For Post Status Live, Cory recently hosted brain research pioneer Kathy Kolbe, creator of the Kolbe Index A. The Kolbe A Index measures human instincts or “conative strengths.” Rather than focusing on personality or skills that can be learned, the Kolbe assessment looks at how we react in certain situations. During this Post Status Live webinar, Kathy explained how leaders and entrepreneurs can use her assessment.
Watch to learn how to transform a group of individuals into a thriving, cohesive team with Kathy!
Several years ago I took the Kolbe Index A. It sat on a shelf for a couple of years, but then I returned to it. I used it prolifically at iThemes after taking a 3-day certification course with Kathy Kolbe. To say that the Kolbe has made a profound impact on me, my teams and my businesses is an understatement. It’s an amazing tool for better team communication and collaboration. And I finally get to interview her on May 18. You won’t want to miss this!— Cory Miller
About Kathy Kolbe
Kathy is the Founder and CEO of Dynamynd, Inc. and Founder of Kolbe Corp. As an acclaimed theorist, bestselling author and pioneering scientist in her field, Kathy Kolbe has discovered and proved the existence of human striving instincts. Defining true success as having the freedom to be yourself, she has spent over 40 years collecting and analyzing conative traits to ultimately help us be ourselves.
Kathy Kolbe was the first to prove the existence of the conative mental faculty, which causes us to act, react and interact. Believing that we are all equally perfect in our own way, she has spent over 40 years collecting and analyzing conative traits to ultimately help us be ourselves. She founded Kolbe Corp and was the CEO for 30 Years, and is now its Chairman Emerita.
Kolbe has been called Maslow’s successor because of her work in showing how the three parts of the mind (cognitive, affective and conative) affect the creative problem-solving process.
Based on this seminal work, Kolbe was able to identify the algorithm for team synergy. After decades of research with hundreds of organizations, she was also able to author a comprehensive set of programs to assist leaders in making wise decisions based on a comprehensive set of human factors involving cognitive, affective, and conative levels of effort.
Kathy now works to reform learning and wellness fields at every level. She has consulted with the U.S. Department of Education, individual schools (pre-K through high school), more than 50 universities and more than 200 health and medical organizations. Kathy now spends her time at her skunkworks, Dynamynd, Inc, continuing to develop leading-edge solutions for learning and wellness tied to her theory.
- Kolbe Wisdom™
- Perfectly Obstinate People Podcast
- Kolbe C Index
- Business Hiring Information
- Youth Index
- Careers for Kids
- You can find out more by emailing [email protected].
Cory Miller: [00:00:00] Hey everybody welcome back to another Post Status live webinar. And I’ve got one of my heroes here today. I’ve been waiting and trying to take my time to be able to ask Mrs. Kathy Kolbe to come on and to share about her work in the world. She is a pioneer in what I think of as strengths assessments, but she’s going to correct me on all this, but her work is literally changed my life about six years ago.
And I was seven years ago. I think I actually took the Kolbe Index A and then came back to it and go, oh, we have to go to this three-day certification on Phoenix and I got to meet you. And so you get one of my few heroes in life that I go, okay. I jam out with authors and pioneers like yourself. Kathy, thank you so much for being on the webinar today.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:00:46] I’m honored to be here. Thank you for having me.
Cory Miller: [00:00:49] You’re going to get real quickly. How you’ve. I feel like Kathy, you’ve got this intuitive, instinctive knowledge of the, of us humans, because when I talk about, or when I learned more and more every day, it seems like about the Kobe index. I just go, this person has such a instinctive way to just understand humans, but we’re going to get to that in a second.
But could you tell us a little bit first off, how did you get started? How did the Kolbe even come about.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:01:24] My dad was the guy who came up with the first test ever used in selection, anywhere in the world, the Wonderlic personnel test the NFL, use it now with players, which I think is focused. But his test was very interesting, but it was all about cognitive.
How smart are you and know the results for the NBA players don’t tell us that because they get prime tore it, they get tutored supposed to be without any tutoring. And I kept saying to dad when I was little and he had me doing fence posting of results, but that everybody hears a guy you’re only testing males and I’m this little kid who can hardly read yet, but I’m doing all the male or female and ages.
And I’m seeing it’s all male and they’re all in the same. and they’re in their twenties. And he said, well, Kathy that’s because the federal government nationalized my work. During the second world war to use it, to help pick who would be the generals and who would be the front, the infantry. And I said, how on earth would this help you know, who should be a general? And he said, well, it has to do with intelligence. It’s not IQ, but it’s, you know, your working behaviors and intelligence. And I couldn’t read yet when I was doing this research, but I knew this wasn’t right. And I kept saying, dad, I don’t think intelligence is all that matters.
I know smart kids who I don’t want to my team. And we started talking about, well, no intelligence. Isn’t the only thing. Well, it’s also how nice are you? Yeah, but it says something more than that. I want the kids to do the work. I want the kids who play smart, not intelligence, but what they didn’t know now what they’re doing when we’re playing soccer they know when to chase the ball and when to let it go out of bounds and stuff like that. And I said, your test doesn’t tell us what we need to know. I don’t get why they’re using it to hire people. I, and he said, well, Kathy, you’re talking about behaviors. He was an industrial psychologist.
Those of us who are experts in this don’t know about that. We know there’s something else. Yeah. There is. There’s some it’s kind of your instinct, your will or whatever it is. We don’t know how to measure that. That’s not measurable. You tell me you can’t do it and this kid’s going to try to do it. So from the time before I could learn to read, I was starting to listen to words, listen to descriptions.
And as soon as I could read and write. I was making lists of words that fit in different categories. And I did it with my playmates in middle school. I already had a very full list of words and then high school. I used it to pick people for the high school musical I directed. And in college, I used it in the bidding with Tom Hayden. Chicago seven. I was involved in student government stuff. I was using this list of words to figure out how to debate people, because this is what he does. If I don’t let him do that. If I can come from over here with this other list of words, the way I do things, I knew how to be a good debater. I knew how to lead people and get them to do it.
