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Finding the Young Builders in Your Community

Finding the Young Builders in Your Community

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 7, Episode 10
  • Who are the young builders in your community, and how can you keep them and attract others to your community? Find out in this Gallup BP10 Update.

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Rich Claussen, Ambassador for Innovation/Entrepreneurism -- Prosper Lincoln (Nebraska), about the identification and development of young builders and the Future Builders Challenge.

Our guest host was Todd Johnson, Senior Global Channel Leader, Entrepreneurship & Job Creation at Gallup.

Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above.

Todd Johnson: Let's go tactical. The easiest part of this initiative is recruiting the mentors, the business leaders, the existing companies to get involved. I've done it in Omaha, Lincoln, a couple of other cities. … And I believe this to be true for cities across the country. … Talk tactically. We're on our second year (of the program in Lincoln). What did you do? What did Year 1 look like and how did you learn and adapt it into Year 2?

Rich Claussen: In Year 1, when we started this, it was just an idea. And what we built had parts of what Omaha did, but in many ways, it was different from Omaha. It some of the aspirational goals of a Mexico City effort, but we had to scale it to Lincoln.

17:03 So the first step was that you have to put together conceptually what this looks like. So I built -- and this harkens back to my advertising/marketing days -- I thought, here's what we want to achieve, here's the problem we're trying to solve. So you have to start with what's the reality of now -- regardless of where you live, if you're in the Democratic Republic of Congo or in Lincoln, Nebraska -- what's the problem you want to address?

So if you can state the reality of the problem now, what we're trying to solve and our biggest challenge is that we're losing people. Nebraska has more cattle than people, more land than cities and people. We have 93,000 square miles of land -- a lot of land but not a density of people. So one of the challenges we have in order to grow as a community -- not just physically but mentally and I think emotionally -- is that we need to keep those that we believe can help build here but also attract others.

And so it's super important for us to build workforce -- workforce is a huge problem around the country and so what I did is I began to build this presentation with that as a statement of fact. Everybody can agree on that, it's something we all need to start working to address. But guess what, we have not been addressing it using what I call "purposeful disruption." So we needed to upset the norm of how we're going to try to solve this. BP10, Builder Profile 10, and the builder mentality was exactly the thing that we needed to disrupt.

21:22 RC: So you need to build advocacy within the community. The community needs to own it and then you need a champion for that effort that can coordinate it all. I was that guy. And then to recruit and to bring people into the fold to get involved, … we recruited people, saying, "All we want is the most valuable thing you have, and that is your time and your expertise to help guide these kids through a pathway that is going to help them learn how to solve a problem, work as team, present that solution and then they could possibly win cash prizes.

To a person, no one said, "No" to our request. The only people who said, "I wish I could" said they had something else going on or their schedule wasn't going to allow it. We targeted people, for the most part, that were a little closer in age to the high school students -- so people in their 20s and early 30s, initially, so that when they walk in the room and see these mentors and coaches, it's someone who looks a little more like them. That was really important. And these were not the second- and third-tier employees of organizations. Many of these were founders of businesses; these were people who started the business themselves. And they said, "This is great. You bet. I'll give you half a day; I'll give you a full day." It was awesome.

28:21 RC: The real prize is these kids getting recognition for creating solutions within our pitch competition for problems that are plaguing our city, Lincoln, that adults haven't been able to solve.

TJ: I love that -- I heard you say that at the inspiration rally, and it struck me. I remember you and I were worried a little bit about freshmen that first year, and one of our educator friends said, "Are you kidding? We haven't bludgeoned all of the creativity out of them by their freshman year!"

I will say, it's such an important point, one of my favorite parts that we've done in several cities and countries is the day or two after the different events … the inspiration rally, the boot camp … (is) some of the emails the parents send around, you can almost tell that they're crying while they're typing.

Because Johnny doesn't get recognized because he's not a star athlete, and our systems only identify and celebrate the athletes and, in some cases, the intellects or maybe those kids that can spell really big words. … As parents, when you can celebrate a kid for something that hasn't been fleshed out and recognized, there's no better feeling.

And in the schools, don't walk in the door saying, "I have another test to give the kids." Don't position it that way. You'll be thrown out. (Calling it) an assessment is just a piece of this pie. But (this is) an opportunity to light up and engage some kids that our system just doesn't.

Rich Claussen's dominant builder talents are Disruptor, Relationship, Selling and Confidence.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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