Episode 72: Using Kolbe A To Create The Ideal Team

Episode 72: Using Kolbe A To Create The Ideal Team

The person you hire conatively is going to be the same person on day one as day 365, as 10 years from now. So, it really helps employers understand how people will take action, and they can rely on that number and that information over a long period of time of employment.

Susanne Mariga:Welcome to the Profit Talk Show. In this show, we’re going to explore strategies to help you maximize profits in your business while scaling and creating the lifestyle that you want as an entrepreneur. I am your host, Susanne Mariga. I am a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Profit First Professional and a Certified Tax Coach. And today, we’re going to talk about strategies to help you maximize profits in your business. 
Susanne Mariga:Hello, Profit First Entrepreneurs and Thought Leaders. I am so excited today. We have a very special guest. We have Eryn Morgan. Eryn is a Kolbe Certified Business Consultant. She specializes in helping collaborative teams work together with synergy. She specializes in using the Kolbe conative assessment to unlock the strength and superpowers of individuals and discovers roadblocks that really keeps companies from thriving. She has a signature process that helps CEO’s, leadership, teams, as well as individual employees make several adjustments to their aligned job roles and expectations, and really helps them maximize their communication strategies in order to increase company-wide productivity, creativity, as well as profits. Please join me in welcoming Eryn Morgan to the platform. Hey Eryn, how are you doing today?
Eryn Morgan:Hi Susanne, I’m great. Thanks so much for having me on the show.
Susanne Mariga:Well, thank you for having us. Obviously, for a lot of entrepreneurs, one of the biggest expense on our profit and loss statements is payroll expenses, and to the point that we can get it right, we can decrease turnover, and we can actually get an ROI on that expense, and have it more of an investment. That is the goal of what we want as Profit First Entrepreneurs. We are so excited to have you here on our show today because we want your help in getting it right. Hiring right.
Eryn Morgan:I will do my best.
Susanne Mariga:So, Eryn, tell me, first of all, tell me, how did you get into this line of work?
Eryn Morgan:So, I worked with a really great business coach back in 2016. When we were first starting our work together, she said, “Hey, have you taken the Kolbe assessment?” I’d never heard of it. Most people haven’t. And, she’s like, “Go after and take it because when you do, you’re going to get four numbers and those numbers are going to help you to grow your business.” And I was like, “That’s good enough for me.” So, I went to the website, I took the test and I got these four numbers. And what ultimately happened for me as a result of unlocking my unique strengths, using the conative assessment, I discovered the way that I get things done, how I make decisions and how I work with people. So, it’s been now, gosh six years that I’ve been using this as a tool in working, in coaching individual, business owners, individual, CEOs, and recently expanded out to working with teams because that’s what I was seeing. A lot of people are needing to work with synergy, find the right people, put them in the right roles and get everybody communicating clearly. So, it’s been a long road of discovery, finding all kinds of really cool ways to use it. But it’s a best kept secret, I think.
Susanne Mariga:I love it. There’s a lot of different tests that are out there. There’s Kolbe, there’s DISC, there’s so tests out there, but Kolbe is a little bit unique. Do you mind telling us a little bit about why Kolbe is unique compared to the other tests that exists and how it can be useful for employers?
Eryn Morgan:A hundred percent. So, we’re going to do a little bit of science. There’s actually three parts of your mind. The first part is the cognitive piece, and this is all about your skills and what you can do. So, a lot of job placements would use cognitive assessments. Those are great. The next part is the effective part of the mind. This is your personality. So, this is where DISC and strengths finders and Myers-Briggs, and some of those other personality based tests we’re so familiar with, that’s where they fit in. And this is great. It tells you what you want to do. This is about your differences, and your personality. So, that’s awesome, and that’s where most people stop. But this third piece of the mind is the conative part. This conative piece of the mind it really allows us to understand how you make decisions, how you will take action when you’re striving towards a goal.