I knew how to motivate people, but I didn’t know what I was measuring. I did not know the name of it. I knew it wasn’t intelligence that I knew it wasn’t attitudes or emotions. No one could tell me. I would ask my dad didn’t know nobody else I knew in the field of psychology knew. So one day I finally went to the original thesaurus. Now the original Roget thesaurus is not an alphabetical list of words. It’s in categories of thoughts. And I looked up the idea of being willful, determined, sticking with who you are, being volitional. And there was this word conation.
The only way I knew the word coronation was kind of the verbs when I had to take French and they were the action verbs. So conation has something to do with action. So then I started looking at this and looking up and all of a sudden, in two days, I don’t think I got a minute sleep because I was on this terror.
I was in the public library going through indexes, looking for the word conation I couldn’t find it almost nowhere. I actually went to Washington to the library of Congress and searched for it and found a few things. The ancient philosophers knew about it. Conative is how we get things done. Yeah, it’s what we do as opposed to how we think or feel.
So I knew I was onto something and then I was hit by a drunk driver. I was almost killed. My brain was taken out. I could not read or write for a year and a half. And I’m an author and a publisher. What that gave me was a period of time when I couldn’t think I couldn’t use my intelligence and I had to figure out how to get things done.
And I noticed how I did it and how different it was from other patients, from what the nurses and doctors were telling me to do. I could see how Kathy Kolbe didn’t follow directions.
And how, for me, it was important when they said we’re going to put you in the water, but we don’t want you to move, the moment I heard them close the door I moved everything I could move because that’s Kathy Kolbe doing her thing, not listening to the guidelines and taking the risk. And I’d always done that my whole life.
And I realized that I could, in that list of words, I was in that category and that’s how I was going to survive. I was in the hospital more than a month when they let me out, they said, I’d probably never be out of a wheelchair. They told me all these things. I’d never write again. And I just, okay, you told me I couldn’t swim and not to move. You told me I can’t write I’ll write you told me I can’t, this I’ll do it. So I recovered. I went back to this, I know this word conation that’s what I know that they don’t know. That’s what I’m going to focus on. And that’s what I did. I figured out these lists were actually I was describing the four human instincts I had right there in my notebook from junior high school.
Cory Miller: [00:08:01] It’s a perfect link in to the four action modes. The Kolbe I want to pause it just for a second and say something. You told that story six years ago in Phoenix. And I was flabbergasted because you had this horrific car accident and the resilience, and we can do a whole sidebar and just Kathy Kolbe the human, by the way, because I was so inspired to go, oh my gosh, you know, what would I do?
And you were like, well, I’m going to figure it out. And you I’m so glad you told that story. Cause I didn’t know how probably you shared it, but that you retaught yourself to do so many specific things, but I didn’t know. That was before really the Kolbe had been solidified. I thought I was after. So that’s incredible.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:08:45] I had nothing. And my kids were David Kolbe is now President of Kolbe Corp started college the day after the accident and he was driving the car we were in. Poor guy had to leave his mom. I mean, I had to force him to leave me to go to start college.
So no I had nothing. I didn’t have the names for the four modes. I didn’t, I had just learned the word conation I really didn’t know what it meant. So it was after this accident and after that period of no brain activity, they thought I really literally would never read or write again. I think I always tell people when you get stuck, do nothing.
Do nothing when nothing works is one of my guidelines. Well, I had a year of doing nothing. And during that time, I think it allowed my brain to absorb the truth without having to deal with looking at textbooks and reading them. I was always struggling to walk. I was struggling to be, I was struggling.
It was when you think about a good friend of mine was trying to help me deal with reading books. I had written that was very emotional for me that I could not read a book that I remembered writing. And she said, why don’t you just try writing a grocery list? You’re all hung up on. You have to get back to where you were.
I could not write a grocery list. I remember the only thing I put down were peas because I knew it was only four letters. I couldn’t go beyond four letters. I had peas and beans. And that was the end of my list. And she said, okay, I’m only gonna buy you what your write so if you want something else, you better write it.
That was her incentive. I want candy. I’m going to write candy. You know, there’s this wonderful thing about the human brain. It’s so resilient. What we haven’t taught kids. And even ourselves is how to do the work to be resilient, to overcome. Well, I had to overcome it all and I had to start from scratch.
What a blessing that accident was because I had to learn the itty bitty little steps it takes to learn. So now I can look at the way they’re teaching and say that isn’t the way you learn. That isn’t the way you do it. Because I had learned how to learn by knowing nothing and having to start.
I started from an empty brain. And retaught myself, everything I needed to know what I still can’t do is remember faces so every time I meet you, it’s all over a new relationship.
Cory Miller: [00:11:32] Hey I’ll take it. I’ll take it for sure. Because all the other gifts that you’ve given to humanity are incredible. So, okay. Let’s get onto the Kolbe now I want to riff on other things, but I’m going to wait a little bit because I want you to be able to impact to our listeners. The four modes and how those work, and then I’m going to tee you up on all kinds of other good stuff.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:11:57] Do you know that I learned about teams from working with technology groups of technology, people who were the very first people to put together teams to do programming. I mean, I was there at the beginning. And that’s where I learned about teams and Kolbe first through technology.
Cory Miller: [00:12:15] That’s one of the real angles for today is how, I mean, I have used the Kolbe in my teams, on my teams. The side thing is like, I love assessments. This is the best that I’ve ever found. And I’ve used it with friends, everybody I can I bought hundreds of coupons over the years for people to take the Index A it’s incredible, but specifically…
Kathy Kolbe: [00:12:38] The first person to ever write a program very likely was one of my first clients to use it in a team.
She became a head of tech, gym and HR vice President at Hershey is the first person to ever write a program. And she did the program for the Library of Congress. She did it for the military. She was the lead programmer. And. I learned from her a lot of how to use Kolbe in analogy with technology teams.
So I, you know, I love what you do and what your listeners do. And I learned from people doing what you do.
