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Pathfinder: The ❤ of the Small Business Entrepreneur

Hand holding a compass between two paths

As an SBA THRIVE Business Coach for Entrepreneurial businesses, I’ve been sharing the TAPE Framework and Assessment with my cohorts. Small business is the driving force in creating community. As we discuss the different types of growth: financial, volume, scale, leadership, human capital, etc.; we have also explored the TAPE model that is as flexible as small business. The TAPE Framework and Assessment measures how to use creativity by combining action and connection to drive growth. We also have been discussing the importance of asking the question: What are you growing? A new product line, your market, your bottom line or something else? Different types of growth require different skill sets. Yet, when connection and action meet, growth happens.

Letter P made from floral cloth

Most small businesses tend to categorize themselves in the TAPE Framework in the Pathfinder (letter P) category. On the creative scale, that is when the action of being Potent meets the connection of being Principled. What do we mean by Potent? Potency is measured by leveraging influence and leveraging your strongest assets. The skill sets or actions that makes a leader or business Potent include:

• Competent in multiple channels of influence

• Communicates with impact

• Leverages strongest assets

• Strategy drives tactics

• “Secret recipe” is captured and drives culture

Pathfinder Venn Diagram with Potent circle on the left and Principled circle on the right

On the other end of the creative scale is connection. For the Pathfinder, connections are Principled, or values driven. The Pathfinder connects to their leadership or business values by following a code of ethics or principles, and weaving a path that doesn’t require negotiating their belief system. The skill sets or connections that makes a leader or business Principled include:

• Connections are ethics and values compatible

• Powerbase is understood (who has the power inside and outside of their business)

• Productive conflict resolution skills

• Culture leads, change follows

Pathfinders navigate the information jungle by remaining focused on their core values and leveraging their influence. As leaders and businesses, they are planners and will experiment and forecast based on both alignment with values and actions that are leverage assets and influence. Establishing trust is important to Pathfinder leaders and businesses and just having the idea isn’t enough. Although the Pathfinder category of growth isn’t as fast or meteoric as the Transporter or Activator, these leaders and businesses grow by finding new ways of doing things and helping others in alignment with a belief system. One belief is that it is more important to take the time to get it right, gain trust, and exercise influence, than to get it done.

I invite you to take the survey by visiting You can take it for yourself and you can take it for your organization to see how creativity can be used as a strategy and growth can happen when action and connection meet. Then schedule a FREE 30-min consult and we'll explore the framework to see how you can manifest creativity and growth in your leadership and/or business.

Break the Tape Leadership helps leaders unleash creativity and potential in themselves and the organizations they lead to generate meaningful momentum.

©2022 Break the Tape LLC

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