A recent question was asked that had to do with a company having the wrong Builder/Protector Ratio. And how you create initiatives around this critical hidden agent.

Just like with all aspects of the 7 Stages of Growth model, the goal is to help CEOs and their teams explore different hidden agents that may be creating obstacles to their growth.

Our goal when we introduce a CEO to the model is to provide him/her with a different way of thinking about their company.

Critical concept to embrace regarding this critical Hidden Agent is this:

The B/P Ratio is a MINDSET.

It’s not about an individual being a builder and another individual being a protector. It’s about why someone is projecting confidence and someone else is projecting caution.

This hidden agent is also known as the Confidence/Caution Ratio.

When you take a company through the Stages of Growth X-Ray, participants respond to 36 different statements under the Builder/Protector Exercise. Those statements, depending upon how the individual answers them, will show a builder mindset or a protector mindset.

Here are two examples to explore that show up under the Leadership Category:

Protector Statement: Leader Focus: Leaders lose sight of the larger picture by focusing too much on the day-to-day operational details of the business.

WHY do we want participants in the X-Ray to STRONGLY DISAGREE with this statement? And why is this considered a PROTECTOR STATEMENT?

A company that has a CEO or an entire leadership team that doesn’t delegate authority and responsibility and continues to micro-manage or second guess decisions made by other members of the organization, creates a culture of distrust. THIS CREATES FEAR and a company can’t function in fear. FEAR CREATES CAUTION.

That fear leaves people to question what they were hired to do and why they aren’t allowed to do their job. People who want to step up will become frustrated and disenfranchised.

We want leaders to provide a vision, set clear direction and have in place measurable expectations, define core values and then rely on the capable people they hire to carry out that vision, meet and exceed expectations and be confident that core values will drive behaviors the CEO believes in.

The X-Ray is designed to not allow a CEO to ‘gloss over’ critical issues that are hurting the very essence of what is needed to build a successful company. In this case, this one simple statement can send a very strong message to a CEO that says: “Let us do our job. Let us help you build a successful company.”

A CEO in a PROTECTOR mindset – pulling back authority and responsibility instead of pushing it out – is holding the company back.

For those of you who have delivered an X-Ray, you want to see STRONG DISAGREEMENT with this statement. If this statement shows up on the X-Ray Report as a BLUE BAR that is well over 30 on the scale, meaning people are STRONGLY AGREEING with this statement, critical initiatives that could come out of this discussion to help the CEO become more builder-like in their mindset might be:

• Define core values
• Identify and create measurable expectations for all positions
• Collaborate on Company and Department goals to drive alignment
• Create a Vision and Mission in order to engage all employees

Your initiatives should provide solutions to the issue that show up when the responses to these 36 statements are out of sync – when a protector mindset is creating too much caution or fear or there isn’t a strong enough builder mindset to drive performance, engagement and commitment to the future.

Builder Statement: High Activity Levels: I regularly find that leaders and managers maintain high activity levels within the company to keep the employees motivated.

That would be a good thing, right? High activity can be equated with engagement. What if there is STRONG DISAGREEMENT with this statement?

What if on the report, your BROWN bar, the Builder Bar that needs to be over 70 is well under that mark? What is that telling the CEO, the leaders and the managers of that company? There is a lack of connection with the rest of the employees? That morale is suffering? People don’t feel someone cares about them? They are disengaged?

If your Builder Bar isn’t in the right range for this critical statement, a couple of initiatives that might show up could include:

• Start having one-on-ones with all managers and their direct reports
• Managers will work with direct reports to create clear job expectations and meet regularly to review them
• Begin having monthly company meetings with involvement from department heads and their teams

Remember, there is no black or white in running a business. It’s all grey. Which is why I never look at hidden agents being ‘good or bad’, ‘right or wrong’ for a company.

My goal is to help create a dialogue around issues that don’t get discussed, that can remain hidden because of the chaos that exists in running and maintaining a successful business.

Utilizing the Stages of Growth X-Ray to help a company ‘get in sync’ with what research has shown is needed to better manage that chaos is an extremely effective process. A process that has been used successfully with hundreds of companies all over the world.

Your Success. My Passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!