Cory Miller: [00:13:20] Okay. So the, for the form, it, and then we’re going to get it. We’re going to get back to this team. Cause I did not know that about tech and I now I’m even more fascinated, but yeah, there’s
Kathy Kolbe: [00:13:33] those lists that I did on one list, it was things like looks at facts, pays attention to detail, needs specificity, perfectionist won’t let go of an idea, dwells in the past, has to document references. All those words were on one list. And I said, those words fit an instinct that some people have, which I called fact-finding.
They are fact finders, they need facts. And the next list of words organized systematic, structured neat and tidy timelines follows the calendar, does things in the same order. I used the word rigid, which I took it off later because that wasn’t, that had too much effect in it. But that I put as the title, the name for that group of words, follow through, they follow through with what they’re going to do.
They follow the plan. The third list of words was. Takes a risk deals with uncertainty makes it up. Ad-libs changes their, her, his mind, skips around, entertains, talks a lot, colorizes, and that would be you and me Quickstarts yes, I’ve had some but only a little regret about naming Quickstart, because it doesn’t mean that we do everything quickly.
It’s not the speed of which we do it. We’re quick to make up our mind once we know what we’re doing, but we can mess around until we’re ready to make that decision. So it doesn’t mean we make a decision fast but once we make it, it’s done and then we’re quick to change our minds. But we both fit that list of words.
And then the last list words that I had on it, and it’s kind of fun because one of my sisters kept reminding me of those words on her friends and it was digs under, makes things, makes them laugh, builds things, uses tools, constructs, uses sense of smell, touch, feel and it was safety and it was quality.
And coming up with the word for that was the hardest one, because if I said they were the safety people, well, that makes other people look like they’re not. And if I, you know, no matter what I said, it seemed to be, I couldn’t say they were fairly touchy, although they are. And I decided implementer for use of tools and implements.
I’m sorry. I picked that word. It’s not the best word I could have come up with probably demonstrator. I don’t know. But right now there’s a lot of pressure for me to change that after all these years. And I probably will, but I’m this time I’m going to blame it on other people on what, let it be a public vote or something.
I’m looking at an online vote because I just think that’d be so much fun. Yeah. So I probably get you and all your listeners to vote on this, come up with a better word or pick up from among these other things would be fun to do it that way. What I’ve found in my research after I had these forwards and all the modes is it’s not just you have it, or you don’t.
We all have some of each of these. They are each an instinct, and we have to have some characteristic tied to that instinct. The fact-finder instinct as with all the others is a scale from either you’re very detailed or you’re a generalist or a specialist or a generalist. I’m a generalist. We don’t deal with detailed that much.
You do more than I do, but there’s this scale. And there are three zones. And I think of them as time zones. How do you spend your time? If on a scale of one to 10 in each one of these, if you’re a seven to 10, you spend your time on the details. Very specifically, if you’re four or five, six, your accommodate the details.
You’ll try to remember the facts. You’ll edit the information. You won’t do the research, but you’re great at editing. You’re great at providing in the fact-finder. And then there’s me on a scale of one to 10. I’m a two as the one, two, three. There’s anybody to, how the heck did I get through college?
Well, it was just cutting deals, but. No, I never broke the rules. I just kept really good deals. I’ll give this speech, if you’ll write the paper, that kind of thing. So my two and fact-finder, I’m telling you stories, I’m not giving you facts and figures. I don’t remember the date when we met you. Do I know it was awhile ago and it was really fun and I’ve never forgotten you stay in touch.
Like, can I tell you the year now? So I generalize in follow through. It’s a scale from very orderly to chaotic.
Cory Miller: [00:18:31] Okay. If I may, this is the one I wondered if you said you would rename it only because when I’ve explained to other people, it’s not that you don’t fall through, it’s just the way in which you tackle instinctively a problem.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:18:45] Well, it’s the way that we could call it structure. Something like that we all have a structure or a system for the way we live and the way we organize there are people whose system of organizing is to throw everything on the floor as much piles on the floor, but believe it or not, they know where it is.
That is their way of doing it. And if you go in and clean up the mess on their floor and their office, they can’t find anything and you’ve done terrible damage. There are people for whom, if you put all their documents and papers in a file and put them in a file drawer, you might as well have burnt them because if they can’t see them, they don’t have them.
So it’s, there’s not a right or wrong to this, except that people who are time and management people and neat next and teach you how to organize. It’s always their way. This is the way. And there’s cool teachers over 70% of primary grade teachers. Lead with follow through initiation. So they initiate all these systems and plans.
And they’re really, I think there’s a level of mental cruelty to the kids who are always wrong because they didn’t put their name in the upper right-hand corner. They put it in the left-hand corner or their outline was messy. Well, a messy outline is just that person’s way of remembering it and doing it.
It’s not right or wrong, but it is in the educational world because it’s the way of the insistent follow-throughs there. Now in quick start, we get back at them when we’re their insurance agent or when they want to buy tests from us or when they wanted to, because we’re the entrepreneurs. When I started my business, it’s almost 50 years ago now and Phoenix.
There was not another single female entrepreneur who had started a business in Phoenix. Two other women started businesses that year. And so people said to me, including my accountant, you can’t do this. You’ll need, first of all, the law was, my husband had to sign all the documents. I could not incorporate a business as a wife, as a woman, my husband had to sign the papers as my husband to start my business.
Yikes. Well, a follow-through woman might say, okay, I guess I’m not supposed to do this and go into something else or help her husband with his business or whatever I was enraged, but I decided I’m not going to spend my anger, my money, my time, or my money arguing about that, or being mad about it.
I’m going to show them what I can do. So I was never. A woman’s libber I was never out there arguing about it. It was just I’ll show them. It was like, when I was told don’t move, well, I’m going to move and I’ll show him I can move. I won’t argue about it. I’ll just do it. I think the Quickstart is a dare me.
I dare you to dare me. And that’s pretty much the way my life has been. You tell me I can’t, I will. And that’s what you’ve done to it. And that’s what quick starts to when they start businesses. And it’s always I’ll prove it. And I’ll also by the way, meet deadlines. I know you do can count on you to meet the deadline.
