The Builder Protector Mindset

There is a phenomenon called the Builder Protector Ratio (B/P Ratio) and is a measurement within a company of confidence vs. caution. It’s a critical measurement tool for a CEO and their leadership team to be able to assess the company’s ability to accept change, react with confidence to that change and help the company achieve its stated goals.

A Builder mindset creates new ideas, takes on new initiatives, and finds ways to expand the revenue and profitability of the enterprise. A Builder chooses to challenge and improve the way things are done. They are risk tolerant and highly supportive of growth. A Builder tends to be confident in the financial strength of a company and hold a high degree of confidence in the company’s processes and systems.

A Protector mindset is cautious and prefers to slow down the pace of change. They are risk adverse and highly suspicious of growth. Protectors may not feel confident in the company’s financial strength and are slow to embrace the optimism of the future.

One example: The CEO of a small manufacturing company is unknowingly creating a company of Protectors because of his need to control and his hesitation to bring his employees into the vision and strategic plans for the company.

His controlling nature has virtually shut down the Builder-like capability in every single employee. By not encouraging communication, the Builders in the company will not step up and take risks and will revert to Protector status quickly.

By not sharing with the employees any information about the company’s future plans or their current financial situation, the employees will always come from a Protector mindset, which can be interpreted by the CEO as an unwillingness to step up and get the job done.

A company that had huge potential for growth will suddenly find itself with a culture of resistance, high staff turnover and life for the CEO will become almost unbearable.

Determining Your Company’s Builder Protector Ratio
There are specific signs happening today in your company that will immediately let you know how balanced your Builder Protector Ratio is.  A leader can get a good idea of their company’s B/P Ratio by 1) tuning into the energy in your company 2) talking to your leadership team and asking some pointed questions and 3) listening to your employees, really listening.

What are the signs? Are people engaged in open and active dialogue? Are meetings productive, full of valuable information? Are good decisions being made?

What are the questions?  Does your leadership team or your employees appear optimistic about the future? Are they confident in the financial strength of the company? Do they have a high level of confidence in their co-workers?

What are your employees saying? Is there too much behind the scenes gossiping? Is there a high rate of absenteeism or turnover? Do your managers or employees complain about a lack of accountability? Are projects derailed or slowed down too often?

Creating a Builder Mindset
A leader can help create more of a Builder mindset in their company by doing one thing and doing it often. Communicate. Communicate where the company is going. Communicate why it is going there. Communicate what the goals of the company are today and for the future. Communicate to individuals daily. Get to know each employee. Share critical information all the time and do it often.

Confidence vs Caution
If a company is aware of its B/P Ratio it can 1) make good decisions in a timely manner 2) accept change as a part of the company’s culture and 3) engage employees in meaningful dialogue because they have helped design the strategic future of the company.

Remember, a confident company is a profitable company.