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The ten sparketypes

Below you’ll find basic descriptions for all 10 Sparketypes. Be sure to complete the FREE Sparketype Assessment in order to get a more accurate understanding of your personal Sparketype profile.

The Maker
Your Primary Sparketype reveals the essential nature or “driver” of the work you’re here to do (whether it’s the work you get paid to do, or not). When you do the work of your Primary Sparketype, you come alive with purpose and, fully-expressed in a healthy way, deepen into meaning, flow, connection and joy.

As a Maker, creation is your call. You are most alive and engaged when you are making things. Starting with an idea, then turning it into a thing that reflects the taste and sense of possibility you have in your head, your vision of what could be, this is what you’re here to do. You’ve likely known this since you were a kid. It’s what you’ve always naturally gravitated to, what you lost yourself in.

What you make doesn’t have to be a physical thing, it could be an experience or interaction. It could be digital, words, numbers, code. It might be a moment, work of music, event, company, business venture or anything else. The common element is that, for you, the part of it that is the purest emanation of your reason for being is the process of making or creating. You find yourself losing interest the moment the making/hyper-creation element of any endeavor fades.

Interestingly, your creations may have a tremendous impact on others. You enjoy this. It is a beautiful “by-product” that also is essential if you want to turn making into your living. But, when you’re really being honest, it’s not the essential reason you do it. The fact that it moves people, and the depth of that effect, is more a measuring stick of your capabilities and ability to fully-express your vision than an expression of your reason for being.

The Maven
Your Primary Sparketype reveals the essential nature or “driver” of the work you’re here to do (whether it’s the work you get paid to do, or not). When you do the work of your Primary Sparketype, you come alive with purpose and, fully-expressed in a healthy way, deepen into meaning, flow, connection and joy.

As a Maven, fascination is your call. You latch onto a topic, field or industry and devour everything you can to know about it. Staying “surface level” just isn’t an option for you. It’s no fun. You are driven to learn, to discover, to ferret out information, wisdom, knowledge for no other purpose than the joy of learning and knowing something as fully and deeply as you can.

Your Maven’s fascination and yearning to learn might be expressed more generally, as a perpetual curiosity about everything and everyone. Or, it may be more focused on highly-specific topics or fields of interest that evolve over time, often because your ceaseless yearning to learn has largely exhausted what the topic has to offer. So, you find the next area of fascination to move on to.

For Mavens it’s not necessarily about what you “do” with your rapidly-accumulating reservoir of wisdom. What you learn may be useful to others, or not. When it is, you enjoy sharing it. It is a beautiful potential “by-product” that also is essential if you want to turn your Maven-ness into your living. But, when you’re really being honest, it’s not the essential reason you do it. The fact that is has value to others is more a measuring stick of the depth of your knowledge and ability to fully-express what you’ve learned than a true expression of your reason for being. Either way, the deeper driver is the quest to learn, to satisfy your perpetual, insatiable fascination.

The Scientist
Your Primary Sparketype reveals the essential nature or “driver” of the work you’re here to do (whether it’s the work you get paid to do, or not). When you do the work of your Primary Sparketype, you come alive with purpose and, fully-expressed in a healthy way, deepen into meaning, flow, connection and joy.

As a Scientist, burning questions, problems and puzzles are your call. You are driven by, and find a deep sense of purpose in the pursuit of an answer to a burning question, or the solution to a significant problem. You are the puzzle-master, it’s all about figuring the thing out. Everywhere you look, you see questions in need of answers, problems in need of better solutions and quandaries in need of bigger, better ideas.

When there is no obvious or blatant question, problem or puzzle to pursue, you go in search of one. Along the way, you may also seek and acquire knowledge and mastery, you may make things that aid you in your quest, but those are more a “means” to an “answering the burning question” end for you. Not infrequently, the minute you know what you need to know to figure out the problem or puzzle, you shift away from knowledge-acquisition and making, and pour yourself back into problem-solving mode. Your fullest expression and deepest satisfaction comes from knowing you’ve found the ultimate answer to the question, solution to the problem or pathway through the puzzle.

In the end, the solutions and answers you discover may be valuable to others. Latch onto a complex problem where a novel solution cures a societal disease or fixes a widespread problem that saves time, money or effort and the financial and impact implications may be huge. That is something you enjoy. It is a beautiful potential “by-product” that also is essential if you want to turn your Scientist wiring into your living. But, when you’re really being honest, it’s not the essential reason you do it. The fact that the output of your Scientist effort has value to others is more a measuring stick of the depth of your abilities as a Scientist than a true expression of your reason for being.

The Essentialist
Your Primary Sparketype reveals the essential nature or “driver” of the work you’re here to do (whether it’s the work you get paid to do, or not). When you do the work of your Primary Sparketype, you come alive with purpose and, fully-expressed in a healthy way, deepen into meaning, flow, connection and joy.