And that is driven a lot by your quick start. Don’t call me ma’am don’t call me ma’am I’m Kathy
Cory Miller: [00:22:15] I’m sorry, Kathy. I have the highest respect for you,
Kathy Kolbe: [00:22:18] but I’m not a ma’am.
Cory Miller: [00:22:21] My first career was newspaper journalism. I loved having that 10:00 AM deadline. And so when I saw. The Quickstart. I was like this is me.
Now we’re going to get to implement it in a second. I know, but I don’t want to interrupt you. You’re going into that. I want to say how freeing the four action modes and the Kolbe was to me to be me. You encouraged me to say, be obstinate.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:22:46] Yes. My podcast is named Perfectly Obstinate People.
Cory Miller: [00:22:52] Yeah, love it. I’ll put a show link or if Nicole or somebody else can put a share link into podcast, I’ve listened to it and got so much from it too, because this word, Austin, you I’ll just say it. Now. The Kolbe and spending time with you in Phoenix liberated me because the things that showed up in the Kolbe and I remember you actually came over and you’re like, what’s your Kolbe And I said six, three eight, three.
And you’re like, well, you’re an entrepreneur. And I was like, well, I am an entrepreneur, but it was the time when I go. I saw I can be made the things that are probably got, you know, negative criticism about throughout my life. I go, no, those are strengths. The fact that I didn’t like to concentrate on one thing, I like to juggle a lot of things.
And that wasn’t the way of my parents necessarily. They’ve had one career essentially for most of their career, not to say anything bad. That was what they wanted to do. Me. I was out here doing different things. And when I saw Quickstart, and saw my MO. I go, oh, there’s other people like me,
Kathy Kolbe: [00:23:52] Say your numbers to people,
Cory Miller: [00:23:54] six, three, eight, three.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:23:58] Okay. Folks, what that means is he accommodates in fact-finder. So he deals with all the rules and regulations and he follows those. He resists being stuck in a box or ever having to repeat it the same way. So you don’t just do the same thing over and over again. The aid in Quickstart, you initiate ideas.
You come up with new ways, solutions. There’s no such thing as can’t for you, and you will do a workaround and you will come up with a unique, clever solution. And then the three and implementer, you don’t need to touch it. Feel it, turn it on, turn it off. You do it like almost magic people. Can’t figure out how to learn from you, how to deal with the hardware.
You’re a software guy and you’re a business leader. You’re not a hardware guy among your followers who are listening right now. There will be software people and programmers, and then there are the hardware people who can actually fix it, plug it in, twist it, turn it, push it, pull it. Those implementers are critical to the process and get probably the least approval in public schools.
Any of the kids in the classroom it’s horrific. Terrible awful. And I am spending a good part of my life right now, trying to protect those kids because they don’t read or write. They build, they construct, they make, and the makers and our society are undervalued and particularly in the public schools. So help me anybody who wants to help with that research.
And I am doing massive international research on that. I am going to prove I’ve already got enough data to know I’ll prove it because we have enough, but I want to get 20,000 case studies. If you can help us get data, let us know. We need data with middle school, high school and university kids, and we will be able to show the damage done.
We’ll be able to prove it and we’ll be able to change it.
Cory Miller: [00:25:58] Nicole, I know you’re on. Where could you mind sharing in the chat and then I’ll share with the viewers here too, how they can do that. So we’re talking about the implementer, the last one, which is the yellow mode of action. I like, as you know, this I’m a three.
When I was out there, you were given an example about David, your son hanging Christmas lights. And I go, that’s me. That’s me, my wife who happens to be listening today. Oh, I’m sorry, Lindsey but that kind of liberated me because you know what I tell people all the time, if you want something fixed by me, like fixed, I will likely break it worse than what it already is.
You gave me the words to go, okay. Now I know that it doesn’t relieve me of responsibility of Christmas lights, but
Kathy Kolbe: [00:26:41] you know what? David’s still puts up his own Christmas list. I said, just leave them there. Just don’t take them down. Plug them in again. You might have to go. No. Every year he takes them around, put some back up.
I began to think maybe he wants to be a mountain climber and that’s as close as it ever gets to it. I don’t know. But it’s yeah, you have my permission to do it. Any way you want to do it and putting this, throw it and say, look, it’s contemporary art.
Or as a quick starter entrepreneur make enough money where I can hire somebody to do it the most, to do it with their hands.
Okay. And we’ll get to the teams have, but what you do is partner somebody who will do your lights and you’ll go in and colorize their whatever. I mean, you’ve got so much innovation in you. You go innovate for them and they can do the implement our stuff for you. That I’ve spent my life negotiating to not have to do things I don’t do well,
I mean, we’re all equally, every single human being has the equal amount of conative power of creativity. So this is my favorite part of my work. I’ve proven we’re all equally capable of creativity. I create messes. You create the system to clean it up, not you, but some people do. We all need each other because none of us is perfect.
We own we’re perfectly capable of four things. We all have four talents and that’ll be one of the time zones. And these are the four modes. Your particular pattern is fascinating to me. You’re really close to what I call. I’m the boss of my pattern, where let me do it, leave me alone. I’ll show you. I can do it. I have that same pattern. And that’s the pattern of you have one mode, you lead in. You have a motor to the resistance and usually a couple that you accommodate in your close to that. You’re just off by a little. You’re actually what you see is what you got out of your pattern.
Cory Miller: [00:28:46] Why do you go on a tech geek term there. WSIWIG. I have actually used that before. Is that you nailed it? Yes.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:28:55] What you see is what you get with you? And if people take it or leave it, if they don’t like the way you work? Well, there are other people who can do it your way. I tried to say to so many people who are individual contributors and they help different organizations do stuff, walk in.
And if you’ve got that pattern, which is a new part of the Kolbe result if you are a person who has a pattern like yours does, it can be in different modes. You need to say, okay, what’s this, here’s what you got. I am who I am. Popeye was right. I am who I am. That’s all that I am. And so don’t expect me to change.
