Our Family of Companies
western & southern financial group logo
western & southern life
columbus life logo
eagle realty group logo
fort washington logo
gerber life logo
integrity life logo
lafayette life logo
national integrity life logo
touchstone investments logo
w&s financial group distributors logo

42 The Whole Truth on How to Assess & Assemble a Winning Team

Steve Seid & Kurt Dupuis
Share:
42 The Whole Truth on How to Assess and Assemble a Winning Team with  Jennifer Scaglione



Kurt Dupuis:
Welcome to The Whole Truth, where two wholesalers help financial professionals build great practices and thrive in a rapidly changing industry. We'll bring you the stories and voices from those on the front lines of this change, and we'll have some fun along the way.

Steve Seid:
This is more than a podcast. We're building a community of financial professionals who are growing forward thinking and want to get better. Thanks for listening and contributing to the discussion.

Disclosure:
The views expressed herein are those of the participants and not those of Touchstone Investments.

Steve Seid:
Welcome, everybody, to The Whole Truth from the Bay Area, California. I am Steve Seid.

Kurt Dupuis:
And from the seemingly eternal World Series Champions Atlanta Braves, or from the City of Atlanta, I'm Kurt Dupuis.

Steve Seid:
I'm just happy because all my teams are awful, so I'm just happy for someone that actually roots for good teams.

Kurt Dupuis:
If you all, have been listening to us with any level of frequency, you've heard us talk on more than one occasion about this Kolbe thing. Seid and I both had the opportunity to go out to Phoenix a few weeks ago. We got certified in this and the episode today is with an absolute expert. I am conversational in this language, but you freaking wrote this language. But before we get into the interview and some application, I want to just do a brief overview of what Kolbe is, and it has to start with understanding that there are three parts of the mind. There's the cognitive, which people are generally aware of. We do IQ tests. The second part of the mind is called the Affective. It's how we feel about things, how we intuit through life. That would be in the vein of DISC or Myers-Briggs. There's a ton of assessments for that. Both important.

We're not talking about those though. We're talking about this third part of the mind, which few people know about and even fewer people understand, which is the Conative part of the mind. It's how we do. It's using your instincts when you are striving when you're free to be yourself. What does that mean? This Kolbe assessment assesses four different modes, and it's important not to think of anyone as high or low in this.

It's just some things come more naturally than others, but the four modes are Fact Finder, Follow Through, Quick Start, and Implementer. I'll explain what those mean, and I'll tell you my scores. The first being Fact Finder. This is the extent to which you want to process information. Again, the context is of doing, so think about work. When you are striving to do your best work, where do you start to solve problems? I am a 5 at Fact Finder. Steve, you're a what, an 8?

Steve Seid:
Yeah, 8.

Kurt Dupuis:
What that means is intuitively to solve a problem, Seid is going to do a lot of research. Because he's an 8 and I'm a 5, it doesn't mean I don't want zero research. It's just not how I initiate action.

Steve Seid:
It's a good point, because let's say you're working with somebody who's a 2 Fact Finder. It doesn't mean they don't want to know anything. What it means is that they're probably going to look at summary level information and that's what they require to take action. Whereas myself, I've got to get into the details. That's part of how I work.

Kurt Dupuis:
Being a 5 in Fact Finder, I... 5 in Fact Finder tend to be good explainers. If you have an 8, 5, and a 2 on your team, the 5 is going to help bridge that gap between an 8 and a 2 because you're going to just tire out a 2 because they don't want high level of information. The second mode is Follow Through. I don't love this moniker, but it's how you organize things. Basically do you really like start by solving problems by organizing, or are you very fluid with how you think about organizing things? What were you on that again, Seid?

Steve Seid:
3. I got tripped up with the word Follow Through because I'm like I follow through on my ideas, but that's not what this is about. Someone who's high on Follow Through needs a lot of different processes to take action. They don't like uncertainty. Whereas you know you and I, because I think, Kurt, you're... Which one are you on this?

