Closing Time

Dreamers, Doers, and Drivers (Types of Leaders) – What They Are and Why You Need All Three in SaaS

If you’re familiar with the 5 love languages, you know they are about how you love and want to be loved.

Well, the dreamer-doer-driver model takes that concept to the office, mapping out the three distinct types of leaders.  

It’s about how you lead and how people on your team need to be led.

On this episode of Closing Time, Sangram discusses the importance of knowing whether you and those around you are dreamers, doers, or drivers and how this impacts your leadership and management style.

Watch the video:
Key Moments:
The Broader Go-to-Market Operating System

Ever wondered what separates the big players from the rest in the world of go-to-market strategies? Hint: It’s not just about having a killer product or service.

If you follow Sangram’s company, GTM Partners, you’ve likely been exposed to the Go-to-Market Operating System–a data-driven approach to align the goals and efforts of the Go-to-Market teams (Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success) in your company.

Of the eight pillars (see image below), we’re honing in on Leadership and Management in this episode. Many organizations mistakenly believe they can simply delegate tasks without clear leadership, but Sangram emphasizes the necessity of intentional leadership in driving effective go-to-market strategies.

According to Sangram, go-to-market isn’t a one-time event where ideas are generated and forgotten. It’s an ongoing process of making decisions, trade-offs, and adjustments. Clear leadership, roles, and responsibilities are essential for navigating this process successfully.

Sangram recalls a pivotal moment in his career when hiring for key roles didn’t go as planned. Despite impressive resumes and ideal skills, some hires just weren’t the right fit. This led to the realization that having the right skills isn’t enough; the right mindset matters just as much. And thus, the Dreamer-Doer-Driver model was created.

The Dreamer-Doer-Driver model categorizes individuals based on their mindset and suitability for specific roles within the organization. It addresses the common challenge of hiring individuals who might excel in one role but struggle in another. By codifying these traits, Sangram’s team aims to facilitate better hiring decisions and help individuals understand their fit within the organization more clearly.

1. The Dreamer

Close your eyes and envision a world where imagination knows no bounds—a world where dreams take flight and shape the course of history. Welcome to the realm of the Dreamer.

Dreamers are the folks who live and breathe in the realm of possibility. They’re the ones always pondering, imagining, and talking about what could be. You’ll catch them using words like “I wonder” or “I imagine,” as they gaze into a future others might call “la-la land.”

Sangram, a self-proclaimed dreamer himself, describes those like him as optimists, bursting with ideas and curiosity. They see the world through a lens of wonder, responding with excitement and enthusiasm to new concepts. Their energy fuels a desire to shape the future, embracing change and pushing boundaries.

Examples of dreamers: Walt Disney, Martin Luther King Jr., and JFK. 

But here’s the thing—dreamers aren’t anchored in reality. Their optimism can sometimes blind them to practicalities or limitations. They’re so focused on what could be that they may overlook the “how” or the “when.” Yet, it’s this relentless pursuit of a vision that sets them apart. They’re not deterred by obstacles or timelines; it’s the journey itself that fuels their passion.

So, whether you’re a dreamer or you know one, remember: it’s the pursuit of the dream that keeps them going, driving innovation and inspiring change.

2. The Doer

Ever marvelled at the individuals who make things happen—the ones who turn dreams into reality and keep the wheels of progress turning? Meet the Doers.

Doers are the backbone and unsung heroes of organizations everywhere. These are the folks you rely on to keep things moving forward. They’re all about execution, process, and action. They’re the ones you know will get the job done, and not just done, but done exceptionally well. They thrive in the realm of “how”—figuring out the practical steps to turn ideas into reality.

When a Dreamer brings forth a vision, it’s the Doers who jump in with the essential question: “How do we make this happen?” They’re the ones who ground the dream in reality, mapping out the path to success.

Examples of dreamers: Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, Tim Cook, and Sheryl Sandberg.

Contrary to popular belief, leadership isn’t solely reserved for charismatic Dreamers. Tim Cook’s tenure at Apple is a testament to the power of a Doer in a leadership role. As Sheryl Sandberg famously said, “We should just make things better.” That’s the mantra of the Doer—focused on tangible improvements and pragmatic solutions.

