A blog about social, economic and spiritual networking

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Saturday, February 24, 2007

What My Kolbe A Index Says About Me

In preparation for a Leadership Forum I was participating in this week, I took the Kolbe A Index at Kolbe.com. The Kolbe A Index evaluates your "conative styles," or typical action behaviors. Conative styles are instinctive, subconscious actions. Here's the link to a very interesting article on the Kolbe A Index from Oprah's "O" Magazine.

There are four basic "action modes", behaviors driven by your instinct (not personality or IQ):
  1. Fact Finder - is how you gather and share information
  2. Follow Thru - is how you sort and store information
  3. Quick Start - is how you deal with risks and uncertainty
  4. Implementor - is how you handle space and tangibles
My Kolbe index is a 7-3-5-4.

My "red" score of "7" on Fact Finder indicates that I try to insist on "getting as many specifics as possible" by Specifying. I am likely to research facts in depth, establish specific priorities, define objective, assess probablities, define terms with exactness, determine appropriateness, provide historical evidence, create analogies, and develop complex strategies.

My "blue" score of "3" on Follow Thru indicates that I sort and store information by Adapting. People with a high blue score are apt to have to-do-lists, detailed plans and schedules, interim milestones, and act through organization. My "3" indicates that I am resistent to order, organization, to do lists, detailed plans, milestone schedules, whch is absolutely true!

My "green" score of "5" on Quick Start indicates that I deal with risks and uncertainty by Modifying. I can respond to challenges, assist in innovation, interject spontaneously, adjust deadlines, and mediate between the vision and the given.

My "yellow" score of "4" on Implementor indicates that I handle space and tangibles by Restoring. I can test ingredients, renovate structures, convert space reproduce models, use mechanical equipment, connect concrete paths, and create simulations of physical action.

Kolbe says that I can leverage my innate ability as strengths. Kolbe says this about my index score:

You prevent getting boxed in by staying open to alternatives.
Your ability to adapt your plans helps you take advantage of opportunities.

I took the Kolbe A Index with 30 or so of my colleagues, some of whom I know quite well. To the letter, their respective Kolbe Indexes were accurate in my opinion.

I'm curious to have my team take the Kolbe, so I can accurately understand a new dynamic in the team productivity environment. But maybe, all I'm interested in getting as many specific facts as possible and thus validating, once again, my "Fact Finder" score of "7" :-).

I encourage you and your colleagues to take the Kolbe A Index, by clicking here. You can take the index online in about 20 minutes and it costs only $49.95. Send your colleagues the link to this page. I was amazed at how accurate it was in capturing and predicting my instinctive actions, and those of my colleagues.

Feel free to post your Kolbe A Index here in a comment with your assessment of your own score!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

LinkedIn: Connecting to Super-connectors and the Value of the Network

I don't consider myself a "super-connector" though I am in the top 80 60 on LinkedIn, and I think my network is as diverse as the "next guy".

I just got an email from a new connection, and he says this:

"I think this sums up being linked in to you:
1,044,533 new people in your network since your last login
Hahahha... that's AWESOME!"

Now, I don't know this guy well, but we did share some plesantries via email. Certainly I will accommodate his pertinent requests to "the network" as I see fit. But what an awesome feeling it must be to a newbie to be able to reach and search a million additional people who might actually be looking for candidates, or looking for partners, or looking to reconnect with former colleagues.

My investment in his quest into the network will be minor, perhaps a few requests forwarded. I'm sure his perception of the value of the network accessible through me is *much* greater than my value of having *him* as a connection.

I think there may be too much focus on the value of the relationship between two people (for which LinkedIn is not needed, by the way) in establishing connections. People do connect for different reasons, some more promiscuously than others, and for that I am grateful. Almost half of my network is in "the fourth degree", and I reached out to one of those in my fourth degree for a business opportunity today. Had I limited my personal network to my 30 or 40 closest contacts, I would *never* have access to the full potential value of the network.