Eryn Morgan: And, it’s the only assessment that actually measures that. It’s the only one that exists. So, where it’s really need is for an employer to understand from resume to interview, to the extension of an offer to hire, they understand the way that this person processes information, the way they’re likely to take action on their job on projects that they’re being asked to work on. And, the best part is that, unlike your personality which can shift if it’s raining or when you have a stomach ache, you can be in a really yucky mood, but your conative skills don’t change. Your conative strengths remain consistent over time, and they’ve actually done studies that show decades worth of consistency in this number. So, what’s amazing is the person you hire conatively is going to be the same person on day one as day 365 as 10 years from now. So, it really helps employers understand how people will take action, and they can rely on that number and that information over a long period of time of employment.
Susanne Mariga: I love that. That is really important. I know one of the things that we teach in Profit First is the importance of working with your natural, psychological and biological makeup because you’re always fighting against the grain if you’re trying to go against your naturally made to be. And so, it’d be able to understand that from the beginning, so you may say it’s so much easier, this is the place I’m supposed to be, this is what I’m supposed to do, this is what I’m gifted at, and let me do it and get out of my way. It’s really, really important with that. So tell me about Kolbe. Tell me about what the different things that it measures and tell us about who works well together and, how these numbers all play out?
Eryn Morgan:Sure. Let’s break it apart into understanding what these four numbers are really talking about. The first number is fact finder. This is all about how you gather and share information. So, if you’ve ever met anybody who tells you a story about their vacation, by saying, “Well, first, we got in the car, and then we turned on the engine, and then we drove down the driveway,” and by the way, we forgot to close the garage door, that’s the story of my vacation. I’ll tell you why that’s funny. It ultimately is all about how people really gather and share information. And the more detailed folks, they have higher numerals on that mode. And those who prefer less detail or don’t need as much specificity on will have lower numbers. So, that’s the first one.
Eryn Morgan:It’s all about how you gather and share information. This is great. But then, the second number is called Follow Through. You might think it would be about following through and being true to your word and doing what you say. You’re going to do a little less. I think about follow-through as systems and how you either like to build and construct and use systems, or maybe how you don’t like to do that. So, folks who are really high numbers in follow through are people who love to create and build and engineer systems and organizational structures and plans. And, we love these people because they’re so great at helping those of us who are Quick-start get things done. But, if you have a lower number, you’re somebody who adapt, actually, you don’t need the system.
Eryn Morgan:You actually will sometimes break a system if it exists because you are always looking for shortcuts, and we used to improvise, and that’s really fun, too. So, those are the first two Fact-Finder and Follow Through. The third one is called Quick start  and what it’s really about, and we also think of quick starts working quickly, going fast. And sometimes that’s true, but really deals with all you handle risk and uncertainty. So, higher number on the Quick start is somebody who is brainstorming and innovating and taking initiatives that might not work out. It might be pretty risky. And, a lot of entrepreneurs have these huge ideas and these plans, and sometimes they’re sort of betting the rent. They don’t really know if it’s going to work and people who have lower numbers, those folks are all about stability.
Eryn Morgan:Let’s keep things stable. Let’s keep things working the same way. We’re used to it, very grounding energy for somebody like that. And we need all these different ranges. Every number is important in the grand scheme of things, and then finally, there’s the fourth number, it’s called implementer. And, this is all about how you deal with tangibles and space. People who like to touch and feel things, build things with their hands. Those higher numbers are great for quality control. So, if you have a product based business where you’re creating a lot of tangible goods, you want somebody really high in implementer versus somebody who can envision things, but I don’t need to touch and feel them. So, if you’re going to ask me if it was a really high-quality coffee cup, I’m going to go, “Yeah, it looks really great,” and move on, but somebody who’s really good at implementers is going to say, “yeah, but you see that little hairline fracture on the handle of the mug. That’s going to break when somebody fixes it up.” So, this is where they candle space and tangible. So, it’s a little complex, but once you understand your numbers and what they mean to you, then you can start to understand the numbers of other people. And that’s where the synergy comes in.
Susanne Mariga:I love that. So, would you say, Eryn, that it’s best to assign job tasks based upon the number, or what are your thoughts?