Don’t expect that you’re going to teach me how to do it your way, because I’ll do it my way. And they’ll be really happy if you want my way. I think in technology that’s extremely important. Now in life. As I said, my pattern from my MO is I’m the boss of me, everybody. I know, just cracks up. When I tell them that I remember saying that as a kid, I didn’t know there was a formula.
I have an algorithm for these patterns. The algorithm for I’m the boss of me is you have one mode that you initiate in. Two you accommodate in. And one, you resist. So I’ll accommodate in follow through an implementer, but I will totally resist you in facts. I don’t remember them. I don’t deal with them. I don’t want to, I don’t want to write another book as long as I live.
I’ve written over a hundred. Just is that enough? Well, some people still think I should be writing books. No, those are painful for me. Now. I’m the boss of me doesn’t mean you can’t talk me into doing it another way, but don’t tell me I have to do it a way different than my own.
And really in every one of the patterns are five different patterns. In each and every one of them, the key is this is the pattern to how that person gets things done. And if you want to work well as a partner or as a collaborator, you have to respect who they are. So my, the whole thing about the Kolbe theory is it’s meant for you to have the freedom, to be who you are and for others to benefit from that, including you and others, because they know who you are.
They can count on you to be who you are. They don’t have to spend on energy trying to change who you are. And if we all agree to that, we’re going to have less stress and higher productivity. In our workplace and our homes and our schools. But I have spent decades now trying to teach that. And there are some institutions, primarily education and government, to some extent medicine.
They just don’t want to believe it because they’re run by either fact-finder or follow-through the fact finders have the history, they have research and data that always proves them right. It’s because they don’t even study whether they might be wrong. Third degree of rightness is what they study and they quote each other.
So when I go in and say, you’re wrong because you’ll haven’t included conation. They say, no, you’re wrong because conation doesn’t exist. Well, how do you have that discussion in the workplace? But what we have to do is honor who you are and give you the opportunity to be who you are. And then we all benefit because you’ll be at your greatest, highest level of productivity.
So I’ve helped double even triple productivity in companies and bottom line profitability two and a half times is what I would guarantee my clients. You know, I’ve worked with astronauts, I’ve worked with monks, I’ve worked with musicians and artists, Broadway performers. I’ve worked with you name it.
And human beings are all the same in the sense that we all need to be, who we are
Cory Miller: [00:33:03] When we respect that when we want to understand it and then respect it. So I’ll give you a practical application of my Kolbe training. So my graphic design, not my graphic, as much as my designer developer at my company I themes, which was when I had a software company.
When I came to do the three day training with my right hand sidekick Matt, he initiated in follow through. And I think, and I’m loving these side observations from you because you’ve shared them. And I always hang on to them, but I found, I think, and maybe read a lot of designers happened to be initiating follow-throughs meaning in hound the timezone.
Yes. Well, when we did the Kolbe for the team, I would come as quick-start idea, walking them off as come around. Hey, I’ll say his name, Tai. I got this idea and him kind of look at me like, what are you doing? What’s going on? And I could always resist this. He was just an incredible, he’s still a friend of mine, incredible friends.
But I was like, yeah, I could sense. There was conflict. We did the Kolbe. He initiates and follow through so he was on step four and I realized I came in as a bulldozer and threw a wrench in his follow-through in his initiating follow through. That one thing. And this is one example I can share with you about your productivity thing.
I totally believe it. I wish more corporate America would understand it and embrace it as well as entrepreneurs. Because then I approached Thai and I was totally different way. According to his MO I knew my Quickstart would throw it. Conversely, I realized if I got too many Quickstarts around me, we will talk and get each other revved up all day.
But we needed someone that would actually maintain the work that wasn’t getting done while we were revving each other up. So on the team subject, I say often it helped me with communication. Like with Tai collaboration, then I could put him in his mode, let him go down his initiate, his follow through checklists and everything he did would be brilliant, but I had to be patient enough to go, he’s going through his process.
But that, that one thing, just understanding the differences. And I know there’s this term that you talk about, which is conflict. If we have, you know, in our times zones it’s you talked about somebody, a nine follow through and I’m a three there’s potential for conflict. Could you, can I just wind you up and start talking about teams and collaboration and productivity and how people could be using the Kolbe for all of that more. And by the way, happiness and fulfillment, when you’re doing the things that you’re naturally instinctively good at that’s a personal fulfillment we haven’t even talked about.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:35:41] Yeah. And if you do that for people, and the pandemic I think really taught us that, sometimes we don’t get happiness and fulfillment.
If we aren’t working in teams, when we work alone, it can be very lonely, but we have to learn how to be self-sufficient and gratification from working at a team and playing our role. So, so let’s talk about the team. I mentioned too, that I first started looking at the dynamics and the actual data for teams with technology teams.
I was hired by Apple to help them figure it out for their Apple programmers. I went to the Apple company and I’ve worked with the Steven jobs group of people. And I worked with all their lead people and design and development. They had so many Quickstarts that they were eating each other alive.
I found the same thing at, I probably shouldn’t. I don’t want to tell you too much about other companies. I’ve worked very closely with Intel too. With Intel the fact-finders were eating each other alive at Apple it was the Quickstarts eating each other alive. And what I had to convince them of was, if you don’t start figuring out that you have to have other people come in and work with you, can’t just say you’re not innovative enough to be on this development team.
That has to be, we have too many innovators, which is what I call the people who are high in Quickstart and these innovators. Are competing with each other instead of working for the benefit of the company, not the company back by the way, Jobs intentionally, Steven Jobs intentionally made Quickstart work against Quickstart.
That’s one of the ways he motivated them. He didn’t know the term, but he was intuitive about conation I now know people who work directly with him and they say, you know, it’s helping tell him about it. And I said, not directly, but it turns out people on the Apple board and others can talk and tell stories about how he was intuitively aware of conation well, tech companies and said, you have to have synergy.
And natural synergy comes from conation. The differences working together, the first SAP project ever done in America, the German. Software company SAP came into Eastman Chemical and they were going to work with Eastman. And then they started working with it’s a company. What’s the name of it? The spin-off company that was doing just the chemical part of it, Eastman Chemical.
