Take This Test to See if You Are Doing What You Should be Doing

By Ben Hart

One reason you might not be reaching your full potential in business and in life is that you are a fish out of water.

A fish is not going to be good at things tigers are good at. And tigers are not good at things fish are good at.

So one of the biggest reasons for lack of success is people have been shoe-horned into the wrong jobs and the wrong roles. Or they have shoe-horned themselves into the wrong role.

A fish is great at swimming. Not so good at running through the jungle.

I want to tell you about a great test that everyone should take that will help you maximize your potential in life and make you a whole lot happier.

It’s called the Kolbe Conative Test.

Not cognitive – conative.

Don’t worry. I had never heard of the word either. The word is not important.

You can take the test at www.Kolbe.com

It costs about $50 to take the test, but it’s well worth it.

And I don’t make a penny by recommending it. I’m just a big believer in this test and its underlying philosophy.

But finish this article first before you head on over there.

The Kolbe test is not a personality test.

This test is designed to uncover what your instincts are, what your internal mode of operation is.

And your instincts are not something you can change. Sure, you can get control of them. You can force yourself to operate a different way.

But you will be very unhappy.

I suppose a Tiger could eat fruits and vegetables if he absolutely had no choice . . . to avoid starvation. But the Tiger will be very unhappy living that way. A Tiger wants to eat raw meat.

That’s because a Tiger is a Tiger – not a Giraffe.

So what the Kolbe test does is tell you what your instincts are, what your mode of operation is. Specifically, what the test measures is how you go about solving problems.

And it breaks down your mode of operation (MO) into four basic categories.

The first category is what the test calls a QUICK START person.

Most QUICK START people just want to dive right into the activity, whether they know what they are doing or not. They figure they will learn by trial and error.

They are pretty impatient with classroom activity or reading manuals. They just want a few tips and they dive right in. These are action people.

They don’t like to sit around. They figure it best to take action even if it’s wrong.

If it’s wrong, they will take corrective action to fix the problem later. Most entrepreneurs are QUICK START dominant.

Lot’s of QUICK START people are also in jail. So being a QUICK START person has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

The scond mode of operation is what the Kolbe test calls a FACT FINDER.

This is the opposite of the QUICK START.

The FACT FINDER wants all the information before they act.

FACT FINDERS are researchers. They won’t make a decision until that are satisfied they have a thorough understanding of all options.

A QUICK START person has no patience for this.

A QUICK START person wants a solution now, wants action now.

A company that has all QUICK START people will be a very precarious place to work. These are the “We need to do something even if it’s wrong,” people.

But a company dominated by FACT FINDERS will have a tough time taking any action at all.

The truth is, you need both.

Now, there are two other Modes of Operation, which businesses also need.

The third category is what the Kolbe test calls the FOLLOW-THRU person.

These are the planners and systematizers.

These are people who are happy to sit through a course and read a how-to manual before they set out to accomplish the job. And they are the ones who want a detailed plan of action before they act.

These are different from the FACT FINDERS, who are mainly information gatherers.

Your FOLLOW-THRU people want a detailed road map, while the QUICK START guy will often set out on the journey without a map.

FOLLOW-THRU people make good generals and good leaders of large corporations. They are planners and systems people.

The fourth and final category are the IMPLEMENTORS.

These are people who feel more comfortable with physical objects than with theory.

These are the people who can hook up your computer network, or your phone system and program a VCR. They are the guys who see Heaven as a day at Home Depot looking at power tools.

If you don’t have any IMPLEMENTORS in your company, not much will get done either.

You can’t just have QUICK START people. You can’t just have FACT FINDERS. You can’t just have PLANNERS AND SYSTEMETIZERS.

You also need people who actually do the physical work – or your company will break down and become dysfunctional pretty quickly.

The computers won’t work. The elevator won’t work. The phones won’t work. The mail won’t get sent out. The checkbook won’t get balanced. Not much will happen without IMPLEMENTORS.

Now, none of us are 100% of any of these. We are a mix.

But we have a dominant mode of operation for how we tackle problems and deal with life.

And it’s important to know what dominant instinct we are.

None of these categories are better than the other.

All four categories are necessary if you want to have a successful business – or frankly, run a household successfully.

And you need to know your dominant MO so you can fill in and shore up the missing pieces and weak links in your business.

Now, many entrepreneurs tend to be QUICK START people or FOLLOW-THRU people.

The mistake entrepreneurs tend to make is to hire people who are like they are, or they partner up with people who are like they are.

And so what happens is you end up with a company full of QUICK-START people.

And that’s not good.

If you are a QUICK START person, you need to bring on a partner who is maybe a FOLLOW-THRU person – a planner, a systematizer.

You also need a FACT FINDER and maybe mostly IMPLEMENTORS.

Why is this important?

Well, if you make a QUICK-START person your scheduler or your building engineer, you are going to have a very ineffective and unhappy employee on your hands. That person will be a fish out of water.

And you can yell and scream at your QUICK START employee for making one screw-up after another, but that won’t make any difference. You will not get improvement.

That person is in the wrong job, the wrong role.

In fact, I would say as a general rule, QUICK-START people don’t make the best employees.

Most entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs because they hate working for other people. They hate following orders. They want to do things their own way. They want to blaze their own trail.

My dominant MO is QUICK START.

But my second most dominant MO is FOLLOW-THRU . . . which is the planning and systematizing MO.

So what I need around me are IMPLEMENTORS and FACT-FINDERS – certainly not more QUICK-START people.

That’s how you have a balanced company.

And that’s how you make sure you find the right role for yourself, and find the right roles for others in your company. You won’t succeed by putting square pegs in round holes.

Now . . . why is this so essential?

Because not only are fish happier in water, they perform best in water.

So if you know what the dominant problem solving mode of operation is for you and for everyone in your company, you will have a well-balanced, well-functioning company full of happy people who are doing what they should be doing.

Now, if you are the boss who is a QUICK START person, you want to be free to focus on what you do best – which is the idea-generation activity, the visionary stuff, the big picture – and then you want to delegate everything else to your FOLLOW-THRU generals, your FACT-FINDERS and your IMPLEMENTORS.

Your FOLLOW-THRU people — who are your planners and systematizers — will help keep your QUICK START creativity in check and let you know when your ideas are not practical.

And, as a QUICK START person, you don’t want to be spending your day trying to figure out how to hook up the phone system or balancing the books.

So if you want to have a happy, well-functioning company, you need to take the KOLBE test . . .  and have everyone in your company take this test.

This will tell you a lot about whether your company is properly put together.

If everyone in your company is a QUICK-START person (like you probably are), you’ll need to make some adjustments . . . or you’re headed for trouble.

What I love about this test – and the philosophy behind it – is that you are free to be yourself . . . because, frankly, you can’t be anything but yourself.

This test will help show you how you best tackle problems, what your instincts are, and what your Mode of Operation is – which you should not try to change . . . because that would be like telling the Leopard to lose his spots.

What I also love about this approach is that it goes directly against what we are told our entire lives.

We are told to work on what we don’t do well. We are told to get everything done on our “to-do list.”

Instead, what we need to be doing is focusing on what we do best . . . and then delegate everything else.

But to delegate effectively, we must delegate to those whose MO fits the job that needs doing.

Don’t ask another QUICK START guy to fix your phone system, or hook up your computer network, or keep track of your appointments.

If you build your team this way, you will be a whole lot more successful and you’ll have a company full of happy people who are doing what they should be doing.

Once again, you’ll find the Kolbe Conative Test at www.Kolbe.com

And here’s the link to the test itself so you don’t have to hunt around on the site:


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