3. The Driver

Ever crossed paths with those unstoppable forces who seem to bend time itself to achieve their goals? Meet the Drivers—the catalysts of action, the champions of urgency, and the heartbeat of progress.

Drivers are the movers and shakers, the ones who infuse every task with a sense of urgency. You’ll find them proactively solving problems and relentlessly pursuing outcomes. Think of them as the ones who say, “Let’s get it done, and let’s get it done now.”

Drivers are all about results. They’re not bogged down by the “how” or the “why”—their focus is on the immediate action needed to propel things forward. They’re the bulldozers, clearing obstacles and pushing the pace to ensure progress.

While Dreamers envision a new world and Doers keep the engine running smoothly, Drivers are the ones who propel the world forward at breakneck speed. They thrive in the present moment, driving intensity and agility within organizations.

Examples of dreamers: Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Margaret Thatcher, and Michael Jordan.

But being a Driver isn’t without its challenges. Their sense of urgency can sometimes come across as bulldozing or overwhelming to others. However, in the fast-paced world of business, Drivers are indispensable. They’re the catalysts for growth, pushing boundaries, and setting new standards of excellence.

Applying the Framework

In Sangram’s view, being a Dreamer, Doer, or Driver isn’t about pigeonholing oneself into a single category. Instead, it’s about understanding where your natural strengths lie and operating in that mode most of the time (around 70%). This allows individuals to thrive while supporting other areas of the organization when necessary.

You can also mature into different roles over time, unlocking hidden talents and passions you never knew you had. Sangram shares his own journey, evolving from a traditional career path (with a doer/driver mentality) to entrepreneurship later in life (influenced by a strong dreamer mindset).

When it comes to decision-making and innovation, Sangram emphasizes the need for a balanced team dynamic. For example, when brainstorming new product ideas, he gathers all the Dreamers regardless of their roles. This challenges the conventional approach of hiring based solely on job titles and encourages diverse perspectives.

He explains that they key to success lies in leveraging the strengths of each archetype effectively. Dreamers bring creativity and vision, while Doers ensure practicality and execution, and Drivers provide urgency and momentum.

Ultimately, Sangram emphasizes the importance of authenticity and self-awareness. Leaders must recognize their unique strengths and ensure they’re spending enough time leveraging them. By aligning personal strengths with organizational goals, individuals can maximize their impact and contribute to the company’s success.


