Larry Brauner

Who Are We and What Makes Us Tick?

We subject ourselves to intelligence and personality tests so that we can understand ourselves, or so that others can evaluate us and learn who we are and what makes us tick.

I’ve taken my fair share of these exams over the years, and I suspect that you have as well.

While there is some value in IQ tests and personality testing, these tests don’t reveal what really makes us tick or indicate how we tend to deal with our work and all of life’s situations. Something is lacking in these familiar standardized examinations.

The Kolbe Concept®

Robin Kavall, an old friend from my chess tournament days and an accomplished actuary, recently introduced me to the marvelous work of Kathy Kolbe who developed the Kolbe Concept.

According to the Kolbe website:

The Kolbe Concept holds that creative instincts are the source of mental energy that drives people to take specific actions. This mental drive is separate and distinct from passive feeling and thoughts. Creative instincts are manifested in an innate pattern that determines an individual’s unique method of operation, or modus operandi (MO).

When we act in concert with our instincts, we have enormous energy and achieve high levels of performance.

While the cognitive part of our minds controls our thinking and the affective part controls our feeling, according to Kolbe our instincts manifest themselves through the conative part of our minds that controls our doing.

Some aspects of conation are drive, instinct, necessity, mental energy, innate force, and talents. Conative attributes, distinct from intelligence, attitudes, values and emotions, are not generally factored into standardized psychological testing.

The Kolbe A™ Index

Kathy Kolbe identified four universal instincts that shape the way we tackle life’s problems. Although these instincts cannot be directly measured, they can be inferred by examining our behaviors.

The Kolbe A Index characterizes and helps us understand our behaviors that pertain to the four classes of action that correspond to our fundamental instincts:

  1. Fact Finder - how we gather and share information, i.e., simplify, explain or specify
  2. Follow Thru - how we arrange and design, i.e., adapt, maintain or systematize
  3. Quick Start - how we deal with risk and uncertainty, i.e., stabilize, modify or improvise
  4. Implementor - how we handle space and tangible things, i.e., imagine, restore, or build

All the terms used here have specific well-defined and clearly explained meanings within Kathy Kolbe’s system.

The Kolbe A™ Index Illustrated

My own Kolbe A Index is: specify, maintain, improvise and imagine. Here’s the overall summary of my index and what makes me tick:

Your Kolbe A™ Index result shows you are excellent at coming up with unique strategies, prioritizing opportunities, and dealing with the unknowns in complex problems. You are the go-to person when elaborate projects are in trouble.

You may access my Kolbe A Index results to get a clearer picture of what the index is, how it’s reported and what my MO is.

Learn More about the Kolbe A™ Index

In this article, I only scratch the surface of understanding of the Kolbe Index and its enormous value. Extensive information about other Kolbe tests and how all Kolbe testing can help us to maximize our potential and personal fulfillment is available at the Kolbe website.

You comments and feedback are welcome.

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