As I've said in my "free report" (shameless plug), available for download in the files section of MyLinkedInPowerForum (see MLPF message 2400), people can fly to and from any two points in the U.S. *because* of the existence and availability of hubs, not because particular providers on the legs of the trip provide pillows and mimosas...

I hope that LinkedIn doesn't change the service too much going forward. I'm a firm believer in paying for value-added services, but the services should actually *add* value, not subtract functionality or network accessibility.

Joe Bartling
Invitation-only email: LinkToJoe[at]gmail.com
{Note this is not my "regular" email account - I *never* check it. It
works for LinkedIn invitations ONLY.}

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

On-line Charity Auction of Phish-related Items for the Visually Impaired

From the Delta Gamma Center, one of the organizations I support which helps blind and visually impaired kids:

We are pleased to inform you that the Mimi Fishman Foundation is hosting an on-line charity auction that will benefit the Delta Gamma Center for Children who are Visually Impaired. The Foundation is a generous supporter of our Center. We hope that you will join their efforts by participating in this auction. It began July 15 and ends July 25.

The auction features a healthy dose of Phish related items as well as various other jamband signed items and festival packages. One of the more interesting items is a “War of the Worlds” poster signed by Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.

To view and/or bid on the auction, please visit the Mimi Fishman Foundation Page at

The Mimi Fishman Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1999 by Miriam “Mimi” Fishman (the late mother of Phish drummer Jon Fishman) and David Shulman as a vehicle to raise funds for various charities, including the Delta Gamma Center. Mimi Fishman had glaucoma and was a huge believer of helping out organizations that provided assistance to the visually impaired, especially those charities that focus on children.

Please donate and bid generously, so that others might see!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

VCs That Get It! - The Entrepreneur's Magic Number

Christian Mayaud, in his excellent post, Know Your Entrepreneur's Magic Number, says,
"If you look at the professional life of a typical successful entrepreneur, their ability to tolerate personal risk varies over time. If one assumes a linear increase in net worth over time (rarely the case) then this curve also roughly correlates to three distinct phases.

Phase I — The entrepreneur has essentially no personal net worth [and is able to absorb substantial risk]
Phase II — The entrepreneur is building personal net worth [becomes more risk-averse as personal net worth grows up to his "personal magic number"]
Phase III — The entrepreneur feels relatively secure financially [risk tolerance grows in proportion to their personal net worth]

Young recent college graduates behave differently from middle-aged first time entrepreneurs, serial entrepreneurs behave differently from first-time entrepreneurs, senior managers behave differently than founders, etc., etc. — in part, due to the existence of their Personal Risk Tolerance Curves and where they are along them."

David Beisel comments in his post, that the entrepreneurs magic number may also change over time based on other factros:
"The question I would raise is if an entrepreneur’s (or anyone’s for that matter) magic net worth number shifts over time. I agree that an inexperienced entrepreneur may see things differently than one who has a few successes under his or her belt, but don’t those successes broaden the view of what is in fact potentially achievable? Moreover, I would also maintain that entrepreneurs specifically are not just driven by extrinsic motivations, but also by intrinsic ones as well. There are often deeper reasons than financial ones why an entrepreneur – especially a serial entrepreneur – is willing to take significant risks with both his/her private wealth and career."

In my recent post, New Breed of CEO: Beyond the Bootstraps, I mention this situational predicament from the entrepreneurial/start-up CEO perspective. Many VCs and angel investors still seem to expect that the entrepreneur is either at:
  • Phase I: able to accept significant personal risk, or at

  • Phase III: able to accept significant personal risk

The reality is that many of us who have started and successfully built companies are at Phase II, balancing risk and personal net worth.

I am grateful that at least two VCs, Christian and David, have recognized that entrepreneurs also have their "magic numbers". If some really smart VCs could figure out a way to harness the energy and creativity of all those Phase II entrepreneurs with a more balanced risk profile, perhaps the rare MOTU might actually be bagged!

If you are looking for an awesome Phase II entrepreneur/CEO to go bag the MOTU, check this out!