00:34:27][77.1]

Chandler Bolt: [00:34:28] Yeah. Makes license. Makes license. Last last couple questions. So it seems like you’ve been I was talking with your son about this, right? For the interview. It seems like you’ve been very intentional about creating a great assessment for the book and embedding that in the title and embedding that in everything. I was walking through this with him, so I’ve got an interview on this podcast with Gary Chapman, five love languages. Right. And he’s. Oh, yes. Great job of that as well. And he was talking about how the the assessment that assessment, 50 million people have taken it and it’s let in. You know, 13 million people have bought the book or whatever else. I talk about this like this viral loop with with quizzes. With quizzes or assessments in books. Right? They buy the book. They take the quiz, which is interesting. So they tell someone about it. That person then takes the quiz and then buys the book as a result of that, tells someone, Hey, you should buy the book. They buy the book, and it kind of starts this like this infinity loop. Really, really smart and strategic. I love what you’re doing. What’s the why behind it and how do you think about that? [00:35:34][65.9]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:35:36] Well, what’s interesting is so and so much happens by accident here, I think, in life. So we came out with the we discovered this by accident purely because a colleague of mine said, why are you like that? Why do you get grumpy at work, Pat? Because sometimes I get grumpy. I go, I don’t know, but I’m tired of it. Let’s I want to figure it out. And I and by the grace of God, I figured it out. I had I had six circles on a board and my wife said, Hey, they’re actually geysers because they fit together. I said, You’re right, Laura. And so I came up with this thing and right away we said, What should we do with this? We write a book. I said, No, that’s a that’s a six month process. And we said, Let’s come up with an assessment so people can do it. So we did that and it the face validity was off the charts and people. So we introduced that two years before the book came out. We’ve never done that before. And so now we had a quarter of a million people that had done the assessment and now we had time to write a book about it. We couldn’t throw the assessment in the book. We because they’re a separate thing. But what we realized is. So to answer your question about that, their fin infinity loop is that it only works if the content works. Because you’re absolutely right. Word of mouth is everything I remember. I’ll tell you a story. Back in the days that the secret to having a great book was to get on the Oprah Winfrey Show. That’s what people said. Right. And and everybody was trying to get on Oprah. And and we were like, what do we want to do that is that we want to. But then what we realized is half the people that went on there, if their book wasn’t good, it actually didn’t matter. And so and I love this because this is merit based. And, you know that if people benefit from it, they’re going to tell others. If they don’t, they won’t. So the the key to that loop is the face validity of the material. Do people get good things out of it? If they do, then that infinity loop goes and it becomes its own. You know what, as Jim Collins called it, the flywheel. But if it’s not good, all the talk shows you’re on and all the money you put behind marketing isn’t going to work. So I like the fact that that flywheel, that that infinite loop only happens if if the content warrants it. And I can tell you, we are so glad that the people that have taken this are like, you don’t understand how this has changed my marriage because my wife used to we had a guy call in and say. I thought my wife hated me for ten years. And he laughed because I mean, it sounds funny and I’m kind of joking, but it’s true. I really kind of suspected deep down inside, she was against me. And then he goes on our anniversary, we took the working genius thing and it changed everything. So what happened? He goes, Well, I’m an inventor. I’m constantly coming up with new ideas, and every time I do, she tells me why it might not work. And I thought and he goes, She just was trying to crush my dreams. She did not want me to love the stuff. And then they took the thing is, she was my gift is discernment. The way I love you is to actually give you feedback. And I don’t want you to pursue something that wouldn’t work. And he goes, She was loving me. I thought she was against me. And they said that changed their marriage. That’s awesome. And it happened in 15 minutes. So, so yeah, that infinity loop works and it’s, it’s a great thing. [00:38:50][194.4]

Chandler Bolt: [00:38:51] So it’s cool that we’ve covered so much ground, man. I could do this for hours, but we’re out of time. So where do people go? I want. [00:39:00][9.1]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:39:00] To do. Well, I want to turn it around and read it. I want to ask you about yours. But but I’m just I’m going to go dove into all the self-publishing school stuff and I’ll call you back and. [00:39:13][12.9]

Chandler Bolt: [00:39:13] Squeeze you a copy of the book. And we get to talk about high gas or whatever you want to do any time. [00:39:17][3.8]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:39:18] That sounds great. [00:39:18][0.5]

Chandler Bolt: [00:39:20] Well, I want to make sure that people have a place to go to get the book, to take the assessment, all that stuff. So where’s the best place to buy the working genius book? Take the assessment. Take next steps. [00:39:30][10.5]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:39:31] Yeah, well, working genius dot com. And it’s two GS in the middle. Working genius dot com has everything you need to know how to take the assessment, how you can use a team map because teams do it. It’s a team tool as well. All this other stuff, because I’m not just an author, I’m a consultant and have a firm. But you can buy the book anywhere. You know, you can buy it at an airport. You can buy it at Barnes Noble. You can buy it at your local bookstore, you know, books-a-million. All those different places. So. So. Anywhere to go but working genius dot com is. Is a good place to start. [00:40:00][28.8]

Chandler Bolt: [00:40:01] Cool https://www.workinggenius.com/. Check it out. Again, the book is called The Six Types of Working Genius A Better Way to Understand Your Gifts, Your Frustrations, and Your Team. Pat the goat of Fables. I just get like it embarrasses you every time I say yes, it’s saying it. I appreciate you, man. This is awesome. [00:40:22][21.0]

Patrick Lencioni: [00:40:23] All righty. Thanks for having me on here. This is a blast. God bless you. [00:40:26][2.8]

Chandler Bolt: [00:40:27] Right back at you.

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