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Welcome to the Working Genius podcast, where we discuss anything and everything related to the six types of working genius and how it impacts your work and your life. I'm Pat Lynchoni, your host, today, joined by the largest studio audience we've ever had because we've got Cody and Bo on Mike. How you guys doing?




Doing well.


We loaned Tracy's mic to two guests. We will introduce them shortly. We got Matt here, Karen here, making me look smart. Tracy's watching over this. Cody, what are we going to talk about today?


The mystery of tenacity.


That's right. The mystery of tenacity. Now, why is it a mystery? Because nobody involved in this podcast on a regular basis has tenacity. As a genius, most of us have it as a frustration. We're not even sure what tenacity is. We just needed a t at the end of widget. So we now understand that there are actually people in the world that have tenacity. We've brought two of them here. We found them in the wild, and we're going to talk to them and try to understand what makes them go.


And I will say, pat, I think there was some meta level comedy here where we've done an episode on every single genius except for tenacity. We never got around to doing the one about finishing the work.


We could do that later.


Yeah, we'll do that later.


And I'll just say, it's not too late. We could do another one about galvanizing right now. Game time.


All right, so we've got some people here. Now, let's first of all understand that tenacity is very much a genius. And when we look at you get joy and energy out of all these things. But if you don't have it, and certainly if it's in your frustration, it's actually a mystery as to why how somebody extracts goodness and joy out of this. There are people that wake up every morning and go, I can't wait to finish things. Because that's such the antithesis of who I am. And you two, you guys as well. So we want to introduce our guests today. We've got Julie Dobbins, one of our employees, who's up from southern California, where she lives in our office today because we did a big webinar. Hello there, Julie. Hello.


Thanks for having me.


That's great. And we've got Joe Gallagher, who does work in our office, the first time we've actually let a tea into our midst. And so, Joe, how you doing?


This is great. I'm not looking from the outside, pressing my nose against the window on the studio.


That's right.


Nice to be in the walls here.




Don't get used to it.


All right, so what do we want to understand? First of all, when you did working genius the first time, was it right away you're like, oh, yeah, tenacity. That's me.


Yeah, I think that was one of those. Especially because we talk about how it can be really evident when people have tenacity. It's so celebrated. So for me, that was something you obviously understand. It's a stage of work, but the joy and energy element for me, of, like, of course I would have energy getting something across the finish line and pushing it and realizing other people don't actually, they find it to be a grind. They don't enjoy it. So for me, realizing, oh, that's something that I really can add and that I love doing was a huge aha. For the working genius.


And so what's interesting about that is that for you, because we're teasing you about this, because we don't have it, but you look at somebody who has w or I or one of your frustrations, you go, I don't get you. Does that make sense?


Yeah, because it's wild to me that people would want to just sit back and ponder and think about possibilities. I'm like, now, again, this is a misconception to me that feels, like, so unproductive. I'm like, but what are we going to do? And so that was another big dynamic of just understanding. There are people who, and not only do they enjoy it, but now, as a tenacity, as someone who understands that about myself, I have so much more appreciation because if I'm trying to execute on the wrong thing or if we haven't taken time to see what's possible or what could we be missing? Then I'm realizing I'm spinning my wheels and energy on something that's not actually that important, so I have more appreciation for it. But still wild to me that people would just love to either come up with new things or ponder what could be out there.


Yeah. One man's trash is another man's treasure.




Julie, I'm wondering, or Joe, before you understood working genius, how would you have explained your you, the fact that you have it and that somebody else doesn't? What would have been the explanation you would have used to describe what you had?


I would say, when I look back on my career and I think about where I was effective, it was generally at a sales role and getting things done hitting numbers, et cetera. But to come up with a plan or to come up with the big picture concept, that was always hard. I'd sit in meetings, and when we'd be framing out new ideas, I would often be sitting in the room really struggling to come up with something new at the moment, on the moment. But once it was inked and once we had the plan, then I could get out in the field and refine it and really execute. So that just was my natural kind of default.


And, Joe, when you first heard about working genius, was t, did it jump off the page at you?




For sure.