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm a 2.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, you're just like me. It's like we're okay with a little level of uncertainty and just kind of moving forward, where someone who's higher wants to build out those processes, those techniques, those kinds of things.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah and so if you are what's called a Counteracting Follow Through, which is what we are having a lower score, and you work with an Initiating Follow Through, meaning they have a higher score, you should let those people like work out their processes, right? If they're mid process on something and you interrupt them, that is really devastating and damaging to an Initiating Follow Through. Just one simple idea of how you can work together understanding your Kolbe scores. The third mode is probably of my favorite because it's my highest number.

Steve Seid:
You’re off the charts.

Kurt Dupuis:
Again, high is not better, but it's called Quick Start, and this is how you deal with risk and uncertainty. I am an Initiating Quick Starter, which means if I'm given a problem, I want to solve it by action. I don't have to do a ton of research. I don't have to have a process in order. I solve by doing would probably be the most succinct way to say that. When it comes to creating prospecting campaigns or marketing events, I just want to get out and do it. I will figure out where I'm screwing up, and then I will reassess. Seid, you had a similar score on the Quick Start, right?

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I was accommodating that middle thing, but I was on the high end, which means I was in the middle, but I was on the high end. I tend to lean like Kurt. People that score kind of lower numbers on this are much more about the status quo, and that's okay because Kurt is going to run around and have all these different ideas. It's good for Kurt to be balanced by someone who's a low Quick Start that says, "Hold on, guys. Don't do the five million ideas that are coming in your head. We've got a process here. This is how things work." Having someone to balance out is great. This podcast is a great example of us with Quick Start.

Kurt Dupuis:
Exactly.

Steve Seid:
Most of our colleagues, it didn't just pop in their head like, "We should go do a podcast." They said, "Okay, this is how wholesaling is done. This is how we do it," where you and I, again, not right or wrong just said, "Hey, let's do this crazy little podcast thing."

Kurt Dupuis:
Real peel an onion, and I think we talk about this in the interview, Seid and I are both like fairly... We're kind of Initiating Quick Starters, which means we like ideas, but we're what's called Counteracting Follow Throughs, which means we don't necessarily have to have a process. If you saw how we throw these shows together and all of the Google Sheets that we have to rely on with notes everywhere, that would make total sense.

Steve Seid:
Jenny kind of talks about that,

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah she did.

Steve Seid:
Jenny Scaglione, who I'll introduce in a minute, our interview today, who is just phenomenal. She kind of commented on that about us.

Kurt Dupuis:
We've gone through three of the four. First is Fact Finder. The second is Follow Through. Third is Quick Start. The fourth mode that Kolbe assesses is Implementer. This is probably my least favorite way to describe this. Let me use my own words, but it's how you handle space and tangibles. Both working in financial services, we're often dealt with situations where we're dealing with ideas and concepts and don't have to have something tangible, but an Initiating Implementer would be someone that has a more tactile experience or they have to draw things out. If you'll remember back to our conversation with Brian Doe a few episodes ago, we described him as being a higher Implementer. Because when he's describing something, he's using napkins or the salt and pepper shaker or literally drawing something out on a whiteboard. He would be more of an Initiating Implementer because he liked those hands-on things. Those are the four different modes. The language to use if your score on any of these modes is higher, you initiate in that mode.

If you're in the middle, you react or you're accommodative. And if you score lower on any of those, you're counteracting, which again doesn't mean you can't do any of these. It doesn't mean if you have a low Quick Start score, if you're a Counteracting Quick Start that you can't have new ideas or you can't act in the face of uncertainty. It just means your instincts are less likely to lead you that way. We'll talk about this with Jennifer, but it also gets into URGs and how much energy we spend in all of these different modes.

But to use Seid's favorite word, it's just a phenomenal framework to think about how we do things. I haven't had a person yet say, "Oh no, this makes no sense. This is not me at all." The more you understand it, the more you realize that it doesn't change throughout your age, throughout different jobs. You are you, which is also different than Cognitive or Affective type assessments because those can change over time.

Steve Seid:
Excellent. I'm really excited about this. I've already started to work with teams on this. Let's get if we can into some practical application, like how you actually use this, how we can work with you on this. Then I'll introduce Jennifer Scaglione and then we'll get onto the interview, which I know you guys will all love. Practical applications. The first thing I'd mention is to improve intra team dynamics. What does that mean? You are a team working together today. You want to improve the way you work together.