As an Essentialist, distilling, organizing and simplifying is your call. It doesn’t matter where you go, whether at work or home or on vacation (or a restaurant, store, experience, etc), you see chaos, mess, complexity and it triggers a near-primal urge to create order and simplicity.

It could be complex information, ideas, spreadsheets or data-sets, toys in a room, items in a display, clothes on a rack, books on a shelf, physical or digital, it doesn’t really matter. Your brain immediately goes into distill and simplify mode. You think in systems and processes designed to create space, order and efficiency. It’s what breathes you.

This is one of the Sparketypes that often expresses itself very early in life. Unlike others where you need to “go out into the world” to experience activities and moments that give you the raw data to really get a sense for what lights you up, nearly every moment of every day provides opportunities for Essentialists to embrace and employ their Sparketype. Because, it turns out, the world is a largely chaotic, complex and massively disorganized place.

What’s so funny to you, as well, is that so many others find the process of turning chaos into simplicity and order a burden. For you, sure it’s work, but it’s also where you find your fullest expression and drop into bliss.

The Sage
Your Primary Sparketype reveals the essential nature or “driver” of the work you’re here to do (whether it’s the work you get paid to do, or not). When you do the work of your Primary Sparketype, you come alive with purpose and, fully-expressed in a healthy way, deepen into meaning, flow, connection and joy.

As a Sage, teaching or “illuminating” is your call. You live to share ideas, knowledge and experiences with others in a way that lifts them up and leaves them changed. This doesn’t mean, by the way, you call yourself a teacher, or work in a field where it is a part of your title or even job description. It’s about the essential nature of work that lets you feel most alive, and you can do this in nearly any field or endeavor.

That means, of course, that you have to know something before you can teach it. So, you regularly seek to learn and study, you may even pour yourself into solving big problems or making things, and there is a certain genuine satisfaction in that. But, if you’re really being honest, you do these things, in no small part, because you want to have more and better wisdom to turn around and teach. They’re more a means to the end of being extraordinary at sharing wisdom in a way that leaves people better.

When you see the lights of discovery go on in the faces of others, it’s magic. But, for you, it’s not enough to simply “convey information,” you want those you teach or mentor to truly “get it,” and you want to be engaged and inspired at every step along the way. It’s about the process as much as the awakening. So you work tirelessly and with a sense of mission to find ways to share what you know that create genuine understanding and bring students, mentees, colleagues on a journey of discovery along with you. This is what makes you wake up in the morning.

The Performer
Your Primary Sparketype reveals the essential nature or “driver” of the work you’re here to do (whether it’s the work you get paid to do, or not). When you do the work of your Primary Sparketype, you come alive with purpose and, fully-expressed in a healthy way, deepen into meaning, flow, connection and joy.

As a Performer, bringing things to life in a performative way is your call. When you take the stage, actual or metaphorical, in the presence of others, and perform, either alone or as part of an ensemble, troup, team or any other format, that is your everything.

When we think of the Performer, we very often think about only the most traditional modes of expression – theater, film, singing, dancing, acting, spoken words and similar genres. But, when we talk about the Performer as Sparketype, we take a much broader lens. It’s not contained by a traditional channel or genre, it is about the ability to “express who you are and what you do in a performative way.” To amplify and animate it in a way that bypasses boredom, dances past defenses and lands in a more embodied, visceral way.

So, sure, activities like singing, dancing and acting may well fall into this. But the Performer can also easily translate to athletics, performance art, public speaking, comedy, facilitating business trainings, workshops, events, running meetings, teaching, scooping ice-cream, tending bar, leading a team or company or nearly any other setting. The central feature is that thing that lights you up more than any other part, is the performative aspect of whatever you do, and the reaction you get from those who are moved by what you’ve performed.

The Warrior
Your Primary Sparketype reveals the essential nature or “driver” of the work you’re here to do (whether it’s the work you get paid to do, or not). When you do the work of your Primary Sparketype, you come alive with purpose and, fully-expressed in a healthy way, deepen into meaning, flow, connection and joy.

As a Warrior, organizing, inspiring and leading others is your call. There is, and has always been, something inside that yearns to bring people together, organize them, harness their collective energy, assume responsibility, make decisions, and lead them on some form of meaningful and challenging quest. For you, it’s not just a skill or a position, organizing and leading is a calling, it is the truest expression of your essential nature, the work you’re here to do.

You might express this call through a deeper connection to a specific industry, field, path, group or community. Or, it might find an outlet at home, with friends or anywhere else. For some Warriors, you become attached to a particular area of focus, field or pursuit for long windows of time. But, it’s also not unusual for your focus or quest to shift over time, especially once you’ve led others to what you perceive is the pinnacle of where they are capable of going in that one specific context. At that point, you are still wired to lead, but it’s time to redirect your energies to new point A and a new set of quests to bring people on as you lead them to point B and beyond.

