Kolbe Testing in Strategic Coach

Last updated: September 25, 2023

These notes are from a presentation by Kristi to the Strategic Coach 10x group in Toronto, ON on Dec 4, 2016. Kristi supports 240 entrepreneurs in Strategic Coach. She LOVES Kolbe testing.

The four striving instincts:

  • FACT FINDER: To specify, to justify.
  • FOLLOW-THRU: How we arrange and design. To force closure. So that things which get started, get finished.
  • QUICK START: How you deal with risks and uncertainty. Our instinct to innovate. To brainstorm, to think outside the box. Sense of urgency.
  • IMPLEMENTOR: How you handle space and tangibles. Being hands-on with the physical space around us.

Engineers probably have high fact-finders.

Color from Kristi: This 10x group has the most amount of Initiating Quick-Starts of other Strategic Coach groups.

ADVICE: Noticed myself looking around the room as we “Raise your hands if you are XX in Fact Finder” — I wanted to see which group I was in, and noticed others looking around, too. Because we want connection and commonalities.


Fact finders

Great example in difference in scores based on how we use installation manuals for products.

  • 1, 2, 3: These people throw it away with the box.
  • 4, 5, 6: These people (myself included) save them – maybe in file folders even.
  • 7, 8, 9, 10: These people read it all — even sometimes read it before they purchase it.

Follow thru

  • 1, 2, 3: These people are highly adaptable (me, yay!). Having a lot of starts, maybe not a lot of finishes. Finding short-cuts. Thrive on interruptions.  Highly adaptable. Unaware of any plans.
  • 4, 5, 6: These people maintain order. Lots in the room, maybe the majority. If there are a lot of 4, 5, 6’s working together, they’ll often say, “We need a system for this.” They follow the plan.
  • 7, 8, 9, 10: These people systematize. Create the plans.

Quick start

  • 1, 2, 3:  (I wasn’t listening during this part)
  • 4, 5, 6: Modifying or going along with change. You want to check things out before trying them.
  • 7, 8, 9, 10: A sea of hands! Kristi said she’s never seen so many in one room. We’re about innovation, being future-driven.


  • 1, 2, 3: We call repairmen if anything is broken. We picture how things could work. Like my father walking through empty office space planning his expansion: “We’re going to put the reception area here, the break room here, some desks here…”
  • 4, 5, 6: Restoring or renovating.
  • 7, 8, 9, 10: Hands-on. Baking, chainsaws, racing cars, etc.


Kolbe calls people in the middle as unicorns, these are rare. They’re the glue that really holds the team together. They’re good at translating between both sides. Dan has said many times, if you find a mediator, hire them immediately and we’ll figure out where they fit later.

If there’s a star somewhere, it means they’re in transition. Not answering consistently. Having a lot of stuff going on, being super busy = these can convince someone to answer differently. If someone has a star like that, wait 90 days, and then re-test. Gives them time for the dust to settle. Otherwise right now they’re trying to be everything for everybody.

Random Stuff

** Ask Strategic Coach for their hiring guide.

** It says a lot about the Strategic Coach integrity that they haven’t developed their own version of Kolbe, and instead send hundreds of thousands of dollars of profit to Kolbe each year for their customer tests.

** Wonderlick test https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderlic_test used for prospective employees and by the NFL.

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