It was evidence, especially when I thought of what I know I didn't have, which was wonder and invention. So it was like, for sure that was foreign to me. But yet enablement, tenacity was a natural.


It's actually fun to hear them talk about this, because before working genius, I just thought, because I don't have tenacity, I was like, well, I guess I'm just not good at work, right? That's what work seemed like it was to me, was, oh, you get a list of tasks, and you go execute on the task. And I'm like, well, there are other people who are better or stronger worker than I am. And to hear you guys sit across the table and say, oh, yeah, I feel that way about the other part of work. And it gives handles for, we need everything from wonder all the way through to tenacity.


I think you said, it's actually fun to hear you talk about tenacity. So way to go on the joke. Cody always makes jokes with our team. Oh, you actually had a good idea. And I'm like, I think you're giving me a compliment, but I put actually.


In there a little too much, a.


Little too often, actually.


You, you know, one of the things I think is interesting about this is you watch somebody in a meeting. We were in a meeting the other day, Joe, and we were talking about high lofty ideas and big picture ideas, and you were right in there in the conversation with us. And so it's like, oh, wow, that was great, joe. You were playing in there with us in that we, what we don't realize is when you talk to somebody afterward and they go, yeah, I'm exhausted. And, like, you've been in meetings where we're sitting there talking about this, and one day, Laura, my wife, was here for lunch, and you were like, joe, how are you feeling? He goes, I just want to go back and get work done. This is really hard for me. So just because a person doesn't have it as a genius doesn't mean they can't get themselves to do it. But the energy that it takes to do it is so different. Other people are fed by it. You are exhausted by it. Does that make sense?


No. Absolutely. And at the time, I know when I just joined early, and I wasn't used to taking 2 hours to just go through a concept like, it was.


More of, hey, that sounds like a slight, the way you said that.


Just go ahead and say, wasting time.


No, but here we are in a Creative Shop, and that is what the work is, putting the time in to cook up an idea and come up with it. But where I was coming from was, we know what our marching orders are. So anytime you're away from that, any length of time is, frankly, not productive. So for me, it was just more of, like, maybe detoxing from that or just getting used to this environment. But I am in absolute awe of how you can all sit around and come up with things out of the ether. To me, that as a t, that's the ultimate. Like, I admire that. But it is for you. You're sitting here admiring what we have, which is just, that's what's so great about this model, how we need everybody.




Well, and we were talking earlier even just about the different pairings with tenacity, because there are people wonder in tenacity or invention in tenacity, and they can come up with the big picture and then execute. But that's where, like you were saying, we all need each other. Because even if you can come up with the idea and make it happen, you still want discernment. You still need the execution. You still need so many other layers in there. And so to do it solo isn't actually the end game. Right. We want to work as a team and work together. You need all the geniuses. So the pairings, though, definitely have a dynamic in that.




I'm wondering if we just pause for a second. And, Cody, if you were in the room describing working geniuses to somebody, how would you unpack tenacity in terms of the phases of work that it's in? Responsive, disruptive. Just give us, like, a 62nd summary of tenacity.


Well, I would start with, we talk about the three phases of work. And so tenacity falls in the last phase, which is the implementation phase. And we did a podcast on enablement. So that includes enablement and tenacity. That's the place where we're implementing work. And then you'd have to also layer on the tenacity is the disruptive part of the implementation phase. And when we talk about that, we often talk about they're not satisfied or they don't get fulfillment until they check it off their list. It has to push all the way through to completion across the finish line. And they're often the person that is so task oriented around that, that they also are committed to executing at the highest standards that were set when we decided what to do.


I actually think sometimes I observe that those things are intention for somebody with tenacity, that you both want high standards and you want to get it across the finish line. And sometimes there's a little bit of attention there. And I'm curious to hear, Pat, you speak to that, or Joe or Julie.


Well, that is interesting. And everybody has tension because they have tube. But yeah, it's like on time at standard. That is just within the tea. People are like, which one is more important? And you ask them, they go both, and they're going to actually lose sleep or feel uncomfortable if they don't get to do both of those. And that's one of the things we have to understand about somebody with tenacity is they do not have joy and energy. If they feel like, well, it was close enough.


