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  • Writer's pictureLynn Taylor

10 great ways to waste your personal Power

Updated: May 18, 2018

In the ancient cultures, as humanity began to move from hunting and gathering to agrarian and trade-based economic societies, four principle types of business practitioners (social contributors) evolved: Builders, Merchants, Innovators and Bankers. Everyone has a unique recipe of preference and capacity for each of the four fundamental Core Values.

This is part 1 in a 4-part series exploring each type of social contributor, how they got their start, what separates each from the other, and the vital role each plays in the world. Which do you most identify with? Why? Share your thoughts as we take a walk on the core-value side of the world…

We’ll begin with Power.

The Builders

A sturdy, action-oriented group of individuals became specialized in constructing shelters and shops, building roads, pyramids, and bridges. These builders also formed the armies, led the expeditions and served as high-energy workers. Their actions constantly created monuments to human resourcefulness and power, such as productive farmlands, new businesses, and strong armies. Because they were builders they acted intuitively, investing their personal energy in activities that promised to yield positive, highly-desired results. When a first attempt did not create the success desired, they threw themselves tirelessly against the greatest obstacles, until the obstacles yielded to their personal power and energy.

We define Power as:

The application of personal energy toward the achievement of our highest and best contribution.

The primary contribution of the Power core energy is taking actions that lead to results. This core value is driven by intuitive decision making. Gut-level responses to circumstances and direct investment of personal energy into a given situation gives the Power-activated person a sense of fixing things, making situations instantly better by their personal presence and by their initiation of action.

Leadership in almost any endeavor requires a strong capacity for the exercise of Power. Nearly every job requires some capacity for Power that is readily accessible and trusted by the individual in that position.

The capacity for Power is important. It is essential we understand the benefits and significant contributions made by people who are willing to be the presence of Power in the room. It is also essential we avoid some of the ways that Power-based individuals waste their personal Power energy.

When power is applied at the right time, in the right circumstances, in the right manner, the effects are dramatic and real.

When power strategies are used at the wrong time, in the wrong circumstances, in an ineffective manner, the negative effects are dramatic and real. The negative conflict strategy related to Power is Intimidation. The use of intimidation in any situation can cause some immediate forward motion in others, but the backlash over time is ten times greater than the immediate, seemingly positive effect. Non-power people make intimidators pay for their taking-and-getting, ego-driven, fear-based intimidation strategies and tactics.

Here are ten well-tested, validated ways power-based individuals waste their power. Identify the strategies below that stand between your present circumstances and your vision of how effective your life could be.

1. Do everything yourself.

2. Perform gut-level fixes in chaotic, combustible actions, creating a new batch of fires for tomorrow.

3. Build and destroy systems and processes.

4. Overpower others, causing them to be unwilling to work with you tomorrow.

5. Get lost in “doing”; fail to prioritize.

6. Blow up teams.

7. Take on too many tasks leaving lots of important projects started but not finished.

8. Fail to communicate: believe simply showing a person how to do something once should be sufficient.

9. Never stop working. Sometimes doing nothing is the most powerful tactic.

10. Dishonor the core values in others. This is the unavoidable consequence for a power-based person who has shifted into intimidation.

Builders are a well-respected group of people, powerful in scope of work, leaders in creating lasting monuments for themselves and their businesses. Builders act, make decisions, and drive toward results. They take the aspirations of the merchants, the ideas of the innovators, and the facts from the bankers and through the application of personal energy produce results. Builders lead by example and by command. Their style is to take immediate action and apply their personal energy to create a desired result.

A builder’s primary core value is power. Power is personal energy invested to make a positive difference. A builder makes a positive contribution by being effective and by achieving results. Builders use straight-forward speech and bottom-line thinking. They look for quick, simple approaches that allow them to intuitively decide, step ahead, and lead others into action.

The power of a builder inspires action in others; it gives them a sense of well-being and confidence. When a builder is purposefully charged with a short-term mission, he creates an irresistible force, visible activity. The presence of this constructive power in any organization produces visible and measurable results.

Power helps builders contribute to the team. Power provides them with their decisiveness and spontaneity, which is important for short-term projects. Power gives them emotional strength that inspires their teams to never give up. Since urgency is a prime motivator, and power itself expends little conversation, you may find them impatiently answering questions or commanding others somewhat abruptly to perform.

These behaviors as well as many others are due to the builder’s core value, power. The builder’s propensity to take action in alignment with power-based strategies influences every decision, judgment, and action that they take. When power is the motivation, the attention of the builder is not on relationships and feelings, not on observation and assessment, not on low risk and data collection, or even an effective slew of resources. The attention is on throwing all personal energy into a task to make something significant happen.

The builder’s self-respect is founded in the tangible evidence of applied personal power. Their self-worth will deflate only when they feel powerless, when they are not allowed to act, or when they perceive that their personal power is not currently being valued or applied to worthy tasks.

Are you a Builder-first person? Is your boss? Your spouse? In what way do Builders contribute in your life? Ever felt like you’ve gone head-to-head with a Builder?

Take the CVI to learn more about the Builder and all of the essential four Core Values.


Lynn Taylor is creator of the Core Values Index™ (CVI), the first and only human-nature assessment to measure the innate, unchanging nature of a person. The Core Values Index is used by companies and coaches around the globe. With it, we align job tasks to innate nature so that work becomes a natural expression of one’s true self. Companies are more profitable as a result, turnover plummets, leadership teams are better equipped to complete critical initiatives, and employees are more engaged, fulfilled and loyal. Find the right talent, reposition existing talent, and lift management to greater outcomes with the CVI.

Learn more at, or better yet, give Lynn and his team a shout at 206.283.8144 to see where the CVI can take YOU!

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