It doesn't mean you're not working well together. It just says, "Hey, as a team, we want to understand each other better. We want to improve those team dynamics. We want to work better together." This can help you take that kind of teaming to the next level. I also think about this in terms of new members coming on the team, teams merging together. I mean, understanding these dynamics can really, really aid that process. Those are some of the big things. I also think with hiring.

For example, let's say Kurt and I was on the same team. We both said that when it comes to Quick Start, we have a lot of ideas. We're high on that score. If we were hiring, it would be better to hire someone, all things equal, that's a lower on the Quick Start that can help balance our way of taking action. When it comes to hiring, you can look across the team, what are our scores, what are we missing, what could really improve our team dynamic, and use Kolbe in the hiring processes.

As you'll hear from Jennifer, that's exactly what she does, both at The Network where she works, but also with the financial professional teams that she works with as well. The other thing we heard a lot when we got certified and I think it makes a lot of sense is keeping people on the team longer.
If we understand our team members, our employees, if we understand how they work, if we understand the jobs that they're in and do these types of assessments to make their life easier, better, more natural, I mean, all those things, you're probably going to keep people in the seat longer, which is a humongous benefit.

Kurt Dupuis:
A real example of that would be if you have an Initiating Follow Through, so someone that really likes processes and systems, but they work in environment where there are no systems and they're not empowered to build the systems. That would be their superpower, right? If you were a very disorganized person, you have an Initiating Follow Through, they are the best Christmas present you could get because they could help you build systems.

Steve Seid:
Right.

Kurt Dupuis:
If you have a person that is an Initiating Follow Through, but all of their time is spent counteracting that innate way that they work, it's going to drain their battery. They're not going to be happy. They're going to find another opportunity that is more suiting to them, whether or not they know that Kolbe exists and how it assesses. Kolbe's a great framework for kind of fleshing this out. It's software-based and there's ways to look at the entire team.

Steve Seid:
We realize this is a lot of information we're throwing at you right now, and the point is not for you to remember all of this. Kurt and I got Kolbe certified for a reason. We're here to help. We'll set you up with assessments. We'll do the interpretations, all that. What I hope this does is provide a nice overview. Let's transition if we can to introduce our interview today, which is Jennifer Scaglione, who I mentioned. She is also with The Network. If you've listened to our show over time, we've had Daxs Stadjuhar are on twice.

Great episodes. Go back and listen to those. He is also with The Network and introduced us to the concept of Kolbe that really encouraged Kurt and I to go down this journey of exploration and actually getting certified. But I was doing a meeting at The Network. I attended one of their meetings for external partners and it was just so clear to me how fundamental, how core Kolbe is to that organization.
Jennifer, as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, she does this Kolbe work extensively with all the financial professional teams that roll up under The Network. I'm like, okay, we have to have her on because she's been doing this for so long. Who better to talk about these types of interactions and what Kolbe can do? Without further ado, let's get into our interview with Jennifer Scaglione.

We are super happy to have our good friend, Jennifer, come on. Jennifer, thank you for joining us today.

Jennifer Scaglione:
So happy to be here.

Steve Seid:
Another person from The Network. We're going to get accused of being a cheerleader for you guys. But the truth is, you guys do innovative stuff and you're willing to come on and share great ideas. I appreciate you guys continuing to support our show and come on and chat with our audience.

Jennifer Scaglione:
It is a mutual admiration society, I would say. We are excited to be here too.

Steve Seid:
Awesome. Awesome. Remind everyone who The Network is.

Jennifer Scaglione:
Absolutely. The Financial Services Network is a highly specialized group of business, investment, and compliance professionals. We really make it our mission to serve the needs of independent financial advisors.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's such a great succinct message. She didn't even... She didn't hesitate at all.

Steve Seid:
She practiced that.

Jennifer Scaglione:
My first time. That was my first time I've ever answered that question.

Kurt Dupuis:
What exactly is your role with the group?