Yeah, I felt disappointed. Like someone said, I feel happy if I just see the finish line. I was like, you have got to be kidding me. I want to cross it. I want to cross it on time. You want to push to execution. And so I feel like genuine disappointment if that doesn't get to happen.




And it's great. Julie is on my side of the. Recently, more recently on my team. And as someone who doesn't have tenacity as such a gift, the other thing that always happens within our relationship at work is if they have something on the list and they're waiting on somebody else to either decide or move it forward. It doesn't go off their list. Every day. Julie's like, text me at night, hey, when you're on the plane tomorrow, you need to make this decision. Hey, there's an email in our inbox that you haven't responded to. And so they literally can't rest if there's something on the list that they have not checked off yet.


Yeah. And thank God for them, truly, because without them, a lot of great ideas and a lot of good intentions just never make it to the end. And we got to launch things, we got to do things.


It's actually really helpful, Julie, thank you.


But then I know sometimes I can struggle with perfection being the enemy of good, because sometimes you can struggle. You want to make it just right, but yet you need to get the work done, and you just need to give yourself the grace to say, hey, like you've said, pat, 80% is good enough just to get it out the door. But I know as A-T-A lot of my life, you want to execute at the highest level, and it has to be just right. So that could be wound, that could be other dimensions, but definitely getting it done right on time.


Well, and then let's look at the pairings. Because what we have is an et, Joe, enablement, tenacity. We have a DT, discernment, and tenacity in Julie. So a big tension for you might be people ask you to help them, and you say, yes, you are the loyal finisher. But sometimes it's like, do I do whatever makes them feel better or do. Then I even push them out of their comfort zone to finish it for them, even if it. You know what I mean? Is it about pleasing the people or about finishing the task? Because your e is very responsive, and you're enabling somebody, and the t is very disruptive, which means finishing. So if somebody asks you to do something and then to actually take it through to the end, you might actually push them out of their comfort zone. How do you decide between those two?


Well, I know.




Like you were saying earlier, was it you, Cody, that we need to sometimes push others to get that work done right? Because that's how we can't do it all. And that does create tension, because now you're like, now I've got to go bug to. To get this thing because I can't get it done alone.


Whereas if you were a.


Well, yeah, then it's like, get out of my way. We're doing. So you're right. There's a natural tension there, but I think it's a healthy one, too, because.


Yeah, I put you on the spot there. We didn't prep for this. And whereas Julie is a Dt. So she lives in the perfect versus the enemy of the good.


Yes, I do.


Because what are the different. All the right way to do this and sometimes forget about the right way. Just make it good and get it done.


How do you do that and making sure that it is the thing that we should actually do? Because there are times where I'm with you guys and that everybody's coming up with an idea, and I'm immediately thinking about how to make it happen. And so the two dynamics there that I have to be careful of. Firstly, don't just jump to t, right? So use discernment. Try to figure out, is that actually the thing that we should do? And then when I communicate that, we actually just. Cody and I had this the other day where I was communicating tactics. So it was all about logistics, details, plans, timeline, as my way to discern. And it was like, actually, let's pause and step back, because I actually just want us to discern this together. Is this the thing we should do? Because I can help us make it happen no matter what. We'll figure out a way, but I want to make sure it's the right thing first. And Cody was like, okay, that's the elevation I can sit at in this conversation, because we don't want to just make decisions based on tactics. We want to discern, is this the right thing?


And then we can talk. Know the standards, logistics, deadlines, et cetera. But for me, I get that out of order a lot because I have the tension with both.


Right. This is so fun to talk to you. It's like we found these animals in the jungle. Oh, my gosh. We get to actually talk to one of them. Yeah. It's like, oh, interesting.




Yeah. When in doubt, does t tend to overwhelm your other letter, by the way?


It is kind of a zoo in here, isn't it? Does t tend to overwhelm. Yes, for sure.


That's one of the things we wonder about. We think tenacity probably is a pretty powerful movement in a person, and probably at the end of the day, it's like, well, let's at least finish something. Yeah.


I don't like to go home if there are certain things that I have a target of getting done. If they're unfinished, I'll think about it until the next day, until I can punch it out. So, whereas the enablement that comes and you help out in the moment, but the t kind of will stay with me.