Eryn Morgan:Yes. I think that there are people who are more naturally suited to do certain kinds of work. So, putting me as an 8 Quick start and a four in fact finder, I’m going to explain stuff to you. And I’m going to come up with crazy ideas, and you don’t really want me doing biomedical research. That would not be a good career for me. It would not. I research for me, wouldn’t be particularly good and neither is building systems. I’m not going to come and plan out your projects in a sauna or hello, or any of these like very complex. That’s not me. So, if that’s the job I’m being asked to do, I’m going to get pretty frustrated. And that’s just my example. This happens in every individual as if they’re being asked to do things that cause to go against their grain, against their natural strengths.
Eryn Morgan:They’re going to have a lot of strain and tension and conflict in their jobs, which ultimately leads to all the turnover and the miscommunications and things not getting done. So, it’s possible to get somebody aligned well from the very start. But sometimes, it means moving expectations around changing the way a role might be performed from one person to the next because there’s lots of different ways to get to, like you’re in Houston, I’m in Philadelphia, let’s both go to Miami. I bet we both get there, but we take totally different routes. The same would be true if we were both in Houston, we’d get to Miami, but I bet we it differently. And, it’s that kind of idea is all about how to get the right person in the right role.
Susanne Mariga:I love that. And so, I’m curious, we always want to look for the right-hand. That’s important to say as you’re scaling, part of it is being able to fire yourself from different jobs and bring in someone else that can do the job that you’ve fired yourself from. If you’re a scaling business, which a lot of our listeners are here, when you’re looking to bring in someone that’s going to be that right hand, what characteristics do you want them to have? For example, I see you’re a 4, 4, 8, 3, first of all, Eryn, tell us what 4, 4, 8, 3 means, and then tell us who the perfect right-hand man would be for that?
Eryn Morgan:4, 4, 8, 3 means that I don’t need a ton of information. I like to make summaries. And, I really thrive on maintaining systems. I don’t want to create them, probably won’t break them, but it’s possible. I could quick start. I’m going to innovate, brainstorm. I’m always going to come up with a million ideas and I have the ability to visualize my solution. So, in terms of somebody like me, if I were looking to replace me, and I mean, when we think about Mike and when he talks about the queen bee role, figuring out what that role is, that it must be protected above all things. In Profit First, if we’re looking for that right hand, a person to replace me for her, somebody like an entrepreneur like me, we need somebody who has the ability to innovate. And, I need somebody who’s going to be able to work with a team player, the team that I’ve created, somebody who isn’t going to come in and break a successful team because if I’m scaling, that means things are working inside my team.
Eryn Morgan:We’re making adjustments, we’re adding new people into the mix, but all in all people are working together really well. And so, if I’m looking to replace myself first, I’m probably going to add a couple of people to replace my role. Small bits of my role will get handed off to a lot of people, but I need somebody who can innovate, who can come up with those creative ideas and who can really drive forward versus if I’m going to stay in the innovator role in my company, if that’s ultimately going to be the role I serve is that innovation and creative ideas, then everything else needs to be replaced. And the way that I look at it, I want the expert in that. So, I’m always going to look for somebody who has the strength. I need to move from project manager.
Eryn Morgan:So, I want somebody who’s an 8, fact finder, follow through, which is what I have on my team right now. She’s 88, and she manages like a champ, and it counters me in a beautiful way because I don’t have to worry about all the details and all the systems that we’re doing it. I just get to show up for the crazy idea. It’s all about whether are we really replacing you a hundred percent? You’re out of the business. Or, are you maintaining some pieces of the role that best suits you? And then, the other pieces are being reassigned.
Susanne Mariga:I love that. So, really, it’s not about just the number. It’s about what role are they going to play? What is the expectation, and what is the deliverable? Because if it’s maintaining a current system or our current environment or current employees that are of a certain way, you’re going to want a personality that can lead that personality with that. And so, it was more of finding synergy, not say what’s compatible with you, but what the role needs is.