The right team and leadership is what makes go to market happen.
Let’s explore the types of go to market leaders and how to engage them
in this episode of Closing Time.
Welcome to Closing Time, the show for. Go to Market Leaders.
I’m Val Riley, head of content and digital marketing at Insightly CRM.
Today, I’m joined by Sangram Vajre.
He is the co-founder of Go to Market. Partners
and Terminus and the best selling author of MOVE.
Welcome, Sangram.
Val, excited to be here.
This is, I know the topic we’re talking about is super dear to me, so I’m excited
to share my journey and also hear your thoughts as you read it.
Sangram your organization is all about the go to market operating system
and the last pillar in that model, possibly the most important, is all about
leadership and management.
Yeah, I think that’s the part that people delegate and feel like,
Oh yeah, we could, we could just do this thing
and we can tell people what to do and then everybody does it.
Like, does it ever happen?. It never happens.
So I think most organizations need to realize how intentional you have
to be at your leadership and go to market for the most
part is not an offsite that you have and you come up with the best
ideas out there and say, Let’s go do it, and nobody ever talks again.
It’s an ongoing iterative process of making sure
that you’re making the right trade offs and choices of go to market.
And you can’t really do that without clear leadership.
Clear roles and responsibilities and it has forced me to find out
what is a framework, what is a way to talk through that
and the leadership level that allows people to be themselves authentically.
And also it will help them to drive the mission
and the vision of the business from a go to market perspective.
So I admit I tracked your team down once. I saw you guys publish this data
about what we’ll learn here dreamers, doers and drivers.
So this is my third SaaS startup, and the data really spoke to my heart.
I was reading it and I almost literally exclaimed out loud,
What was it that drove your team to create this model?
Well, so this is, I’ll give you a quick story
and this might help everybody to recognize before we even get into the model is
at Terminus, when I was leading the marketing
and in some of the sales and go to market teams at that time,
we had this
person highly recommended from one of our VCs.
And when you have somebody who is paying the check
for the company and a VC recommends it and you’re looking for it,
you kind of like, Oh, there’s a complete background check of all times.
They know what we’re looking for,
that on paper, this person sounds amazing and we’re like, All right, great.
We went through a process and hired them.
Two weeks later,. I felt like, Oh, this is the wrong person.
Didn’t make sense what happened here.
And so somehow and then we had to move on.
And it was really hard because we invested so much time and energy.
People don’t realize how much money and effort is put into it.
And then six months later,
the exact thing happened in another function of the company,
and it made me go back and look at it like, Whoa, whoa, whoa.
I thought I knew how to hire.
I thought, we understand our challenges,. But what are we missing?
And that’s really what happened for us is we realized that
when we needed a dreamer in a particular role, we hired a doer.
And we have to as we go into this conversation,
I can explain that a little bit more, but that’s a big mismatch.
So you can have the right skillset
but not the right mindset for that particular function.
At the time in the business, there’s nothing wrong with the individual.
It is not the right time and not the right type and this is
all happening at the same time.
So there’s somebody who can be wildly successful in a similar role
in the company would be completely and utterly feel like they’re failures
in some other.
And this happens to all of us, to the best of us.
And that’s really what prompted us to codify it as like, what are we trying,
what are the gaps look like and what do we call these people?
So people know immediately as the names pop up, as the words
pop up, is like, Oh, that’s me or Oh, that’s what we’re looking for.
Mm hmm. Okay.
So I feel like that’s the perfect segue.
So let’s get right into it.
I want you to break it down, starting with the dreamers, and tell me
what are the characteristics, strengths,
and maybe even weaknesses of somebody who is a dreamer.
So if you are a dreamer, this is, I’m a dreamer.
So I don’t know about you, Val.
Who are you? Before we just jump into it.
I’m definitely not a dreamer, I’ll tell ya that.
So here is the thing about dreamer.
Dreamer, for the most part, are people who are thinking
and talking as if the future is happening.
And you will hear that when you start about thinking about people, they
live in the future.
The words that they would use would be like, Well, I wonder.
I imagine.
Like they are living some might call in the lala land
because they have this ideas about certain things that don’t even exist.
And they were typically very optimistic about the future.
They are full of ideas and one of the best way to
kind of pull them together is that they look at the world
around them and things around them with a wonder.
And normally the response they will
give you is like, wow, like, that’s a great idea.
Like they will have that kind of view of the world is I live in a wild moment.
I want to see things happen.
I want to see the future make a different turn.
And that’s what Dreamers are all about.
Okay, so some examples of dreamers are Walt
Disney, Martin. Luther King Jr and JFK, right?