No, it’s my chemical. And then the one in the South has a different name, but anyway, they were going to be the first American company to completely change everything they were doing to SAP. Well, people didn’t know technology, let alone having Germans come in and talk another language and talk technology language.
They were sure it wouldn’t work. So they hired me to come in and work with the line managers who were going to have to stuff this down the throats of all their people. And they said nope, not the way we’re going to do it. What we’re going to do is pair a line manager with a techie. So someone from either your tech group, your IT people, or the SAP people table.
Basically, I preferred both. If we had one SAP per person, one from the internal company and then a line manager, you will work together. We will know that your MO’s are similar. So you have a similar take on it and then you will go to meetings with others like this. And we’ll talk about the synergy of the people around you, because you’re going to have to build a synergistic team to take over all the internal marketing.
You have to sell it inside or your people. I mean, they’ve never used technology, let alone something this complex, they had a very horse and buggy technology system. It was a three-year project, two and a half year project. They went through this project without one single person turning over. They did not have a single person leave the chemical company because of it. It was Eastland chemical Kodak was the original company, and this is Eastman chemical. They didn’t lose one employee. They didn’t, they weren’t off schedule ever a single month. So the whole process and they were on budget. Now, do you know any two and a half year complete transition that has done that?
They were, they went with me to the big Apple national conference and Apple had us get up and talk about how we had used technology. And they had come out with no turnover, no deadlines, crashes, nothing. And it was on time on budget with the same people. Now you can do that when you understand synergy and when you trust each other, I mean, they just let me tell them, not that guy, this guy.
And I would say to them, you know, you’re all hung up on what. The specific knowledge to have. That’s not the key. You can borrow knowledge. Your team needs synergy, conative synergy, and a trusted man at work.
Cory Miller: [00:41:14] What does the conative synergy mean? Does it mean, okay, I’m Quickstart pair me with initiating follow through or…
Kathy Kolbe: [00:41:23] no, I’m so glad you asked because that’s my to impact a hundred, not giving you the detail. It’s not about the mode. It’s about the time zone. You need, if you do a bell-shaped curve and you said, we’ve got all these people on and they have certain amount of their energy is in initiating you have 25% of your energy initiating they have a certain amount accommodating. You have 25% and a certain amount preventing you a 50% cause it’s the zone, your modes are in so you have a 25, 50, 25 bell-shaped curve of energy. Actually, you don’t. You’ll have more at the… I forgot that. Mine is a bell shaped curve because I have that pattern.
With your pattern you spend not more time, but you’re in the time zone, more often of preventing problems. So you are great at preventing problems. I am not. I spend very little time preventing problems. When a problem will come up. Nicole, are you still there? I’ve had a problem. I want to… say no kidding. That’s what I do. And Nicole is always listening to what I’m saying as if I’m causing a problem, she can fix it.
If I don’t fix the problems I create, I just keep creating problems. But some the problems come a lot of solutions. That’s what I say. As I said, I’m good at cutting deals. The point of synergy is for your whole team. Very few people internally have synergy but the team has to have synergy.
Collectively 50% of the energy in the room needs to be initiating and 50% needs to accommodate and twenty-five percent needs to prevent problems because when you resist or prevent in a mode, you are keeping time from being misspent and money being misspent. Now Kodak company from which Eastman chemical called spent off had me go to a retreat.
They were looking at moving from being one kind of, you know, cameras with film to the instant camera era and the technology era. They had me come in and work with their entire IT team. And this was the first team that ever used the notion of outsourcing, by the way, they have it for Kodak company initiated outsourcing.
So she brought me in to talk about how can we do that when we have people coming in and I said, you have the right people come in and you put them on the right team and you put subgroups together. So all of them have synergy. And she gave me everybody’s MO had all of them take the Kolbe A Index to do this, and I’m looking at their results.
And there’s one guy who is a flaming. He has a 10 in quick start and a nine and implementer. He does no, fact-finder no, follow-through. And his name was Burt and I said, where’s Burt cause I really need to talk to Burt because this is a tough situation for him and everybody in the room starts laughing.
We’re about 40 people in this seminar and they’re all laughing. I said, Burt what we’re trying to do. They always laugh at you like this that’s terrible. And then they laughed more. And I said, you’re treating him like, like he’s just doesn’t exist and doesn’t matter. Then they laugh. Well, turned out Burt was a mascot and they, he was almost a life-size.
A stuffed animal thing and they actually traveled with him. And the whole point of Burt was he was the Quickstart implementer who would say, I’ve had enough of this. The meeting has to sell. She would use him as the fall guy to get the fact-finders and follow throughs. She was attending, she used him magnificently, but they would get an airline ticket for him.
He was so important to the synergy of the group. So, she later became a board member at Apple and worked very closely with the, you know, birds of a feather flock together. And Quickstarts in technology have done some amazing things. Never done them well, unless they had the fact-finder follow throughs working closely with them.
Look at how Steve Jobs did that.
Cory Miller: [00:45:53] Absolutely. Well, when I went to hire my Wrangler, I called Karen my Wrangler. I knew cause I’m quick start that the low time zone on follow through that I needed someone that could just keep things organized. Now I approached that as a, and I know there’s a Kolbe test too, that you can, or assessment you can take when you’re looking to hire.
And I can’t remember if that’s B or C Let’s see. Okay. I knew I needed somebody with some medium to high timezones and follow through because as we kind of pioneer and just trailblaze, someone needs to kind of pick up the mess and sort it and go, okay, now it’s in the system. And so I was very, you know, thoughtful about that when I started talking to people and making sure, like how did they like to organize like the job role was. You know, organizing, communicating, maintaining systems, creating and maintaining systems because I knew it wouldn’t be me,
Kathy Kolbe: [00:46:52] let me tell your listeners, cause I don’t want them to think that you can just guess at what you need. We get pretty good at it. That when we’ve used Kolbe for a long time but I don’t guess when it comes to hiring because what we really need to do is go through the process of filling out the C Index. The A Index is this is who you are. The C index says, this is what the role requires. And it has, I wrote it. So it’s task oriented. This task has to be done this way. Other tasks can be done that way. And it’s all about the tasks and the result of that done by a person who has succeeded in a role and by the person or persons who are going to evaluate the person in the role can tell you whether the way the person you’re interviewing fits those requirements.
