Erica Cardenas

Who are you, really?

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Look around any workplace and you’ll find a melting pot of personality types, from the methodical organizer and the talkative extrovert to the office peacemaker and idea guy, each with his or her own unique traits.

But aside from personality, let’s take it a step further – what about instincts and natural talents? How does knowing and understanding your instinctive strengths translate to deciding what career to pursue? Whether you’re fresh out of college or planning your next career move, having an understanding of what your natural abilities are can possibly lead to a satisfactory job or career that works well for you.

Find out your MO

Will Rapp, president of Kolbe Corporation, a Phoenix-based company that provides people of all ages with tools to identify their instinctive talents or “conative” skills, shares his outlook on the benefits of being equipped with such information.

“Too many people end up five to 10 years down the road dissatisfied with what they’re doing for a living,” he says. “But it’s not only a lack of job satisfaction – stress tends to build up when you’re working against the grain and against your natural strengths.”

Known as the Kolbe A Index, the online questionnaire consists of 36 questions that measure a person’s instinctive method of operation (MO), and identifies the ways he or she will be most productive. Results are retrieved in an 18-page report, after which the Career MO+ questionnaire can be answered; this one identifies jobs and careers that fit a person’s MO. This supplemental report to the Kolbe A Index offers guidance on how to make the most of your natural talents in a current job.

The report shows where someone fits on a scale of one to 10 within four “action modes”: Fact Finder, Follow Thru, QuickStart and Implementor. Fact Finder measures gathering and sharing of information; Follow Thru evaluates arrangement and design; QuickStart looks at dealing with risks and uncertainty, and Implementor assesses the handling of space and tangibles.

An interesting note to point out: Kolbe has nothing to do with whether someone is an introvert, extrovert, math whiz or potential rocket scientist. Kolbe Index results deal with a different part of the mind than personality or intelligence.

So, how did this writer measure up with the Kolbe A Index?

According to the results, I am “terrific at stepping into tough situations and concocting daring solutions. [I lead] the way out of dilemmas … blaze uncharted trails and improvise inventions until [I] get them working.”

My action-mode results conclude that my Fact Finder mode is to explain; my Follow Thru is to adapt; my QuickStart is to improvise and my Implementor mode is to restore. So, tie these modes of action into career examination and the report suggests I seek job opportunities that allow me to brainstorm new solutions, logically arrive at conclusions, help make the prototype, fix the product and act outside the box, just to name a few.

The career paths based on these leading strengths that have satisfied people with similar MOs include actor, environmental advocate, new product developer, teacher for the physically challenged, television producer and life coach. Quite the variety.

About 50,000 consumers use Kolbe instinct assessments annually, including companies such as Intel, Volkswagen, Honeywell, Banner Health and APS. In fact, Rapp adds that the Kolbe A Indexes are administered to the participants of Valle Del Sol’s Hispanic Leadership Institute (HLI) as an additional tool for them to apply to their jobs.

To take the Kolbe A Index, you’ll want to visit their website at It takes about 20 minutes to complete and will run you $63.95 for both the assessment and the additional Career MO+ report. The indexes are available in Spanish, too.

Another assessment option

Another well-known assessment is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The mother-daughter team of Katharine Myers and Isabel Myers-Briggs developed this personality-typing instrument over 50 years ago.

The duo began creating the indicator during World War II, believing that knowledge of personality preferences would help women who were entering the industrial workforce for the first time to identify the sort of wartime jobs where they would be most comfortable and effective.

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