So definitely fits the description you just gave us.
Yeah. And those, Val.
What’s interesting is everybody can go back and understand
who these people are and who dreamers are even though you have never talked to them
and here’s how you would know them, go and read what they ever said
and you will figure out very quickly,. Oh, that’s how they talk.
They were talking about things that didn’t exist and they were imagining
and they didn’t care.
They had this pursuit of something that they
it may never happen in their lifetime.
They don’t care about that.
They’re still dreaming about it.
Pursuit is what keeps them going.
Okay, so perfect.
Let’s move on to our doers.
And again, characteristics, strengths, weaknesses of doers.
Doers are the most important people in the world, like hands down doers
are the people who keep things running, they’re the people you count on.
So in organization, when you think about who are my doers,
doers are the people who are like,. All right, this is my job.
I know how to do this.
They’re very process oriented.
They’re very action oriented.. I want to do this thing.
They have a checklist.
The most important skill set they have our trade
they have is they are the most trusted people in the organization.
You know, if I give something to a doer, they will get it done
and they will do five on an average three, they will do a five
because that’s who they are.. They are fully trusted.
They just do.
And they live just like the dreamers live in the wild world.
The doers live in the how world, like how do you do it.
So when a dreamer comes with an idea, the doers typically are asking
the question, okay, it’s a great idea.. How do we do it?
And that’s how you know that person is a doer.
Okay, so examples of doers are looks like Oprah
Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams,. Tim Cook, Sheryl Sandberg.
I mean, that’s great company to be in.
Yeah, a lot of people, Val, misunderstand and think that, well, the charismatic
Dreamers are the only one who can be leadership roles or be the CEOs.
But not true.
Like you think about Tim Cook, who clearly is a doer and built, took
Apple from what people thought, Oh, he’s never going to be like Steve Jobs.
He didn’t have to be.
That’s the point.
The point is you could be who you are, but when you lean into your lane of genius.
So Sheryl Sandberg was famously quoted to say that, hey,
we should just make things better.
So you will hear that’s what doers say.
They’re all about making things better.
So a lot of times leadership roles where companies need things to be better,
you need a doer.
You don’t need a dreamer, they will actually create chaos and havoc.
You don’t want that.
So it’s very important understand that each role has as a time and place for.
Okay, so now we’re going to talk about drivers again, characteristics,
strengths and weaknesses, confession here. I believe I am 100% a driver.
And when I saw the word bulldozer in there, I got a little concerned.
So talk me down.
All right.. All right. Well, here is the thing.
Drivers are the people, people
who have a sense of urgency about everything.
So they are the people who are sending status
updates even before anybody calls for it, asks for it.
They’re problem solvers, you are probably, you know, if people around you
and knowing you a little bit,
I know that you’re looking at it and saying, how do I solve that problem.
You’re all about, or drivers typically are all about outcomes.
They’re like, well, we need to get there.. It doesn’t matter.
There may be four different ways to do it.
I’ll work with everybody, but we need to get there and they need to be
somewhat bulldozers because without drivers,
they tend, the other one we’re moving the world further, faster.
Without them, everybody would be like,. I joke about this,
if we all are dreamers, then we’ll be only sitting
around the coffee table talking about it and nobody will go anywhere.
So that’s the problem with dreamers.
If you’re only doers, we’ll work ourselves out of it
because you’re just trying to do a five on a three.
And at some point we are in the how world and never get into it.
Whereas drivers, you live in the now.
Let’s get this thing now, let’s make things happen.
And so you need to be a little bit of a bulldozer
and the best leaders in most companies, if you look at the most fastest
growing company, if you read a book from the Snowflake
CEO, Frank Slootman, who wrote about AMP It Up, I mean,
he said we need to create more intensity and more agility in our organization.
While he is clearly a driver, he’s not trying to create a visionary thing.
He is a driver
and he built one of the greatest and most profitable company in the world
right now.
So drivers are absolutely needed because they move the world for their faster.
But as dreamers, they are they’re dreaming about a new world and doers,
they want to make sure that the world keeps going every single day
so everyone has a clear purpose and value when they work together actually.
So yeah, let’s look at our examples of drivers.
We’ve got Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Margaret. Thatcher and Michael Jordan.
So I feel like I’m in good company,. Sangram.
You’re in great company.
And that’s if and tell me this like when you heard the word
and you associated yourself, okay, I’m a driver was that oh,
finally I have a word for myself or was that like, oh, no, that’s not me.
Oh, no, 100%.
I can remember I joined a company as the head of marketing, and there were
three and a half marketers on the team.
And after a week or two,. I kind of pulled them all together
and I said,. I like everything you guys are doing,
