This article accompanies us in the business world and on their construction, whether it is a real startup or a new division of a company. It will help us understand the type of builder that is in us, our dominant talents and how to make the most of them to build our business successfully, showing us the four keys that will lead us to achieve “something” great, for us and for others.
The ecosystem needed to build a large company
People constantly ask you: “Where do you work?”, “What do you do?”, They never ask you: “What are you building?”.
Institutions, scientists, academics and politicians have never fully understood the rare gift of knowing how to build something.
Some refer to this gift as “entrepreneurship” or “innovation”, but “construction” is a distinct phenomenon. An innovation has no value until a builder creates a business model around it and transforms it into a product or service that customers will buy.
A builder creates economic energy where nothing previously existed. Manufacturers create goods and services that customers do not yet know they want, create demand, open new markets. The builders are the creators of disruptions (cracks, upheavals) in the market that offer a better way of life.
But the creation of a large booming company or a non-profit organization does not take place thanks to the work of a single ingenious builder: an ecosystem exists around effective builders.
There are three key players in the development of any organization, whether it is a new business, a new division within a company or a non-profit organization, the so-called “three alpha”: the alpha Rainmaker (rain wizard, person able to get customers and profit from business), the Alpha Driver and the Alpha Expert.
An alpha rainmaker has an unusual persistence and a rare grit. Obstacles and failures increase his determination. An alpha conductor has great handling skills. He knows how to make all the players on a team interact. An alpha expert provides the skills necessary to differentiate the main product or service.
This book will help you understand what kind of builder you are, what your natural builder talents are and how to use them to succeed.
The mentality of the successful builder
The highly successful builders proactively develop behaviors that allow them to anticipate problems, overcome adversity, recognize opportunities, organize resources and act to build something. They effortlessly cultivate deep relationships, focus on results, solve creative problems and are the best spokespersons for their business.
The keys to building are four:
- Create self-awareness . The first step is “know yourself”. Being aware of your abilities, motivations and feelings is fundamental to obtain the psychological clarity and trust in your abilities necessary to create new businesses.
- Recognize opportunities. Opportunities are around you. Some are visible (a process that needs to be perfected) others are waiting for you to discover them (new technological developments). By digging deep within yourself and your immediate environment, you will learn to identify them.
- Activate ideas. Ideas mean nothing without action. To take your first steps with confidence you will have to learn how to create minimally valid solutions for the problem you want to solve, to find your first strategic partner (i.e. your first customer) and to test your ideas.
- Build a team. Successful builders rely on their social networks, co-create with their customers, build alliances with their suppliers and investors to reduce uncertainty and bring their ideas to the market.
The talents that characterize successful entrepreneurs
Building a small business, a social enterprise, a high-growth technology enterprise or a new division in a consolidated organization requires vision and action.
Thanks to our research – after analyzing the data of samples in the United States, Germany and Mexico and listening to hundreds of hours of interviews – we have distilled a list of ten talents that influence behavior and better explain the success of a manufacturer.
Each builder uses a mix of these ten talents:
Trust: know yourself precisely and understand others.
Delegation: You acknowledge that you cannot do everything and are willing to delegate.
Determination: persevere through difficult and apparently insurmountable obstacles.
Disruption: exhibit creativity in taking an existing idea or product and transforming it into something better.
Independence: do whatever it takes to build a successful business.
Knowledge: you are constantly looking for information that is relevant to the growth of your business.
Profitability: Make profit-based decisions.
Relationship: you have high social awareness and the ability to build advantageous relationships.
Risk: you instinctively know how to manage high-risk situations.
Sale: you are the best spokesperson for your business.
Focus on your top four talents, they are your dominant talents and will give you the best opportunities to succeed.
What kind of builder are you
Once you know your dominant talents, you can understand what kind of builder you are.
Rainmaker: you are primarily focused on generating sales and revenues for your business.
You have a clear and aggressive growth strategy and measure success with the profitability of your business. Incredibly convincing, you know how to stimulate customers and employees with your vision of the future. You excel in sales and marketing and you love being the voice and face of your company.
You are completely self-sufficient but build targeted connections with those who can help you achieve your goals. You have a remarkable ability to create authentic relationships with customers and employees. You have an optimistic perception of risk. In other words, perceive potential threats positively and take an analytical approach to manage risks.
However, you don’t like the daily management of the business, so leave the management of the details to others.