Jennifer Scaglione:
My focus is on strategic initiatives. We really do so much that is cross-functional. I think especially in this remote hybrid decentralized world, in order to help move things out of silos, my job is really to bridge the different teams, to focus on getting our initiatives over the finish line, really with a mission of continuous improvement and advocating for excellence on behalf of our advisors throughout the organization.

Steve Seid:
Excellent. You've got all these independent advisors that work with The Network and they use you for in various ways. How does that work?

Jennifer Scaglione:
There are certain things that our advisors get just simply by affiliating with The Network. We provide business services. As a member of The Network, you have access to compliance and operations support. We are at our core a compliance and operations organization. You would also get our business consulting services. If an advisor wants to grow, merge, sell, scale, as an example, we provide consulting services on that end and also business transition resources.

If an advisor is looking to join our broker dealer, LPL Financial as an example, or maybe they're on the corporate platform and want to go hybrid, hybrid to corporate, or maybe they want to use a different custodian outside of LPL as well, our business transitions team will support those efforts. That's kind of what they get simply as being part of The Network.

But then on top of that, we also offer a portfolio consulting service where our team works with advisors to trade, rebalance portfolios, and effectively partner on investment strategy. Finally, we also offer ala carte service, virtual administrative services.

Kurt Dupuis:
Awesome. We're really excited to dig into Kolbe. I think it's going to be transformational for us in how we interact with financial professionals. But before we jump into that, you also had the benefit of reaching like hundreds of financial professionals. I wonder, just before we jump into Kolbe, what else are you spending your time on these days?

Jennifer Scaglione:
I think that's a great question. Advisors like-

Kurt Dupuis:
Thank you.

Jennifer Scaglione:
Validation. Advisors like everyone else over the last few years have just been through so much change, right?

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah.

Jennifer Scaglione:
I think more than anything, I've just seen that our advisors are engaged and they're ready to move forward, and that means evaluating where they are, where they want to go, how they're going to get there. I would say that evolution in itself is what's the most challenging and taking up our time and taking up advisor's time and focus these days.

My practice is at X. I want it to be Y. Y and go back to X. It's all those different kinds of variations and how do they get there.

Steve Seid:
You're seeing that more than usual. With the pandemic, we know that's created this change in the workforce broadly where people are rethinking their job. You're saying basically since this whole thing has happened, you're seeing even more of those types of discussions. What should I be doing here?

Jennifer Scaglione:
Yeah. Not only what should I, what do I want, right? I think that's what a lot of people walked out of the pandemic with is just this new idea of what do I want at the end of the day and how do I go after it?

Steve Seid:
Excellent. Okay. Well, let's get into the Kolbe stuff. How are you using Kolbe as an organization?

Jennifer Scaglione:
I would say Kolbe is really woven throughout our organization. We use it internally from the front end when we are hiring folks. It is one of the tools we employ. We also use it really to retain our own team. We do different assessments to take a look at the fit of the person against their role, et cetera. Not only hiring, but retention. We use it with our advisors. When we are engaging advisors, Kolbe helps us understand the needs of the advisor and how best to communicate with them.

We use it to help our advisors communicate with their teams and really coach them through growth or change or even alignment conversations. We often or fairly often actually work with the clients of our advisors. As a value added service, I'm doing an interpretation later this week with a high net worth, very important client of one of our very important advisors who is bringing their sons into the business…

Steve Seid:
Oh, interesting.

Jennifer Scaglione:
…and running into some roadblocks. They've asked for some help from Kolbe wisdom.

Steve Seid:
You mentioned hiring for your organization, and you also mentioned bringing on new team members for that financial professional. Spend a minute there. How do you guys use Kolbe in the hiring process? What does that actually look like?

Jennifer Scaglione:
There are no right or wrong answers with Kolbe, right? It's insight into how someone would naturally take action when free to be themselves. While interview questions are great and important and tell you so much, this is something that really gives you insight into how somebody... Not just what did you do, but how did you do it? How would you do it? That's really invaluable information. What I also know is we are not going to change the person. Is it possible to change the job if it's the right person? Those are the kinds of conversations that Kolbe helps us to have in the hiring process.