I think another thing added to that is that tenacity is one of the most observable geniuses you can see when somebody is tenacitying.




Like, aka working.


Oh, look at that. Tracy just written a note that said Karen. Actually, it was Karen observable. Yeah, that it's observable. And we know that you spend. Cody was TaLKINg ABout this. Know, you spend kind of the least amount of time, typically in the higher elevation, and we need the most amount of time in the lower elevation. So tenacity is also the thing that, in the workplace, we can spend the most time doing right.


Earlier, somebody said it's celebrated. I think you said, yeah. And when we say that, some people with tenacity might go, I don't think people appreciate it. When we say celebrate is they see it.


It gets ACKNOwledged.


It gets ACknowledged because if you're mowing the lawn for 3 hours, you're Out ThERe doing it. ANd PeOPLe are like, where's dad? Where's mom? They're mowing the lawn. And it takes a long time. You can see Them doing it, so you know it. Whereas somebody wondering, even inventing, even discerning can happen very much internally and you don't even know it's done. So most people do thank or, and appreciate the fact that somebody is doing it, but that's because it's highly observable.


Yeah, I love that mowing the lawn analogy because it will take 3 hours to mow the lawn. But if someone came to your house, they'd be like, oh, look, the lawn is mowed. But if you spend 3 hours in your backyard wondering, they don't walk in and go, oh, wait, good job. They'll be LiKe, hey, you need to go mow the yAcht. EXACTLY. The lawn is getting unruly out here.


Right. And truly in society, we find, like, when we talk to somebody's at T, both of you coming out of college, people that knew you thought, well, they're going to be highly employable because, look it, they're super reliable. They get stuff done. They're not flaky at all. I'm sure that your parents and my parents, CODY, were Like, they were very. Yes.




And I remember when I told my dad I was going to start my own company, he was just like, you have benefits. And it was LiKe, you're never going to be able to do something if you're not in a structure. And it's so, thank God I knew people with E and T and D and everything else.


I think it's fun to tell this, too, because Julie and I have known each other since grade school, actually. So people often ask, hey, how far back can you look and know your geniuses? And I remember Julie does the same thing for me now on our team that she did 20 years ago, which was it used to be, hey, did you read your bible? Did you do your homework every day? Like, oh, did you study for nine text, though? Yeah, it was on a nokia phone. But like, hey, are you doing your, like, she was focused on the, she was. She got better grades than like, because the school system was actually designed to reward more of tenacity than it was discernment and galvanizing my own geniuses. But it was even clear back then. In fact, when we came up with working genius, I was like, I bet Julie is a discernment tenacity. And then called her, she took it, and it turns out that was true.


Well, and speaking of as you just look back on your life and can see those things at play, we talk about tenacity. People who have tenacity do not like ambiguity. Right? We crave clarity. And that was something. If a teacher was like, didn't put a page limit, like, make it however long you want. No. Are you kidding me? Give me some parameters, give me some clarity, something to work towards where I can execute. That was so frustrating to me. I did not enjoy ambiguity in school or projects or anything like that. And on team projects, I was always the one driving to finish.


That seems like a neat kind of segue. I wonder what other advice we might have for somebody if they're working with somebody with tenacity. You just alluded to this kind of give them clear parameters, boundaries. What other counsel would we give to somebody working with somebody who has that genius?


Yeah, I think it's recognize that we work for a paycheck and we work to work at a place, but their reward, the inherent reward they get is actually saying, I did it, it got done and I'm finished, and it met its standards, and I get so little from that. And so I can go manage somebody and think, well, they're not going to get a lot from that. So when we say one man's trash is another man's treasure, I mean, no, one man's favorite thing to eat is actually somebody else's most repulsive thing. Mint chip ice cream. You hate it.


I hate it.


I love it. And when I come to your house and you say, well, obviously you don't want any of this, like, when Joe came to work here, I was like, joe, you're going to figure out your job. Just design, do whatever you think. And he was like, oh, thank you. And he was like, what are you doing to me? And I thought I was giving him a gift.


Yeah, I do that with Julie. And this is like, what we've learned working together is, I'll often say, we'll figure it out. And she's, no, no. When are we figuring out?


