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Red Deer Public staff learn about their working genius

Aspiring Leaders

We all have aspects of our jobs that energize us, and other aspects that are tasks to check off the to-do list. Diving into how those aspects make us work as part of a team, as well as understanding how others on our team work was the theme for this month’s Aspiring Leaders session.

The material, based on The Six Types of Working Genius Model by Patrick Lencioni and was led by Certified Facilitator and Associate Superintendent of People Services, Corrine Thorsteinson. Approximately 60 Red Deer Public staff from all employee groups participated in the third Aspiring Leaders Session of the school year on February 8.

The model identifies six types of work that people can be naturally drawn to. These include the geniuses of wonder, invention, discernment, galvanizing, enabling and tenacity.


“As employees and leaders we can all learn to be proficient in these areas, but we all have natural dispositions to get more joy and energy from two of the geniuses,” said Corrine. “On the flip side, we also have natural frustration areas - two of the geniuses, where, if we do sustained work in these areas, we may become drained or burned out.”

As part of this month’s Aspiring Leaders session, participants took part in doing some self and group reflection on which of the geniuses they most identified with. In the second half of the session, groups considered how the geniuses can be applied as stages or a sequence to how tasks and projects can go from ideation (coming up with a new idea) to activation (ensuring that the idea is going to work) to implementation (bringing the idea or task across the finish line).

"The Working Genius Model is a simple model but comes with multiple layers that help leaders unpack how they like to work and how they lead," said Corrine. "Understanding these areas and the interplay between them when we are working in or leading a team can go a long way to increased efficiency and productivity as well as staying out of judgment and conflict on a team."

More Aspiring Leaders sessions will take place throughout the rest of the school year.

“These sessions are a perfect opportunity for any Red Deer Public employee who wants to explore whether a formal leadership position is right for them; wants to build or enhance their leadership toolkit; wants to lead where they are at; or wants an opportunity to learn from and engage with other colleagues interested in leadership,” said Corrine.

All sessions take place from 4:15 - 5:30 p.m. at Pines Alternative School. Upcoming sessions include:

  • Leadership Spotlight - Lessons from the Trenches on March 26

  • Leadership Symposium on various topics on June 5

To register, please contact

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