For many Warrior Sparketypes, in fact, if you’re really being honest, it often doesn’t matter what the field or pursuit or industry is, as long as you are given the opportunity to lead others toward a deeply-desired, meaningful outcome. Nothing fuels you more than playing this role, no matter what you do, who you’re with or where you land. In the end, it’s about stepping into that position, playing the role of warrior, organizing and leading people from where they are now to a different, deeply-desired place.

The Advisor
Your Primary Sparketype reveals the essential nature or “driver” of the work you’re here to do (whether it’s the work you get paid to do, or not). When you do the work of your Primary Sparketype, you come alive with purpose and, fully-expressed in a healthy way, deepen into meaning, flow, connection and joy.

As an Advisor, coaching, mentoring and advising is your call. You light up like nothing else when you play the role of the trusted advisor. The person who swoops in, develops sustained, personal, relationships, most often with individuals or small groups, cultivates trust and confidence and creates the safety needed to coach or guide people, in a hands-on, engaging way toward a desired end.

While you see yourself as someone who is wise and skilled, it’s less about teaching a particular body of knowledge and more about the interactive process of guiding people, in a more personalized way, through a process of growth, problem-solving, application and achievement. Your true aspiration is not just to get them to the place they yearn to be, but to also help them develop their own inner-trust and self-reliance, so that, when the time is right, you can step away, watch them soar and engage with others who await a similar “intervention.”

Because of this, you can often walk into nearly any setting, industry or field and fairly quickly feel at home, even if you don’t have deep domain-specific expertise. You just know your ability to apply your unique lens, focused awareness, and skills as an advisor and mentor are robust enough to give anyone what they need in nearly any endeavor.

The Advocate
Your Primary Sparketype reveals the essential nature or “driver” of the work you’re here to do (whether it’s the work you get paid to do, or not). When you do the work of your Primary Sparketype, you come alive with purpose and, fully-expressed in a healthy way, deepen into meaning, flow, connection and joy.

As an Advocate, giving voice to an idea, person, living thing or community is your call. And, it is often on display when that something or someone struggles to be seen or heard on it’s own. Whether arguing for change, selling an idea or solution, serving as the voice of someone whose rights are being violated, advocating for a group whose needs are being unjustly ignored or advocating for those who simply are not in a position where they can easily stand for themselves, especially those who are in some way disenfranchised or disempowered, this is why you’re here.

You may, in fact, be a part of a community for which you advocate, making you not just “for,” them but also “one of” them. Because of this, your role as an advocate may also place you in the position of organizing and leading. You don’t necessarily mind this (Advocates and Warriors are common Primary and Shadow Sparketype pairings). But, if you’re really being honest, your truest expression of your essential nature is less about organizing and leading and more about crafting and bringing forth a coherent voice and inciting action around it. And, by the way, among those living things or beings, we’re not just talking about people, you may also be the voice and protector for those you can represent, but not so easily lead, like animals and natural environments.

Advocate Sparketypes not infrequently begin to show their imprint very early in life, often being labeled anything from “born salespeople” to “rebels” or even “troublemakers.” In truth, you simply refuse to stand quiet in the face of any perceived idea, cause, group or injustice that needs to be seen, heard and championed, whether directed toward you or toward others.

The Nurturer
Your Primary Sparketype reveals the essential nature or “driver” of the work you’re here to do (whether it’s the work you get paid to do, or not). When you do the work of your Primary Sparketype, you come alive with purpose and, fully-expressed in a healthy way, deepen into meaning, flow, connection and joy.

As a Nurturer, giving care is your call. You are deeply empathetic. You’ve been this way as long as you can remember. You see others in need and you feel called to help, in whatever way you can, take care of them, relieve suffering. Sometimes to the point where you give so much, there’s nothing left for you.

For some Nurturers, the call is connected to a single being, living thing or discrete group, community or population. This might range from an aging relative to an animal at a shelter or an ancient forest. For others, the yearning to give care is felt more broadly, literally anyone or anything that is in need becomes an anchor for your desire to relieve suffering, give care, heal or offer comfort.

Many Nurturers find themselves in helping professions, but just like all of the Sparketypes, your ability to offer empathy, compassion, give care to those in need of help can and does cross any field, industry or title. This Sparketype also often finds a powerful outlet in your non-professional pursuits, expressed in your desire to help friends, strangers or even entire populations whose pain you simply cannot witness without doing something about it. When you have the opportunity to give care, and you see the difference it makes, even if you’re never directly thanked, you become Sparked.