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Finding Your Unique Ability by Trusting Your Instincts

December 30, 2018

Editor’s Note: In part one of this series, we defined unique ability and described the four common activity zones. Now, in part two, we are going to help you identify your unique ability.  Spoiler alert: the secret is to trust your instincts.

Discovering Your Unique Ability

How do you discover your Unique Ability?  How do you systematically identify activities that consume your life and drain your energy?  How do you identify tasks that fill your bucket with excitement, passion and purpose?  I would like to suggest that you begin with the Kolbe A Index™ (  Developed by Kathy Kolbe, the Index is a proven and reliable tool to assess your instinctive and natural approach to creative problem solving.  It is unique from any other mental measurement tool because there are no right or wrong or good or bad answers.

Kolbe’s definition of success is the freedom to be yourself – to appreciate your instinctive talents and harness these talents in synergistic ways to drive productivity.  The ability to understand your natural talents – especially your Unique Ability – will allow you to be highly motivated, creative and focused.  Research substantiates that human instinct is the power behind actions.  It is the source of mental or conative energy.  Historically, assessment tools have measured cognitive (IQ) and the affective (personality) parts of the mind.  While these tools are helpful in selecting, training and managing people, they miss instinctive talents.  Understanding instincts, combined with intelligence and personality, will dramatically help you as you move forward in your career.

natural stengths kolbe index

The Kolbe A Index™ is focused on your natural advantage – the degree of intensity in each of the following action modes.

  • Fact Finder                  The way one gathers and shares information
  • Follow Through         The way one sorts or stores information
  • Quick Start                  The way one deals with risk and uncertainty
  • Implementer              The way we handle space and tangible solutions

You have 100% of your mental energy and creativity distributed across the action modes listed above.  A corresponding number from 1 to 10 in the Kolbe A Index™ determines your mode of operation or modus operandi (MO).  As you discover your unique MO, you begin to understand and appreciate your instinctive or natural ways in taking action.  The first, and most important, step is discovering your Unique Ability.  Abraham Maslow, the guru of self actualization discovered that each person seeks “to be true to his or her own nature, to trust him or herself, to be authentic, spontaneous, honestly expressive, to look for sources in his or her actions”.

I would like to suggest a six step process in helping you discover your Unique Ability:

  1. Unique Ability Question:  Begin by asking yourself what activities give you energy, purpose and passion?  You may also wish to consider asking other people who know you the same question.
  2. The Kolbe A Index™:  It will allow you to understand your natural and instinctive talents.
  3. Unique Ability Habits:  These are the things that you do automatically to produce your best results.  You develop these habits over the course of your lifetime.  Begin by listing the habits.  Pick the ones that reflect your core values.
  4. Unique Ability Statement:  Consider expressing your Unique Ability in one sentence.  Begin with words such as “My Unique Ability is characterized by my superior ability to …” 
  5. Unique Ability Future:  Envision yourself at some point in the future spending 100% of your time on your Unique Ability.  This skill of visioning is a powerful process of becoming clear about your ideal future.  Visioning is understood and appreciated by top athletes, entertainers and successful people in all walks of life.  Visioning your Unique Ability will give you a sense of clarity, confidence, purpose and passion.
  6. Unique Ability Goal Setting:  Goal setting is a powerful process of becoming clear about your ideal future, designing an action plan to get there, launching into action and persisting until you reach your destination.  This final step of the Unique Ability process is crucial.

Focus on Your Uniqueness – Delegate Everything Else. 

Through The Strategic Coach program, I learned that successful entrepreneurs remain focused totally on their Unique Ability and delegate everything else.  These individuals delegate work to others who possess a Unique Ability in those areas.  There are people sitting around you today whose Unique Abilities differ from yours.  Tasks that drain your energy, fill the bucket for them.

If you are frustrated, bored and losing energy, it is imperative that you discover your natural strengths…your Unique Ability.  Socrates once said “Know thyself.”  Good luck!

About the Author

Scott Addis, CPCU, CRA, CBWA is the CEO of Beyond Insurance and is recognized as an industry leader having been named a Philadelphia finalist for Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award as well as one of the “25 Most Innovative Agents in America.” Beyond Insurance is a consulting firm that offers leadership training, cultural transformation, and talent and tactical development for enlightened professionals who are looking to take their practice to the next level.  Since 2007, the proven and repeatable processes of Beyond Insurance have transformed individuals and organizations as measured by enhanced organic growth, productivity, profitability, and value in the marketplace.


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