July 23, 2018

Build Thriving Start Ups – What are you building?


Have you been to a business gathering or networking event to build relationships?

Right after putting on your name tag and smile, you start to mingle, offering hand shakes, sharing your name, and pretty quickly the first question comes your way… “What do you do?”

I’ve heard that question throughout life, whether in business settings or anytime we gather socially and meet new people. “Hi… What do you do? Where do you work?”

Have you ever wondered… is that the right question?

If we really want to change, grow, impact, and learn, what might happen, if we change the conversation to… “What are you building?”

Build something

Many leaders, academics, and politicians don’t really understand the gift to build something. Yet it’s a God given talent, most of us are born with.

Some people think of this gift as “entrepreneurship”. Which in part is right. This human experience is better described as “building”. Entrepreneurship is defined in many ways, and it’s often confused with innovation. We need a lot of innovation, but building is a very distinct, separate wonder.

Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup says, an innovation has no value until an ambitious builder creates a business model around it and turns it into a product or service that customers will buy.

Are you a Builder?

An innovator is first and foremost a creator, an inventor, a problem solver with a deep passion for improving something. Innovators are thinkers.

A builder is different from an innovator. A builder creates economic energy where none previously existed.

So whether you’re an entrepreneur, building a new start-up, or an intrapreneur, building a startup inside an existing organization, these jobs require builders.

Building is a difficult task, yet natural builders welcome the challenge. They like the messiness, the issues, the roadblocks, the lack of supervision, the ad-libbing, and the excitement of a new customer breakthrough.

“Builders are made differently than the rest of us. They are born and put on earth to build.” —Jim Clifton, Gallup CEO

Born to Build

The Gallup  scientists have some new research helping us better understand our builder talents in a new book, “Born to Build”. It has a foundation in years of research, and goes beyond conventional economics-based business training. The Gallup research instead offers a psychological approach to venture building.

It shares tools and ideas to better understand who you are, what motivates you, and what you can build… and how.

“What are You building”

So next time you’re meeting new people consider the “What are you building” question. I bet you’ll change the world and get better along the way.

Over the next few weeks of our journey, we’ll explore the research, the behaviors and talents of the builder mindset, along with the keys to building.

This is a good next step in our leadership journey and building teams, whether it’s choosing your board members, the leadership team, or you’re building a new team of followers.

What kind of builder are you?

In recent years, while learning about strengths, Gallup also examined years of data on the topic of leadership. We spent some time better understanding our strengths, their new road map for leading, and why people follow. Check out our past blog, Strength Based Leadership.

Let’s Get Better!

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