but you need to just do it a whole lot faster.
So that’s a driver, right?
Like I’m quintessential.
Yeah, yeah. And here is the
issue that most organizations have, Val.
One, is a lot of times they will hire one person and expect to three.
So a lot of them say, hey,. I need you to come and build,
come up with the new messaging we need to have.
And then I need you to execute all the events that we are running.
And we also need to get all the other issues with the sales
and the CS function all happen.
And so what happens is at that point
the person is never allowed to be the best version of themselves.
It’s important to know who you are and then surround yourself with others.
Nowhere else I’ve ever found
where somebody could just jump in, Oh,. I’m going to be a dreamer today.
I’m going to be driver. Nope.
It’s about how can you operate almost 70%
of your time in that mode and the other 30% expect you to be in a,
if you’re a driver to be sometimes in a doer more or a dreamer more.
Trying to support all the other areas,
you’re never going to be 100%, you’ll actually be bored if you’re 100% in that.
So the best word, the best way. I’ve seen people operate in this
is that 70% of the time this is something comes naturally to you.
Nobody has to tell you and do it.
And so as an example, whenever we are coming up
with a new product, I will find all the dreamers in the company
and bring them to that meeting because it doesn’t matter what role it is.
That’s where companies get it wrong, they hire by roles
or get people by roles to contribute. No.
You need dreamers because you don’t want anybody to ask how.
You don’t want anybody to ask now, You want everybody to say,
Wow, what can we do?
So it’s a very different meeting.
And then once you have that, you need all the people who can say how,
how are you going to build this and then, maybe all these different people
with different roles
and different hierarchies can come in and they will talk about how we do it.
And then you need a driver who could say, all right,
we need to get this to the market.
Now. This this wow, how, now is a way
I think companies can do better at go to market in general.
Yeah, I think it’s great that you pointed out that, you know,
you’re not going to 100% be a driver or a dreamer or a doer at any given time,
like you might be a 70/30, because sometimes that’s how people get
frustrated with models like this.
They’re like, Well,
I identify a little bit with this, but I really identify a lot with this.
So you can kind of switch modes, especially in a
in a startup or in SaaS, where we’re moving so fast all the time.
Totally, Val,
and I think you can mature into one,. I feel like we are all given a gift
that we are natural at and,. I became an entrepreneur at the age of 36
so it wasn’t, I had two kids, you know, wife and all of that.
And then I became an entrepreneur.
If somebody told me I’m going to be an entrepreneur at 22,
I would have said, No, that wasn’t my goal.
That wasn’t something I thought I could do or wasn’t really passionate about it.
I just wanted a job.
I wanted to build a family and just normal stuff.
And then all of a sudden it hit me like, Oh, there’s
nothing could stop me from getting started from Terminus, is like,
You could hold me back, but I would still so, you know,
I knew that this is bigger than me and I’m getting plunged
into something that I didn’t even know that I had a skill set.
And even before 2015, I would never,. I didn’t speak at any events.
I wasn’t a speaker.. I wasn’t writing and I wasn’t an author.
So all these things came to me after 2015 when I became an entrepreneur.
So I became a full on dreamer
that had a very high doer-driver EQ on like I can jump into a doer
or driver more, but at least I know,. I know when I’m a dreamer
and I could just be like that and then I know when to jump into it.
The best leaders would be able to know what their authentic
self really is good at and really to your point, see if you can audit yourself.
Like are you spending a good amount of time in that?
If you’re not, then I’m not happy.
The days I don’t get to innovate or the weeks I’m a little grumpy
and you’ll see that like,. Oh, what’s going on?
I’m like, Everything is good, but I’m grumpy because I’m not on a whiteboard.
I need to be on a whiteboard.
I need to have the wow conversations.
So you need to find ways to do that in your life.
So find out who you are and lean into it and tell everybody around you
so people can make much of you and help you and take advantage
of your skill set for the company and really good.
Sangram, thank you so much for talking through this model with me.
As I mentioned it, it really did speak to me as a multiple SaaS
startup offender, I guess so really appreciate your insights.
I’m excited.
I’m glad you caught on it, I’m glad it spoke to you as you share it
and as people listen to this, my prayer for everybody is that once
you know what you’re really good at, once you have a lane of genius
that is so clear. Tell others.
Tell others, it’s freeing when you know who you are
and what your talented gift is all about.
Great, really great insights,
guys that’s all the time we have for Closing Time this week.
Please remember to like this video, hit the button for
notifications and subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss an episode.
We’ll see you next time on Closing Time.

You may also like:

See all episodes
7 Types of Go-to-Market Strategies: Creating a Winning GTM Plan for Your Business
3-Step Playbook to Drive Revenue with Account-Based Experience (ABX)
Chris Walker thumbnail
Modernizing Your GTM Strategy: Demand Creation vs Demand Capture