Steve Seid:
Got it. You're looking at this job requires this skillset. We want the person who's coming in to match that skillset or be predisposed to do well on that. Do you ever consider it like with gaps, like, hey, across The Network on this team, we have... a lot of us look alike in this regard? We probably need somebody to balance us out. Because I was thinking about that for financial professional teams. It's like, if I'm all Fact Finder, for example, I probably want someone that's not that to create a balance. Have you thought about it that way?

Jennifer Scaglione:
Well, maybe you want someone, but you probably don't want a Counteractive Fact Finder as that operations or administrative professional. That's probably not a good thing. Not always. It's just interesting to assess where those gaps are, what that might mean, but it's not necessarily a fill in the blank.

It is important in your interactions to recognize when maybe you have a team that's loaded with a certain MO and it makes sense that way, but you're communicating with folks who might have a different MO, and MO being modus operandi, the four numbers that Kolbe, the universal striving instincts and strengths. I think that's what's most important about those missing strengths.

Kurt Dupuis:
I want to understand how long you guys have been using it and what has made it such a fundamental part of how you do things?

Jennifer Scaglione:
I think it was about 2015 our partners discovered Kolbe after attending a conference and two of them became certified. And then really it's interesting as they are current owners of The Network were becoming partners and taking over The Financial Services Network from the founder Jim Herrington, they really found that understanding their MO and their striving instincts were so critical and important as part of their coming together as partners that they really found it valuable and important that we weave this into our organization.

A few other members of our team became certified in 2016. Why is it so fundamental? It's the truth, right? You've heard that before. It's just because it's the truth. Listen, it really is. Ancient philosophers all the way to modern day thinkers agree there are three parts of the mind. I think that we tend to focus on two of those, the Cognitive, which is what we know are brain power. We certainly measure them SAT, ACT, the Bar. Those are the kinds of things we talk about with cognition.

Affective, how we think, feel, what motivates us, we certainly measure those all the time, right? The Disney princess, which Disney princess are you? Or even in the workplace, DISC, Myers-Briggs, Predictive Index. Those are the kinds of things and they're super important, all of those things, but they're only a part of the picture. And they change fairly often, which is really how we came back to Conation as being so critical. Somehow our Conative strengths are in our genetic code.

I mean, the information is real and reliable and re-testable, right? We have 20 year statistics showing us that this is statistically valid. When you look at somehow this is in us since the time we were kids and we bring it forth into our professional and personal lives, it is that fundamental. It's the truth.

Steve Seid:
Let's talk a little bit about the different assessments, so the A, the B the C, the A to A, which you ran on Kurt and I. We're going to cover that later. Talk about that.

Jennifer Scaglione:
Sure. The Kolbe A, definitely used the most often, it measures instinctive talents and the way a person takes action. The result, which is called MO, the modus operandi, I referred to it a little earlier, that's the innate method of operation that enables an individual to be productive. That's the Kolbe A and, again, the primary one that most are familiar with. The Kolbe B measures how a person views the demands of their job or position. The result is able to take the talents that are a natural fit for the job, and then how the job holder perceives the requirements for success in that role. That's the one I mentioned that we use in retention. We actually use the Kolbe B as part of our employee self-review every year to take a look at what is my Kolbe A, but what do I believe are the necessary requirements in this role? And then finally, the Kolbe C measures how a supervisor, how they believe a position should be executed.

The results then help an individual job holder identify how the evaluator, or it could be a peer, it could be the hiring manager, how they believe a particular job needs to be done in order to be successful. It's the job holder, how they are expected to take action, and that's finally the Kolbe C.

Kurt Dupuis:
The important thing is that there's a lot of different assessments all at their base assessing those Conative abilities, but a bunch of different lenses through which to view them. We're going to be pitching this a lot and talking about it a lot. And because it's so foreign to so many people, what would be like your most concise description of what Kolbe is?

Jennifer Scaglione:
Well, you're asking an Initiating Fact Finder to be concise.

Kurt Dupuis:
Uh-oh, uh-oh.

Jennifer Scaglione:
I will start there and say that's sort of best answered by my MO, my modus operandi. I am a 7, 6, 7, 2, which means I initiate both in Fact Finder and Quick Start, I accommodate in Follow Through and counteract in Implementer. When I'm striving to help someone understand Kolbe, I start with the history, the facts, the details. I think that above all my elevator speech is always, Kolbe is an exercise in self-awareness and an exercise in understanding who someone else is and the value in understanding those differences.

