Berkeley Book Discusses Leadership And Strong Personalities

Berkeley Book Discusses Leadership

“Who you are shapes how you build.” It’s the informative, overarching message from a pair of Berkeley Haas School of Business fellows in their new book Built For Growth, which explores how the personalities of successful entrepreneurs inform their empires.

Haas Senior fellow John Danner and Rosemark Capital Founder and Managing Director Chris Kuehne explore four “builder” archetypes in the book: the Driver, the Explorer, the Crusader and the Captain. These archetypes are based on “their motivation to be an entrepreneur, their decision-making mode, management approach and leadership style.”

Danner explains, “It’s not the recipes or ingredients that make a standout restaurant, it’s the chef and how his or her personality puts those resources together.”

Danner and Kuehne interviewed successful builders, including Ben & Jerry, Brian O’Kelley of AppNexus, Ben Weiss of Bai5, Jenny Fleiss of Rent the Runway and Margery Kraus of APCO Worldwide, among others, about “how they build businesses of enduring value.” Builders were presented with statements like, “When framing a problem, I rely mostly on the facts” vs. “I rely mostly on my intuition,” and were asked to “respond on a scale of one (completely disagree) to seven (completely agree).”

The authors ended up with the following four personality types:

The Driver (Apple’s Steve Jobs) is “relentless, commercially focused, and almost fixated on the product or service and believes it is the next big thing.” The Driver’s weakness is that he/she has “difficulty sharing the wheel with the team and can run into trouble when a market shift contradicts their confidence.”

The Explorer (Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg) is “curious, systems-centric and fascinated by the challenge and opportunity to find the solution.” Explorers tend to “struggle with the more human aspects of scaling a business.”

The Crusader (Twitter’s Jack Dorsey) is “audacious and compassionate,” whose M.O. revolves around a “long-term mission and making a fundamental change in the world.” Crusaders have difficulty with conflict and “struggle with the operations side of the business.”

The Captain (Alibaba’s Jack Ma) is “pragmatic, direct and more focused on generating a team culture and an environment of reciprocity and collaboration.” Of all four personality types, Captains are the most comfortable changing course, if need be.

The authors explain that so-called “expert builders” work to “elevate their particular strengths and delegate tasks related to their weaknesses.” So-called “master builders” actively “borrow from other personality types…and engaging help from peers or colleagues.”

You can also visit the Built for Growth website to identify your personality type.


About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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