And if not, Why not. And what would you have to give up? So we’ve had trouble finding someone with the skills to do something. And this is what I always hear in technology with the skills come first, well sure they do? You have to be able to do the job, but you need someone to skills who will do it the way you have to do it fits in your culture and adds to the synergy.
And what I’ve found is if you go through the Kolbe what we call the right fit process, you won’t have all that turnover with new hires. It works. So I really recommend using it. It’s worth, you know, it slows you down by maybe three days upfront to go through getting people to do it. But it is so worth it.
I, one of our clients said I have had nine people come in and work with me on your Wrangler position. None of them I’ve worked. I’m going to use Kolbe that person has been with them for 12 years.
Cory Miller: [00:48:43] So Nicole and I put links in the chat, everybody, and there’ll be in the show notes after this. So you can find the Kolbe C Index and also the right fit. Okay. So, Kathy, I want to talk about now, thank you for this. I want to go to the subject you’ve been hanging on, which is kids . How are you spending your next chapter professionally?
Kathy Kolbe: [00:49:05] Well, I got to stay healthy cause I’ve got work to do.
Cory Miller: [00:49:09] Yes, please.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:49:10] We have been doing data collecting and analysis of public school education for decades because I have been very sad about. Education in general, the more I know about how people learn about MO’s the more I know how terrible our schools are.
Here’s what’s happening. The data proves it. The teachers are hired because they got good grades, learning education. They learned education and educational policies in the universities. They didn’t get into the university if they didn’t have a good score on an SAP and grades in their high school.
So go way back. You had to have good grades. Then you had to get a good test score. All of that requires fact-finder follow through, right? There’s no Quickstarter, implementer or reward or any of that, we never were rewarded for our Quickstart on the SAT or our implementer. So the students who apply to be educators and universities qualify because they do well on tests.
Then they’re taught how to give tests and how to use textbooks that are written by people who are fact-finder follow-through. And then the students read the books and take the tests that are fact-finder follow-through driven. And the fact-finder follow-through students get good grades on the test written for them by people like them.
And those poor kids who are trying to do something right. Have to be athletes. They have to do the school play. They have to be funny in class. They have to do you hear a lot of kids say my only way of getting to school was to be the class comics. It’s sad. It’s wrong? Not sad that there’s a class clown
like I think that’s fun. It’s not right. That we set kids up for failure. One that I knew. My husband and I have five kids and nine grandkids I’ve been in the hospital when seven of those kids were born. I’ve met them within the first hour of their lives. I can’t do this for everybody, but I can tell when a child is an hour old, pretty much what their MO is, their strong insistence and resistance.
I looked at one little child, my granddaughter and said she is going to have trouble in school. We’re going to have to protect her. She was already touching and feeling things. She was already squawking. And then I see another one who was looking around and I won’t tell you, I don’t want people guessing a baby’s results, but I don’t try to teach that, but I can do it.
And I know I can predict. And as soon as we can do the youth index, which we can do online, starting at age 13, we know when we see those results, those kids are having problems in school. These kids are being called behavior problems. What happens to a kid who isn’t a fact-finder follow through in school is they either have to do extra curricular activities outside interests.
But even when they do that, they are labeled problems. I would be labeled ADHD in today’s world. And now recently they’re calling that a mental illness, which makes me furious I’m ADHD, because I’m a Quickstart because, and you probably could get that. Well, you’re a fact finder. Six might save you. Kids who have lead-less implementer, second suit start just love them to death and tell them how much you love them and care about tell them how great they are, because they’re going to get dinged at school and we’ve got to start changing this and that’s my work change it
Cory Miller: [00:53:01] I love it because it’s fitting people into molds they don’t fit into cramming them into the molds and then going, what’s your problem?
So after the certification, one of my family members I’ll keep it generic was having trouble. In early teens had crossed the threshold of the age for the youth index, which I’m sure Nicole can put a link in the chat here and we’ll have it in the show notes later had him do it went and bought it, got the results.
There’s a parent guide that you can walk through with teachers. This particular family member initiated in implementer and was wondering why in math and different things, they were, you know, doing other things. Well, if you know this person, you go. Highly artistic loves working, you know, very tactile and you know, the Kolbe report too.
I know it comes with, I think still potentially career fairs that people with similar MO’s happen to gravitate to. And I was like, this makes sense. And the guide that you had with it was like, just share this with a teacher and everything’s going to be a little bit better but I hurt when I hear the story because I’ve lived it in various forms, seen it so prolifically and don’t want my kids eight and six.
I’ve got a link it in my inbox from one of your team, I’m going to do it because my kids are eight and six and I want the…
Kathy Kolbe: [00:54:24] we can do it with your six year old now. I am, I couldn’t stand the fact. That I could help from 13 years old and older, and we could do it online, but we have to get to those younger kids.
I finally figured out a way to do it. And I just, that breakthrough is fairly recent in the last few years, I call it brainyact, brainy act and brainy active. You’ve done that with your kids yet?
Cory Miller: [00:54:47] I’ve got the link. I just need to do it. I just need to fill out the information.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:54:51] I love brainiac. If it’s a bag of junk, that’s tied to an activity I’ve called the glop shop and been using for years.
But now I’ve done it in a way that we can categorize classify every single thing anybody does with this. I use it with Alzheimer’s patients too. So an adult , if you have a parent or anybody in your family, who’s had brain damage and you need to relieve them of the stress because you don’t understand what they’re needing or wanting. We can help you.
So I’m using this with kids. We start at three years old. And three-year-olds to 13 year olds can now get their results through brainiac. And as it happens, my husband has had a stroke. I’m very aware of the needs to, for people who don’t know. And for the medical community, they try to tell you what they need and they can’t.
