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Are you a builder or a developer?

Amin Roslan
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Are you a builder or a developer?

While I was driving in my neighbourhood, a thought came across my mind. It's one of those philosophical thoughts you get every once a day. This one speaks

You are either a builder or a developer. Which one are you?

I didn't answer. I let the thought float around my mind. Making sure it doesn't drift apart, I try very hard to think about it until it seeps in. 

So, today I get the chance to actually talk about this in the blog. What's the difference? Builder or Developer? Build or Develop? On the surface, they both mean the same. Well, not really.

We all have probably heard the quote

Don't be a boss, but a leader

Sounds good and all, but most do not know that calling yourself a leader, doesn't mean you are a good leader. There are bad leaders out there; leaders that only benefits his own. I wouldn't want to call myself a leader. To some, I am. To some others, I am not. I used to be a leader who builds his legacy, instead of developing a legacy. Why?

Build - construct (something) by putting parts or material together.

Develop - grow or cause to grow and become more mature, advanced, or elaborate.

They both may sound like they mean the same thing, but in depth, they are not.

In another perspective, let's talk about following the right leader. If you're lucky to get someone who has a developer trait, then you're set to grow. You will start to gain different ways of receiving new information that would turn into knowledge that you forever will keep. You get invaluable mindsets instead of orders. These help you not only grow, but it gets you moving much faster in the long run. It's better to have a sense of clarity on what you are doing rather than just blindly doing it because you feel it's a responsibility. 

If you get someone who has the builder trait, you might or might not grow, but you will gain resilience. By resilience, you will get used to facing obstacles by your own; learning your own way to rise up. You either become very obedient, or you lose your mind. I went through the latter. I couldn't stay under someone who builds his team. But that's just me. Bear in mind that, if you don't perform a certain task well enough, you will eventually get replaced by another brick. 

I have 9 years of work history behind me. I've worked in retail stores, cafe shops, car dealers, property agency, construction management, failed businesses here and there. Most of these careers involve having a higher order person-in-charge. A boss, you could say. There are bosses who really, minds his own business, acts as a vessel to pass information from his boss, without actually absorbing the information being passed down to. Then there was this boss, who just agrees to everything you request, and in the end, breaks the agreement without notice.

During my time there in the company, I was having a personal issue involving the family. So my boss asked if there's something wrong. I explained and she offered a month of leave.  30 days of leave! No joke, so I said yes. After a month, I came back and someone else is already on my seat. Ok. Apparently, in the process my boss didn't notify me about it, wasting my time when I could actually use the remaining leave days I had to look for another job, but no. Apparently, her reason was

I am building a business here, I can't make another mistake like that again, so I had to look forward.

Without much, I agreed to resign and left the building. So she mentions she is building a business, not developing her business. Now let's talk about why, in my perspective, these two words do not share the same meaning.

In my opinion, being in a company that keeps on building and being in a company that keeps on developing, will result in two different outcomes; You either get the chance to grow yourself by working on something you are passionate about, or you get to build yourself to be more resilient towards any obstacles that come in your way. Personally, both ways have their advantages. I honestly have been in both situations and maybe that's what actually builds me to the person I am today; being able to possess working passionately & being able to defend myself better from obstacles in the workplace and in life.

So let's ask ourselves, are we a builder, or are we a developer? 


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