Steve Seid:
I was pitching this to a friend of mine who's a financial professional yesterday talking about team dynamics and saying, "Hey, we want to run this assessment. Here's what it is." And essentially what he wanted to know was, "Okay, well, you're going to give us this information. You're probably going to give us some tips, but then what?" I'm interested in a couple of your use cases.

Jennifer Scaglione:
Kolbe is all about productivity, understanding how you take action, what your productivity do's and don'ts are, and then, of course, how you bring it towards the team. As an example, I recently worked with an advisor who had acquired an existing advisor's practice. They were trying to sort out how best to work together and had encountered some differences in approaches, right? Especially from the legacy advisor. There was an overwhelming or like a current of stress in that.

Kolbe takes a little bit of the emotion out of that. Helping understand where someone is coming from really alleviates stress. You realize in your coworkers why someone is doing something. And then all of a sudden, it creates a path to how you move forward. In this particular conversation, there were lots of aha moments and, frankly, some laughs. I like it most of all when people can kind of take this a little bit of making fun of themselves when they recognize their self in the information, but yet still have fun.

Kurt Dupuis:
You better buckle up for ours.

Jennifer Scaglione:
Yeah, exactly. Well, that's what I like. I've had a few experiences where people didn't take it so much like that, but I hope we can all laugh at ourselves when we look in the mirror a little bit, but it helped to understand both the synergy of the team, where the new advisor had brought some differences in their instinctive strengths, how their team members had fallen into some patterns of working with the legacy advisor and then with the new advisor really was a new situation.

Understanding where their gaps had been and where their difference is in approach. As far as where they take it, this is oftentimes we have an initial conversation and then we peel it back and peel it back or work with a particular subset of individuals. It could be, okay, oftentimes it's the advisor and their operational and support staff, but then it is not uncommon to have a follow-up conversation with the operational staff.

We know we're not changing the advisor, so how do the two of you interact and how do you figure out how to get what you need from the advisor? When you talk about Conation, that word really is need, right? That's the trigger word. When someone tells you what they need, you need to listen to them because that is a Conative term. Oftentimes it's a breakdown, a large group interpretation, and then maybe some follow-up.

Another example, kind of similar, but working with an advisor who had recently built his own new team and they were going through some growing pains, right? You interview someone. You think they're going to be a great fit. You think you know what you're getting. When it came together, the advisor really recognized they could use some external coaching about how to best work together.

What was interesting in this case was what we talked about a little earlier where we had folks with the same or similar MOs, and it's what they call “Conative cloning”. The advisor had either consciously or subconsciously hired himself over and over again.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah.

Jennifer Scaglione:
In some ways, it makes it easier because that conflict isn't there, right? You come at a problem in the same way or with the same approach. But when you have missing strengths and different problem solving approaches are required, then that can really be a recipe for strain or tension. Who is going to step out of their natural strengths to make something happen? Because oftentimes we are all capable of doing anything with the right motivation and reason. We all can do anything, but it's the way we naturally take action when different approaches are required, someone is going to have to take that action, so looking at that.

In this case, it was something where I recommended the Kolbe C to better understand what that advisor was actually looking for, take a look at the individual Kolbe As. Sometimes that can be tricky, right? What if you have somebody who's already in their position? You complete a Kolbe C and you recognize that the Kolbe A doesn't match. What we said earlier is true. You are not going to change the person. What opportunities, what strategies can you used to bring that role in line? Because what I know to be true is if someone is constantly stepping out of their natural strength, that's exhausting, right? I mean, you can only do that for so long until you're running on empty. It's also a time when I feel like The Network as their partner, we come back in because we bring a team of people and an extension of their resources. And that's often what you need is if we don't have it internally and we have missing strengths, where can we go to find those strengths? Oftentimes I like to suggest us as The Network, not a network commercial, but really just a true and valuable statement of how we can help.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's funny, because Seid and I both had kind of changes in our own territories where we were interviewing people for various roles and that's one of the things... I didn't have Kolbe, I didn't have it as a tool yet, but it's one of the things I was cognizant of is like, I don't want to just duplicate myself because I want more variability and more diversity in my territory. We're going to jump into one of my favorite topics, talking about me. I feel like this is going to be a bit of a therapy session, but it's going to be a real live version of one of the most common applications, as you described. Seid has done his Kolbe A. Seid, remind everybody what your numbers are.

