The Importance of the Confidence, Caution Ratio

An Atmosphere of Confidence is Required to be
Successful At All 7 Stages of Entrepreneurial Growth

In his book, Navigating the Growth Curve, James Fischer introduces a unique phenomenon that indicated there is a blend of confidence and caution in every company.

To be successful, a CEOs must understand this critical ratio. They must also understand that it is their responsibility to provide the balance of this ratio in order to move their companies forward.

The Builder/Protector Ratio

This phenomenon is 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 the 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.

Protectors 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.

An Example of a Building, Protector Imbalance 

The CEO of this 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.

Unless employees are informed about the plan for the company’s future and current financial situation, they will always come from a Protector mindset.

This behavior is typically interpreted by the CEO as an unwillingness to step up and become highly engaged in their job. A company with huge potential for growth can suddenly have a culture of resistance with high staff turnover making the life of the CEO almost unbearable.

Determining Your Company’s Builder/Protector Ratio

There are specific signs right now in your company that will immediately let you know if the Builder/Protector Ratio is balanced. Here are three ways a leader can get a good idea of their company’s B/P Ratio:

1. Tuning into the voltage (aka: Energy) in your company

2. Talking to your leadership team and asking some pointed questions

3. Listening, really listening, to your employees.

Look For These Three Signs

1. Are people engaged in open and active dialogue?

2. Are meetings productive, full of valuable information?

3. Are effective decisions being made?

Find Answers To The Following 7 Questions

1.Does your leadership team or your employees appear optimistic about the future?

2. Are they confident in the financial strength of the company?

3. Do they have a high level of confidence in their co-workers?

4. Is there a lot of behind the scenes gossiping?

5. Is there excessive absenteeism or turnover?

6. Do your managers or employees complain about a lack of accountability?

7. Are projects often derailed or slowed down?

How To Create a Builder Mindset

Leaders can create more of a Builder mindset by getting to know each employee and communicating with them. Share critical information all the time and do it often.

· Communicate where the company is going.

· Communicate why it is going there.

· Communicate what the goals are today and for the future.

· Communicate to individuals daily.

Confidence vs Caution

When the CEO and leadership team are aware of the company’s B/P Ratio it can . . .

· Make effective decisions in a timely manner.

· Accept change as a part of the company’s culture

· Engage employees in meaningful dialogue because they have helped design the strategic future of the company.

Remember, A Confident Company Is A Profitable Company.

With a focus on a balanced Builder/Protector Ratio it will take team leaders that have developed the Work of Leaders skills to craft a vision for their team, secure alignment,and assure execution of the strategy while building a culture of confidence.

Click on the following link to view a short video about developing the work of leaders skills:


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