Conductor: you have a great managerial talent. As a conductor you bring order and harmony into the chaos of a young company. You rarely act alone, and take pride in finding the right people for key positions. Trusting that others take their own
responsibility, delegate work and authority. You are ready to recognize when someone else can do a job better and give them the freedom to make decisions on their own. You are demanding and have a tendency to challenge the status quo. Your persistence generates trust between colleagues, employees and customers.
You are keen to keep your promises, but your determination and your energetic drive are not inconsiderate or stubborn. You have the ability to constantly reevaluate what you need
to achieve your goals. Hard work turns you on. Believe in high growth businesses.
Expert: You mainly focus on product development and research. Being the best in your field is crucial for you. Whether you invent something new or improve a product or service through multiple iterations, you focus on finding solutions to the problems your customers face.
You constantly push yourself beyond current thinking, you never accept the status quo and you always imagine new possibilities. You are not simply a dreamer but a demanding and sophisticated thinker, and you know when and where to spend your time and energy.
You are persistent and determined, you learn quickly and are constantly looking for ways to differentiate your product or organization on the market. Running a business doesn’t really interest you, so you’re happy to delegate the business management tasks to others.
What helps us recognize opportunities
Opportunities are everywhere, the chances of an individual recognizing them increase with:
to. preliminary knowledge of the environment;
b. motivation to change the status quo;
c. the extension of its networks.
The steps to be taken to become attentive to opportunities are 3: starting from your talents, connecting points, maximizing your networks.
1) Start with your talents. Pay attention to what you like or don’t like to do. Remember, you are more likely to be successful if you use your natural talents because the opportunities and solutions will have meaning for you.
To identify the activities and situations involving your talents, pay attention to these clues:
a) level of involvement , when you use your talents the activity you are carrying out completely absorbs you, you enter a state of total concentration called flow, you lose track of time, you experience genuine satisfaction;
b) accelerated learning , when you learn to perform an activity or task faster than your peers, it means that you have an innate talent for that activity;
c) superior performance , talent increases performance, looks for opportunities in areas where your skills can shine and bring you to the top naturally.
2) Connect the points. Now that you know what you like, start paying attention to events, changes and trends in your area of interest, in other words, connect the points. Write a diary of the opportunities in which to articulate your ideas, take note of the issues, problems and gaps between what is and what should be.
Builders identify opportunities by linking seemingly unrelated events. Their ability to see patterns in disparate pieces of information and to make sense of social, demographic and technological changes, leads them to have new ideas for new products and services.
3) Maximize your networks. Talk to the people in your circle who work in the same area of interest, use them as a sounding board to refine your ideas. Talk to the experts, with your mentor and your coach, ask them for feedback, they could introduce you to other people in your sector, give you advice, offer alternatives, find the resources you need.
The strategy for activating ideas
Action matters more than ideas, your future depends on your actions. Activation of ideas occurs when talent and opportunity meet the hard work necessary for construction.
1) Start by generating hypotheses. Ask yourself what you are trying to provide, if there are potential customers interested in your product or service, how to reach them. Answering these questions will help you build your guesses. Once formulated, the hypotheses will have to be tested empirically.
2) Test your hypotheses. Find your early adopters and find out what they need. Based on their feedback, make changes to your product or service, then build a new set of hypotheses and test them again. Repeat the process until you have a product or service that customers actually want to buy.
3) Measure the results. A key component of the activation process is having concrete and measurable results to evaluate the success (or failure) of your experiments. These metrics will help you demonstrate or disprove your assumptions, answer the following questions: “Have I understood the problems and needs of customers in the market?”, “Have customers found my product or service valid?”, “Is there a great deal number of customers interested in my product or service? “,” Can I
make a profit with what my customers are willing to pay for my product or service? “.
4) Dream big. If you are ready to distribute your product or service on a wider market, you have reached an important milestone. You have validated your assumptions of value and growth. As you continue to build, take some time to think about what it could be. Thinking about growing and climbing is fundamental.
How to build a talented team
Now that you understand your customers and their needs, it’s time to build your team. Building a team using a talent-based perspective will help you find the right role for each member.
To transform an idea into a product or service, you need a network of direct (family, friends, colleagues) and indirect (investors, suppliers, mentors, employees) links.
1) Build your leadership team. It is important that there is a rainmaker, a conductor and an expert on the board and that it contains the right mix of different skills, talents and experiences.
2) Identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses , then establish partnerships with outsiders to make up for the gaps in your team’s talent profile. Outsiders will add new knowledge and connections that you need to grow and scale.