Steve Seid:
8, 3, 6, 3.

Kurt Dupuis:
We have my Kolbe A and I'm a 5, 2, 9, 3. Individually, we have those assessments, but what Jennifer's going to walk us through is the A to A, so literally like taking those assessments, mashing them together, and helping us understand how we can work better together.

Steve Seid:
I'm excited.

Jennifer Scaglione:
When you start talking about the Kolbe A or an A to A comparison, I think the first thing that I always say, Kolbe tells us when there's areas of potential conflict and tension. What that doesn't mean is that individuals don't like each other, don't enjoy working together. I always kind of paraphrase it with that. Sometimes I'm doing this with spouses or partners and I have to be really, really clear about that when there are those differences. But it's really a conversation about how you each approach a problem and how your difference in strategies could be prone to conflict. Should we dig in to the A to A?

Steve Seid:
Let's do it.

Jennifer Scaglione:
Awesome. You both said your numbers, but I'm going to kind of take it, again, my Initiating Fact Finder at work here, and I'm going to start. The Fact Finder, for those that aren't quite as familiar with Kolbe, a Fact Finder strength is how one gathers and shares information. Kurt, we found out actually accommodates in that mode. He's right in the center, while Steve initiates in that mode. If I had a problem and I threw it out there and I needed some details researched, Steve is my guy for specific and details.

It can sometimes overwhelm others. In this case, Kurt has a natural ability to translate that information. However, it wouldn't be in Kurt's natural MO when you're working together if you're like, "Hey, we got to do something together. Kurt, go look into all the details. Come back and give me an overview of the research you've done." That much more falls within Steve's camp. When Kurt asks a question of Steve, he likely or maybe more often receives much more information than he actually needed when he gave...

See, I like when I hear the laugh, because that's how it often translates. Understanding the different approaches there and how really you can take advantage. Steve creating strategies and allowing Kurt to review them. Kurt can help in gathering the information, but Steve, you better let him know what the criteria are, because you might get something back that really wasn't what you had intended.

I guess just a word of caution, Steve, maybe watch that your detailed explanations aren't overwhelming for Kurt because we know. This is the case where Kurt's pretty close to you. But when you get to the other end of the spectrum, I know truth for me too, the Counteractive Fact Finder is 2 now by the time we're done giving them the novel when they just really wanted the cliff notes.

Kurt Dupuis:
The most applicable version of this for us, because we don't actually directly work together, right? Except on the podcast. The podcast sort of informs all of this. We'll get to this in a second, but we're both Initiating Quick Starts. Our brainstorming sessions are really, really good, but when we kind of hone in on an idea, Steve's almost always the person that starts the research and he's like, "Okay, listen to these couple..."

If there's an article, he's going to find it way before I am, and then I'll process after the fact. I might go on my own tangents, so it's completely applicable, but it's the first example that I could see of. We have a three-point numerical difference. I'm, like you said, Accommodative Fact Finder. But if I was like a 2 or 3 dealing with Seid, it would be a very different dynamic. I could see someone that's a Counteractive Fact Finder could sometimes struggle with Seid.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I was just going to say where I see this to be true is sometimes I'll pitch an idea for a show that's very detailed. I'm something I want to research, and I think all of our audience wants to know that. Kurt going to be like, "Yeah, that's a good idea, I guess. I guess, I have to see it." He'll give me like a half answer about that, which always cracks me up.

Kurt Dupuis:
Here's that idea in action, he wants to do a show of the history of money.

Steve Seid:
I do.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's like a year series. That's just so big.

Steve Seid:
That's exactly what I was thinking about. Okay, cool. This is funny already.

