Systems We Love: The Kolbe Profile

Dan Sullivan
3 min readSep 9, 2022


We’re often pressured to work hard to improve on our weaknesses. But that just gives us strong weaknesses. Why not play to your strengths?

I’m a big proponent of strategic alliances. On a personal level, they help me stay within my Unique Ability, and on an organizational level, they give us access to extremely valuable skills without having to create them from scratch ourselves.

One of the best strategic alliances we’ve made at Strategic Coach is with the Kolbe Corporation. Kathy Kolbe is a genius who’s created a marvelous system for measuring how individuals take action when left free to be themselves.

The day I got my Kolbe results will always stand out in my mind as one of the most powerful days of my life, because that profile suddenly explained where all the troubles in my life and my business came from.

I knew from experience that when I stayed within a small circle of activities, I was always most productive, energized, and successful. Yet, I always felt compelled to try to be good at things outside that circle. Kolbe gave me permission to let myself live entirely within my small circle — and for more than 30 years, that’s what I’ve done.

My own particular profile explained why:

  • My natural tendency is to simplify everything.
  • I’ll take any available system and adapt it just to get some action started.
  • I’m phenomenal at starting things, but I’m not a finisher.
  • I’m good at communicating my ideas visually, but it’s best to let other people put the final polish on my diagrams.

We’re often pressured — particularly in school — to work hard to improve on our weaknesses. But that just gives us strong weaknesses. Why not play to your strengths? Systems like Kolbe and Unique Ability stop you from trying to change into someone else and let you be the person you are by nature.

Since the early 1990s, every entrepreneur who’s participated in the Strategic Coach Program has completed the Kolbe index and received their profile, and the vast majority are so taken with the system that they go on to use it with their teams — and their families too. Within Strategic Coach, we don’t hire anyone unless their Kolbe profile corresponds to the role we’re hiring them for. This avoids a tremendous amount of stress and missed expectations, and gives us the advantage of having a lot of gut-instinct wisdom at work within our organization.

We have a total commitment to helping people identify, articulate, and use their Unique Ability, and I believe Kolbe does the quickest job of getting you into the right place to start that inquiry — and takes away a lot of the complexity. That’s why we love it.

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I hope this article triggered some new ideas, projects, initiatives, and thinking for you and your business.

Thanks for reading,


If you want to understand yourself better or build a Self-Managing Company, take a look at Kolbe.

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Dan Sullivan

World’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. Co-founder and President of The Strategic Coach Inc. Find out more: