“I wish my neuroses were more productive.”
That’s a joke I share with my friends.
To be honest, It isn’t always a joke.
I listen to podcasts, read the Harvard Business Review, and see the latest books about how to improve productivity, create new habits, and do the things that will really make me a better human being—or at least someone that can have an empty email inbox and a made bed every morning.
I often look a little bit deeper into the people who are offering the latest and greatest advice and I often discover many don’t sleep a lot, are compulsive, work insane hours, started off life with some connections or money, or have some hyper focus that allows them to do more than us, mere mortals.
We hold these outliers out as the gold standard while the rest of us look on with envy and wonder why we were not born with better genes, had more discipline, or, at the very least, have the ability to get our hands on better meds.
Which brings us to Pathfinders.
While that feels like a non sequitur, hang in there with me.
Some personality traits gain more praise. Extroverts over introverts. Engineers over marketers. Specialists over generalists. Leaders over followers. Concrete thinkers over abstract.
The fact is, we need each personality type and the strengths they offer for the world and our businesses to work. We know this intellectually, but often we can’t help but wish we were something different than what we are.
It is estimated by 2028, the global personality test market will grow to more than US$16 billion, more than double its size in 2021.
A lot of people, and HR departments, are trying to figure out better how people tick and why. And, if we are lucky, the information will help us align ourselves and our teams with jobs that they love and to which they are well suited.
The Pathfinder assessment is not a personality test. But it is an assessment that identifies if an individual has the intangibles and the deep skills that are characteristic of a Pathfinder.
Based on our extensive experience, interviews with entrepreneurs, and qualitative research, we have found a pattern for what constitutes the right mindset and skillsets for individuals making their way into new territory.
This could be the first salesperson for a bootstrapped startup. They could also be the person a company taps to expand into a new market or seek new opportunities within a mature business. In self-management companies, everybody needs to be a Pathfinder.
What is interesting is how we have made a cultural habit of glorying Pathfinders. I’m guessing it has something to do with our collective memory of sending Fred into the cave to see if it is free of bears.
Because, for good Pathfinders, there can be times when you run from the cave screaming and you have to do it all again tomorrow.
We are glad that job didn’t fall to us but, at the same time, wish it had.
There is nothing wrong with wishing you were a Pathfinder. And there are some things you can do to develop pathfinder skills, like developing a stronger tolerance for risk and rejection, for example.
From what we found, it is likely more interesting and productive for you to reflect on your unique strengths, how they provide joy for you and value for others, and further, develop those skills.
Still, it is important to know if you, or the people you are recruiting, are Pathfinders – not least to assign folks to roles they can flourish in.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an assessment tool focused on the mindset/deep skills of a Pathfinder allowing you to get the right people in the right roles?
We have good news.
For the first sales hire of a B2B tech startup we already have The Right Five which covers both the deep and vocational skills required to be successful. You can watch a demo here.
For every other type of Pathfinder, we’ve decoupled the intangibles, the deep skills from The Right Five assessment and will shortly offer this as a standalone online assessment through The Pathfinder Company. Stay tuned for more details.