In Born to Build, Jim Clifton and Sangeeta Badal of Gallup—the people who brought you CliftonStrengths have turned their attention to entrepreneurs and ambitions, self-motivated people that want to build something. They take a psychological approach to the subject to understand builders—who they are, what motivates them, and how they do it. With the Builder Profile 10 assessment included with the book, you can find out if you are a builder and what part you are likely to play.
10 Builder Talents
Creating self-awareness and building a team is where this book and its assessment really shine. Through study and research Gallup came up with a list of 10 talents that influence the behaviors and explain the success of a builder.
Every builder uses a mix of these 10 talents:
Your high Confidence talent makes you believe you have what it takes to be a successful builder. You harness this awareness to start new ventures or begin big projects. You seize opportunities knowing that you will succeed. You are sure of your success, and your self-confidence easily convinces others of your ability to get results. Even in the face of uncertainty and failure, your belief in your abilities never wavers. You are certain that you can overcome any adversity if you put in enough effort. Your unshakeable belief in your abilities motivates you to think far into the future. Your conviction helps your venture grow and thrive.
If you have high Delegator talent, you willingly relinquish control and recognize that a growing venture or a complex project requires contributions from others on your team. You like to collaborate to get things done. You naturally understand the capabilities and strengths of others on your team and position them to take responsibility for tasks at which they are most likely to excel. This makes you a great team leader or boss and builds the capacity of others on your team. But more importantly, it frees you to focus your time and energy on activities that are critical for growing your venture.
With high Determination talent, you pursue your goals with tenacity. Your persistence and deep commitment help you overcome obstacles. When facing adversity, you don’t give in to feelings of frustration and defeat. Instead, you can see beyond roadblocks and visualize a better future. This helps you double your efforts and push forward no matter how tough things get. You have a tremendous work ethic and strongly believe that you can achieve anything with hard work. You are not one to ponder over an idea. When you see an opportunity, you take quick action. You push hard and put all your energy into achieving the desired outcome. You have extremely high expectations of success. Nothing less than the best will satisfy you.
As a builder with high Disruptor talent, your mind is typically firing with multiple ideas. Your curious intellect keeps you alert to the changes in your environment and helps you identify opportunities before others do. You are a quick learner; you soak up information that fuels your creativity and enables you to imagine new products, services, and solutions. You not only come up with new ideas, but you also have the unique ability to transform an idea into a venture that generates revenue. You like to experiment to assess the viability of your ideas. This helps you sort the good from the bad. You do not like rules. You are an independent spirit who likes to work outside the boundaries of established practices, where you can think and create freely.
With high Independence talent, you strongly believe that you can single-handedly build a venture. Your can-do attitude helps you launch projects, and your deep sense of responsibility keeps the venture alive. You are a multitasker who is willing to take on the myriad duties required to manage a venture. Your high reserves of energy see you through the grueling grind of early-stage venture creation. When you are under pressure, you can think fast, act quickly and move forward. You firmly believe that your actions decide the fate of your venture, and you are motivated to make things happen. Your ability to work long hours helps ensure that your venture survives and succeeds.
You inherently understand that knowledge about all aspects of your venture is essential to your survival and continued success. You never stop learning, and you are always looking for insights to make things better. You spend a great deal of time and energy gathering information and acquiring knowledge about every aspect of your venture and the ecosystem in which your venture exists. Your superior insight into all aspects of your venture and your environment helps you anticipate customer expectations, reduces risk, and empowers you to make informed decisions. This helps you make discoveries and foresee trends that the market is not yet expecting. It also gives you an edge over the competition.
If you have high Profitability talent, making money is your primary objective. You have sharp business instincts, and you use them to price products or services to guarantee a profit on each sale. Consistent with your emphasis on money, you run a tight ship, keeping a close check on operational costs. You make all decisions, big and small, with cost in mind and evaluate your decisions through the prism of profitability. Your attitude toward data reflects your penchant for numbers. Your high Profitability talent gives you an uncanny ability to look at the same data that your managers, co-founders, or employees have reviewed and come up with unique insights that they may have missed. Numbers are your lifeline.
If you have high Relationship talent, you understand that building a robust and diverse personal network is essential to your success as a builder. You rely on your relationships to access resources and critical information that is essential to start and grow your venture. Your high social awareness allows you to build mutually beneficial relationships. You instinctively know what you can get, from whom, and when. In return, you willingly offer help, connect people, share experiences, and exchange ideas with others in your network. Your openness and positivity generate trust and help you form long-term relationships with your peers, customers, employees, and team members. People in your network are willing to do more for you than is expected of them.
As a builder with high-Risk talent, you are comfortable with ambiguity and embrace challenges with enthusiasm. You have a strong, charismatic, and confident personality. You manage risk by taking an analytical approach. When you encounter a difficult decision, you meticulously gather information and weigh all the options before you take action. This highly rational thought process helps you overcome fear and make better decisions. You have a strong will to succeed. At your core, you are a problem solver. You have the capacity to work long and hard on finding solutions to your problems. You see patterns where others see randomness. You see opportunities where others see obstacles. For you, failure is just another step closer to your success.
As a builder with high Selling talent, you are an excellent communicator who instinctively knows how to reach your audience. Incredibly persuasive, you are a great salesperson who can influence others to accept your point of view. Your open and authentic behavior helps you forge trusting relationships with investors, customers, partners, and employees. These relationships help you launch new products and services to grow your venture. Builders with high Selling talent are exceptional storytellers. You communicate the essence of your company, your idea, or your new product or service through stories that reflect your personal experiences. You create an emotional connection with your audience by sharing your passion and excitement about the product or service but also by speaking to your listeners’ needs.
Your dominant talents help to determine your building journey.