Eryn Morgan:Absolutely. Now, if I were going to go out and say, “I need to find my perfect VA.” So, we’re hiring a virtual assistant or executive virtual assistant. I need to look at my numbers very closely in collaboration with that individual because they need to be able to be a support team member for me. They’re not here to replace me. They’re here to support me. And so, my answer is going to change in that because I need somebody who can align with my fast pace, creative, innovative self, somebody who’s a one in comparison to my eight, they’re going to struggle to keep up with my pace, and that’s not their fault. Their job is to stabilize, and I keep changing things. So, in those needs, in those cases, what I like to use as a bit of a rule of thumb, and it’s not perfect, but keeping things within about two numbers of what you are. So, if I were to find somebody who was a five or a six quick start, they’re going to resonate with my style of moving quickly more than somebody who’s a one. And, I certainly don’t want somebody who’s a 10 because I already moved faster than my team can handle. So, we don’t need to be coming up with crazy ideas that I have. So, we’re always looking and keeping it in good balance. Is it a question of truly replacing the role or is it a support or complimentary role that we’re looking for?
Susanne Mariga:Oh, I love that idea. So, it’s a support role versus a leading role or implemented role. I love how you say that. And so, Eryn, one of my questions is, where does Kolbe go wrong? Where do we go wrong with Kolbe testing in employees and building teams? No system is ever perfect. 
Eryn Morgan:There’s a couple of things. One, personality matters. So that affective part of the minds, a lot of people will couple up some of those more personality based just because you are somebody who is a quick start by nature doesn’t mean you’re an extrovert. So, if you have somebody who needs to be in a very extroverted sales role, and you look at it and say, “well, they’re an eight, they should be great.” If they’re a quick-start, that means they’re not necessarily right. So, we make these assumptions based on these numbers. And so, this is how they’re going to be. But that X factor of the personality of the human, it comes into play. And it’s important to take it into account just because somebody has the right numbers on paper doesn’t mean you should hire them if ultimately their personality doesn’t gel with the rest of your team.
Eryn Morgan:So, I like to think about this as, again, synergy is bringing a lot of different pieces together. I need the right skills, that cognitive piece, I need the right match personality wise in terms of company culture. And then, I ultimately need somebody who has the ability to make decisions and take action in their role in a way that’s expected for their best success. And, it’s really thinking about it as that Venn diagram of three pieces coming together in the center and being perfect. That’s really what we’re looking for. And, I think that when you consider a whole human that’s when you can really apply Kolbe to it.
Susanne Mariga:I love that because you’re right, you can absolutely get one of those super high quick starts, but then you can get that driver disc personality, which are the people that just get things done. And, you just got a bulldozer on your team that can’t communicate and runs over all your clients. So, that can be definitely a big disaster. You’re trying to get a customer service person in there. I can see that’d be good. Tell me about the implementation of Kolbe. What does that look like?
Eryn Morgan:Sure. So, once somebody understands their score, their unique score, they can start to look at the scores of other people and start to get a semblance of how they might work together. But one of the things that I have found in my years of using is it’s very easy to use for yourself with a very baseline amount of knowledge. But when you start to want to look at synergy and collaboration with others is where having somebody who like me, who is a Kolbe Certified Consultant, would be of good service because we can see the full landscape of all these numbers mean for all these different people and really help you find those matches and those perfect fits. So, it’s nothing possible for somebody to say, “I know my Kolbe score, and I know this person who’s applying for the job.”
Eryn Morgan:I know their Kolbe score, and they’re two away. So, will be a good fit. That’s about where the limitation is for most individuals. And so, what we love to do is help to both educate people in that wider way, so they can say, “Wait, I understand how these numbers all work together,” but also so that they could start to do more advanced things with somebody like me as a Kolbe Consultant. I can come in and do all kinds of very advanced things like hiring and job training for people who need to change their role. There are all kinds of cool stuff we can do. But, it really begins with knowing yourself. So, if I was going to give a piece of advice to anybody interested in this, it would start with yourself, start with learning your score, and then, we can start to build on that with your team.