I can do this right with them and tell you, this is what they need. You know, the blessing in life is the constant learning. And I need your help, everybody. I need more data. We are now working very hard on suicide prevention. What the schools are doing to our kids with the community is doing to our kids.
And it’s those kids who aren’t the Quickstarter mode , excuse me, who are. They have very low self efficacy. They don’t see any purpose in their life. They don’t get good grades. They get criticized, they get blamed, they get ridiculed and called out. Well, the suicide rate for our youth has been going up and during the pandemic, it’s just been awful.
So I am now trying to do the research to show the schools, stop it. We need to reach these as we’re reaching them by giving them a student aptitude quiz. And then I have a career program called OPgig. I take opportunity for the right gig. We are finding adults and kids love this because it tells them the 20 top things that fit their interests and their ability, natural ability.
And if you don’t like care, here’s 1200 careers rated by the percent probability that you would succeed in it. It’s fabulous.
Cory Miller: [00:57:07] This is everybody listening. There’s a link in the show notes in the chat. Now you can go and do this. I did this. Yeah. I geek out about everything Kolbe I’m going to, I’m going to consume yeah, the ones that was so interesting and caused a little debate within my family was trial lawyer yeah. Yeah,
Kathy Kolbe: [00:57:27] You’d be good.
Cory Miller: [00:57:28] But several others were on it. And then there was something I want to say it was private banker. And I was like, you know what? I like to cultivate relationships. And but I’ll tell you this there’s a link in here in the chat. Go check that out. It was incredible because you have all these careers and I had hacked together some of this over the years with different, totally different, not conative type assessments.
And they were pretty rad. I’ve spent my career in spiritual and church organizations. Have had a career in media. And now I’m an entrepreneur. And they, it was ironic. It was not ironic. It was interesting to see all the things and go, that’s interesting to me. And I think it’s not a prescription, but it’s, here’s something available that would suit your modus operandi, your Kolbe MO.
And I. I think that is so incredible. So hit that link. Everybody.
Kathy Kolbe: [00:58:15] Let me tell you the interesting thing that at least for me, the heartwarming thing is it took me 10 years to develop that. I mean, when you pick the careers that you like and you push on it, it tells you careers within a hundred miles and what it pays and what the educational level is.
I mean, it’s just rich with stuff. But I didn’t expect it. And one of the incredible things that has happened after kids who take the FAQ, the student aptitude quiz in school or church or wherever they take it inside it is a self-efficacy assessment where we can see whether they have high personal value in their abilities or not, or if they’re in trouble.
So we can tell that there are some kids who are at risk and there’s a high correlation between the at-risk kids and potential suicide. So we can go to the church leader or the educator, the parent, and say, we really want to be sure this kid knows how great they are. We want to reinforce that. And we have them take the OPgig.
now in schools, we have every kid take the OPgig after they take the OPgig more than half of the kids. Increase their level of self-confidence. I mean, it just takes telling them how great they are and they know it’s real and true because here’s the things they would love to do. And they know it and it’s genuine and there’s so much of it.
And it’s so, I mean, it’s down the street. I could get a job and everything we say to them is so positive and nurturing and encouraging. We are saving lives. That’s what matters to me. So, you know, it’s just every day I keep saying I started work at 5:30 this morning and I don’t like getting up early in the morning, but there’s so much happening that we can do.
There’s so much. We have the data, we need to get more data. We need your help. Can you have a hundred kids take these assessments? We’ll give them to you free. If you’ll help us get the data because we need a front page, New York times article saying that schools have to change. Parents have to know the danger their kids are in.
People have to realize we’re harming our kids. We have to get this right. I will get there. We’ll get there, but I would love your help. Oh, you’re so much fun. And I have a feeling, I have a feeling if we kept talking long enough, we’d solve a whole lot of these problems.
Cory Miller: [01:00:46] Well, I’m trying to find on your site where to find intern to Kathy, personal assistant, baggage handler, whatever it is because you’re incredible. You’re a pioneer. And you’re singing my song for sure. Okay. So. Specifically for that kind of data. Is it the OPgig data or is it some other data that you need?
Kathy Kolbe: [01:01:06] And what we’re going to do is if you can no one in kids, 13 years old to 21, we need you to have at least a group of 40 kids to do it because of the logistics.
We’re looking for a group of a hundred, 200, 500. If you will do it, let us know. And what we will do is all electronically. We will set it up. So the kids get a free student aptitude quiz. They get a free OPgig and they get the feedback with all the positive information and the people who coordinated it will get net analysis.
So we’ll give you the data for the whole group. We won’t give any personal data, but the kids will get it and their parents can see it. We are doing that free for the sake of getting the data to the next few weeks.
Cory Miller: [01:01:53] Excellent. Okay. Well, I’m going to help promote that message out there for sure. Kathy Kolbe I could talk to you for hours and hours, but I know you have important work to be doing in the world. And I thank you so much for your time and sharing so broadly about what you do, have done, are doing in the world. And I want to say, please keep going, tell us how that happened.
Kathy Kolbe: [01:02:14] Oh I will and I love you. I want to give you a great big hug.
Thank you for being you. Thank you for opening doors and thank you for your good use of my work. It really means a lot to me and I love seeing you on Twitter and you can follow me on, do you want to do an interview with perfectly opposite people?
Cory Miller: [01:02:32] Oh, gosh. Yes.
Kathy Kolbe: [01:02:36] And if anybody wants a job, I need to hire a writer, a freelance writer,
Cory Miller: [01:02:40] I might know of somebody that I’ll be emailing you and Nicole afterwards for you.
We love your work. Nicole has been putting the information in and we’re going to have this on the chat too. So you can follow up with Kathy and her good work from Dynamynd. That’s a two ‘y’s and then also kolbe.com, K O L B E dot com. You can take the Index A that’ll get your MO.
Thank you so much. You’re a gift. I appreciate so much your time and wish you the best. I got to meet your husband a couple of years ago, and I’m thinking about you and send them positive energy out there for you and your family.
Kathy Kolbe: [01:03:12] Thank you so much. Love to all of you.
Cory Miller: [01:03:16] Thank you.