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What Are You Building?

Published April 12, 2018

When we meet someone new there is always an urgency to try and figure out something about them. To try and find some common ground. We know if we can do this it will help them (and us) feel more comfortable as we navigate this new social interaction. When having this exchange with someone we typically go right to what they do for a living which seems like a safe entry point. But maybe that’s the problem. Maybe we need to raise the stakes. Gallup is seeking to change the national dialogue from asking someone ‘What do you do?’ or ‘Where do you work?’ to ‘What are you building?’ Think about the power of that question. It’s the same number of words in the questions, but changing what we’re asking from ‘doing’ to ‘building’ poses a completely different question with much higher stakes and it demands a much different response.

We are all builders. We are all building something. We’re building a family, non-profit, church, business, school, or any other number of exciting ventures. We all want to create something of value, something that matters. In order for us to do that we need to understand what our Builder Talents are to have the best possible chance of succeeding at whatever it is we’re building.

Over the last several months I’ve been working with various leaders across different industries and helping them understand their Builder Talents, as I’ve been learning more about my own Builder Talents. Gallup has done some groundbreaking research and as the new Gallup Press book, Born To Build, nears it’s release date I thought this would be a great time to write a post about the Builder Profile movement.

Through several years of research Gallup has identified 10 innate talents shared by all successful builders. The Builder Profile 10 assessment measures Builder Talents in rank order. Gallup defines a “builder” as someone who can create economic energy where none previously existed. As a builder, Gallup recommends that you focus on your top four talents as they will provide your best opportunity for success. This isn’t solely about running a business, it’s about building, whether in the social sector or in the public sector, and the beautiful thing is that it also applies to building a team, building a family, or building a top-notch organization.

The 10 Talents that have been determined to be critical to building something of economic value, in both the social sector and the marketplace are: Selling, Relationship, Confidence, Delegator, Knowledge, Disruptor, Profitability, Independence, Determination, and Risk.

All 10 of these talents are essential for a successful builder, and while a Builder may not possess all of them in a high intensity, it is crucial to account for all 10 talents, while focusing on their top four talents. A successful Builder should surround themselves with people that can bring those talents to the table to ensure long-term success. While every Builder won’t have all 10 talents in high intensity, they have to account for those talents by surrounding themselves with people who do. Once a builder takes the assessment, there is an opportunity to get coaching around their Builder Talents to fully understand how to maximize their efforts to create something valuable.

If we can change the dialogue and get people thinking about what they are building, we have a real chance to change the way we approach our work, our families, and our lives. We truly have a chance to change the world in the public and private sectors as we focus on using our builder talents. Let’s do this!