Susanne Mariga:I love that because at the end of the day, you got to be able to work with those around you because you are the MVP. And if you have to step out the business, most likely can run without you. So, being able to have a team that can support you is extremely important. So Eryn, thank you for sharing that. So, one of the things I like to ask all of our guest as we started to wrap up is, if you can leave our entrepreneurs with any piece of advice, it can be personal, it can be business related, what would that advice be?
Eryn Morgan:Go with your gut. And, it’s actually something that I’ve been thinking into and leaning into more and more in my business is when it doesn’t feel right to you as a CEO, it probably isn’t. And so, leaning into that and starting to explore that just in my business specifically, we’re using some software that I’m looking around going, “Wait a second. I hate the software. I don’t understand it. I don’t like using it. And it’s got my whole business insight. Why are we using this?” And so, I could continue to stumble along down that path, making the choice of changing is hard. Everybody’s got a pivot. Everybody’s got to shift. But to me, my gut is saying you need to go in this direction. This is the right way for you to go. And, I have to trust myself. I have to press my instinct. And I know enough about myself because of my Kolbe score and lots of other pieces of my personality to know that at the end of the day, I can trust myself. And so, that’s where I think my key to success was learning how to trust myself, how to trust my guts and going with it.
Susanne Mariga:I love that because it’s very easy to get wrapped up in numbers and numerical scores in a day. Like you said, it’s the combination of things, and ultimately when you make a decision, it’s going back to that gut. These are the numbers. These are the facts for us high fact-finders, and now what just makes sense from a gut standpoint and then that’s how we proceeded with that. 
Eryn Morgan:And as business owners and entrepreneurs, sometimes we have that, “The numbers tell me this, but my gut is saying something different. Let me really look at that with a little bit more intentionality,” and say, “Well, what’s really going on here. What’s going on underneath this? Is it a fear that’s coming up? Or, could the numbers actually be taking me in the direction that’s going away from my purpose or a way from where I really want my company to go?” And there are those deeper level questions that sometimes pop up, and they’re never comfortable. They’re never fun to field when the numbers and the gut instinct doesn’t match, but I think it’s worth exploring in a lot of the situations.
Susanne Mariga:Definitely. And so, Eryn, how do entrepreneurs find you? How do they connect with you? How do they locate you in order to work with you?
Eryn Morgan:Absolutely. So I live at erynmorgan.com. That’s where I am, and I have a pretty cool CEO checklist that people can grab and learn a little bit about my philosophy and how I do things. It’s really actionable. It’s pretty cool to assess where you are as a CEO, but then I will let everybody know that there’s a way that you can take the Kolbe assessment. If there’s something you haven’t done before, you can absolutely go to kolbe.com and take that test. But, I actually have a really fun new way that people can take that assessment through me and get a lot of additional resources and pools and audio trainings and fun, things like that. So, the way you find out about that is by being on my email list. The same road applies, go on over to  erynmorgan.com. Grab the checklist, and we can absolutely get you a Kolbe test that will help you figure all this. Oh, it’s super fun. And then, I get to support you and give you more resources.
Susanne Mariga:And for you guys that are listening and that are driving right now, Eryn actually spells her name a little bit different from your traditional Erin. It’s erynmorgan.com. I’m going to put that in the show notes so that you can find it, click on it and be able to connect with her because it is a little bit unique spelling of a name for Eryn.
Eryn Morgan:Thank you. I appreciate that. Sometimes I say it out loud, and then I’m like, “right” because they can’t see it.
Susanne Mariga:Eryn, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing your knowledge on Kolbe and personality testing in order to build teams and reminding us at the end of the day, there’s a human factor with that. So, we definitely appreciate you coming on our show and spending time with us today.
Eryn Morgan:It’s been my pleasure. Thank you so much.
Susanne Mariga:Thank you, Eryn. 
Susanne Mariga:I want you to have your most profitable year ever. Yes, no matter what’s going on in the economy, no matter what’s going on in the world, you can have your best year ever. And, I want to show you how. Join me in our private Facebook group where I will be hosting our Free, Yes, I said, FREE Profit First Masterclass on Facebook. Please join the Profit First Master Class with Susanne Mariga. I look forward to seeing you there and watching you have your best year ever.

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