3) Identify people in your personal network who can act as bridges to new networks (human and financial).
4) Build a diverse network by overcoming social barriers. Employees, suppliers, mentors, consultants, helpers: you will need everyone. Keep your team’s talent profile in mind as you build your extended team, and add members who have the right talents and skills to
suit your needs.
The 10 talents of the successful builder
1. Trust: you know yourself and you know how to present yourself effectively and with confidence / you understand clearly and you can influence others / you are action oriented and you take the initiative / you have full conviction in your ability to be a successful builder.
To maximize this talent: plan ahead / do your homework / discuss opportunities with your network / avoid group thinking.
2. Delegation: promptly delegate authority and responsibility / collaborate with others proactively / recognize people’s special abilities and know how to exploit them / manage to make team members become valid contributors.
To maximize this talent: identify what to delegate / identify to whom to delegate / take the time to train collaborators / allow employees to perform and give them feedback / be patient / use your network to access the human resources you need.
3. Determination: push to achieve your goals and have a tremendous work ethic / face obstacles directly and overcome them / you are persistent and do not let yourself be discouraged by failures and difficulties / you are eager to make decisions and act quickly.
To maximize this talent: share your optimistic vision with partners, employees and investors / join creative people / always keep the big picture in mind and monitor your progress compared to the predefined objectives / be attentive to the continuous evolution of the business and market changes / don’t focus on the causes of setbacks / keep things in perspective / reflect on your successes and failures.
4. Disruption: you can imagine beyond the boundaries of what exists now / explore options and have a personal way of solving problems / constantly fantasizing about new products or services for customers / your mind is always full of different ideas / you are a curious pupil and learn quickly.
To maximize this talent: balance the current and future needs of customers / use measurements to evaluate your ideas / minimize potential pitfalls by releasing your new product or service incrementally / keep a simple organizational structure / balance efficiency and creativity / mobilize the resources to fuel your innovation process / learn from your failures.
5. Independence: you rely on yourself to get the job done / you have a strong sense of responsibility / you can manage multiple activities successfully / you are resolute, you have a high level of competence in every aspect of managing an organization.
To maximize this talent: plan in the long term and do not lose sight of your main objective / be prepared to adapt quickly to changes / form strategic alliances and a diversified network / do not fall into the myopia of the builder by falling in love with your idea / hire
people who can respond to the needs of a growing organization.
6. Knowledge: you commit yourself to acquire in-depth information on every aspect of your organization / use your knowledge as a competitive advantage / have an interest in your organization that borders on the obsession / anticipate the knowledge needs of your customers.
To maximize this talent: feed your voracious desire to know everything about your organization / set aside a lot of time to think and learn / tidy up your intuitions before acting / get a stranger’s point of view / give to your employees a clear direction.
7. Profitability: you are profit-oriented / set clear goals and objectively measure progress towards those goals / judge the value of an opportunity, relationship or decision based on the effect on your organization / invest time to plan growth strategies / align employee responsibilities with your organization’s goals.
To maximize this talent: use specific deadlines and parameters to measure your organizational goals / manage your time carefully / write down your short and long term vision and
often refer to it / constantly communicate your short and long term goals to employees and customers / do not lose sight of the human element present in the business.
8. Relationship: you have a high social awareness / you attract and know how to maintain a community / build mutually beneficial relationships / use your relationship talents to access internal and external resources / create relationships with employees and customers that go beyond work / have a
open and positive attitude , personal integrity that helps build trust.
To maximize this talent: diversify your networks, cultivate horizontal and lateral ties / remember that reciprocity is vital for maintaining strong relationships / be selective in deciding on who to invest your time / understand the local social landscape / use your time, your your brand and your resources to dedicate yourself to social problems / renew and remodel your networks frequently.
9. Risk: you have a strong personality, charisma and self-confidence / you are enthusiastic when you face challenges / you have a highly optimistic perception of risk / you make decisions easily even in complex situations / you have a rational approach to decision making.
To maximize this talent: be aware of the limits of your knowledge / take the risk incrementally / be aware of the confirmation bias which can lead you to prefer the information that confirms your opinions / build different scenarios to guide your decision-making process / do not cheat / eliminate irrelevant projects.
10. Sale: speak boldly on behalf of your organization / expose your case effectively and influence people / communicate your vision of the organization to employees and customers / have a clear growth strategy.
To maximize this talent: make a great product or service / be the expert / constantly practice your storytelling technique / use more media to reach the widest possible audience / build a community for your products or services.