At least give me a day when we're going to figure it about. And it's fun to have two people that were sitting here in the room loving on these people because I'm just thinking about how much I love their tenacity. But it's easy to forget that, and it's even easy to judge them. So what are some of the judgment words people use for people with tenacity? Let's just put it out there. What do people think about them? That's a judgment?


Well, I thought about when you were describing it earlier. You can think of it as a gift, or it can be downright annoying when you're trying to. I like living in invention land, and if somebody with tenacity is coming in, which this gets to a different conversation of misplaced or mistiming. But it can be annoying to me.


Totally. And I would say I was guilty of this before having the language around working genius is people often say, here's the phrase, pat, oh, they're just too much in the weeds. That's how they get labeled. Oh, you're just too much in the weeds. But, Julie, you use the weeds, which not in a derogatory sense, but you're actually saying, hey, I can anticipate that that might not work because of the detail of this. And sometimes that gets labeled in the wrong way. It's actually in service of, hey, if you really want to get that done, I can help you figure out whether it's doable or not. But oftentimes it gets labeled as people are in the weeds or that you're.


Like the pin to the balloon because you just kind to pop everything with tanking to tactics in a conversation.


That might be your discernment more than your tenacity, but probably both together, we'll do that.


Both of them pop balloons because Tracy and Karen are de's and they're not balloon poppers. But a DT will be like, that's not going to happen.


But I do think that we can tank a tenacity person if you're not regulating and recognizing what's happening, it's really easy to tank a conversation. Pulling it down to the ground, right?


Words like rigid or too worried or not creative or what Karen wrote down, because I didn't even know that the word existed. But anal, you know what? People will. People will say, gosh, you're so anal. And it's like, that looks like your.


Handwriting, Pat, I know. I can see the note from here.


But the thing is, we have words for every type that we use. It's a judgment. And it's like, oh, no, no. Now, that's just a matter of if it's used in the wrong time frame or if people aren't appreciating who you are and how you're wired, they can jump to a judgment.


We had an event today, and we listed the time for the event, both in pacific time and, like, european time or whatever the time would be in Europe.


Julie's got her answer.


And we sat down this morning and she was like, oh, okay. And, yeah, we thought through the fact that we have daylight savings. That happens and they don't because of our founding fathers. I honestly was like, the fact that you thought through all of those details to think about the time in Europe and that ours changes and theirs doesn't.


You want to know the worst part, though? I did it wrong and I will think about it tonight and tomorrow.




And you will not care. Bo literally was like, it doesn't matter.


You know what's great about this? This is another hallmark. Yeah. Is that they are so tough on themselves if something doesn't go right. Even if I would have just been proud that I'd even considered the fact that there was daylight savings time. But like Julie and Joe, I know this about them. If something doesn't go well, they will beat themselves up for it because they're like, oh, I'm irresponsible, this self talk, this attack. And one of the things we can do for tease is to realize, hey, we love the fact that you finish things and you have high standards, but you are not solely responsible for that. And if you get 98% of it done, we are going to hold you down, tape your mouth, and just tell you how wonderful it is, what you did. We're not going to let you talk yourself into being a failure for getting 98% instead of 100 hr violation.


I think that would be.


But you mean the tying down or the tape on the.


Probably both of us.


Both of those, yeah, that's a good point. I do think that measurable results are kind of what we like to see things quantified, because then we can look at it and just say, hey, we got it done. And that's a way, if you look at people, that how do we don't get recognized? Or what maybe crushes us is when people don't see that, when they don't recognize it. That's just an observation, right?


Yeah. If you did get 100 on the test and somebody goes, well, you passed, that's good enough. No, I got 100. All right. This is fascinating. This is really good. I'm glad we finally did the episode on Tenacity, and having people here who could actually vouch for it is wonderful. And we like to tease. Everybody likes to tease about the different geniuses, but we need them all, and they're all truly geniuses. Thank you guys for being on here. Thanks for being part of this.


Thank you for having us. Awesome.


And we hope all the people with tenacity out there and everybody else enjoyed this. And we love talking about working genius. So we'll talk to you next time on the working Genius podcast. God bless.