Jennifer Scaglione:
Right. Right. Right. Well, and actually the next one made me laugh because the next strength is Follow Through, which is how one arranges and designs. What made me laugh is both of you are Counteractive Follow Throughs, which means when we talk about on the other end of the spectrum, someone who Initiates in Follow Through, organize, agenda, steps one through 10, we follow them in line, one, two, three. We go down the agenda. Here's what we're going to be doing. We're very specific about it. On the other end of the spectrum, the two of you, we call this organization by piles, right? I don't know. I've never been in your offices, but likely the style of organization is there's folders or files or notes or papers that totally makes sense to the two of you. But if anybody else walked into the situation, they would not consider it organized by the definition in the dictionary, right?

Steve Seid:
Agree. Spot on.

Jennifer Scaglione:
What's funny about this is actually this podcast and it sort of makes sense that this is something that works for you. Because if you were both Initiating Follow Throughs, a little glimpse behind the curtain, there was a little bit of an outline of the questions that would be asked, but there's nothing to say they have to be in order. I actually... Did you notice? I put your thoughts into order because I accommodate in Follow Through and I'm like, I needed it a little... I didn't need it to be perfect, and the conversation today, frankly, has been a little out of order, things thrown in, and that works really well for accommodating and counteractive.

Kurt Dupuis:
This was my biggest surprise with Seid. I thought he would be more of an accommodative or an initiating Follow Through. Just knowing him how he organizes things, I thought his number would have been different. But it's manifested itself in that we have missed deadlines with this podcast. We have talked about ideas and maybe one of us was not in front of a computer to write something down at the moment, and then we end up having the conversation two or three times later. We've had to force ourselves to get a lot more organized and we have to set deadlines. We try to give guests questions a week ahead of time, for example, but we have to put it in the calendar for both of us. Otherwise, it tends to not happen.

Jennifer Scaglione:
Well. Okay, so Quick Start is how one deals with risk and uncertainty. This is usually the one... I don't know. I find at least in the financial services industry folks like to talk about the Quick Start, like for Initiating Quick Start. This is somebody who is quick on their feet. They deal with urgency. They're able to respond. It's very dynamic and moves at a quick, fast, like innovation. You want to solve a problem. Let's brainstorm. Let's talk it out. Those are the Initiating Quick Starts. You actually are not both Initiating Quick Starts. Kurt, you are. Steve, you accommodate in that mode. Steve will jump on the train and also collaborate and brainstorm, but yet his natural strength for modifying the risk a little bit more and really hear me say that is a strength. Where Steve has a need for experimentation and change, Kurt, you're the one who has the real need to kind of maybe shake things up some more.

Kurt Dupuis:
Absolutely.

Jennifer Scaglione:
But together you make sure that it's innovative and you don't have anybody out there saying, "Wait, too risky. You need to ask for that," right? You need somebody to come in and say, "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" But the downside is there are times when someone needs to protect the status quo when too much change... I initiate in Quick Start as well. My entire team of virtual admins counteract in that mode. It is the usual way we go about it and say, "Here's my idea. Tell me why it's a bad one."

I'm actually looking for that. I value that. And if I don't have it, I could be off chasing squirrels because I don't have somebody out there to modify me. How does that make sense in your shared efforts?

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, with my team, we've started... Because we want to be more accountable to ideas and we don't have to execute on 100%, but I've said the goal for this year is to execute on half of them. When I have a wild idea, I email them and I'm numbering them in our email sequence just to say, "This is rabbit cage idea number one. It doesn't have to happen today. But you know, when we're looking for ideas in two weeks, this is the pool that we are going to pull from," as a way to kind of counteract my follow through, just try to stay organized, but also communicate with my folks that like, this doesn't have to happen right now, because I realize not everybody is thinking about this at 10 o'clock at night.

Jennifer Scaglione:
And that's a great way to do it too, because it's really hard for a team of counteractive folks to know which of your ideas you really want to act on, because that is the truth. The last of the Kolbe strengths is the Implementer, which is how one deals with space and tangibles. You both counteract in Implementer, which means you do not need to see it in order to know that it is true or real. When we're talking about something, it's probably why the podcast works well for you, you are conceptualizing while we're talking.

You're not doing recorded videos with sharing people on the screen and white boarding and making sure that you can see, touch, and feel. You both very much conceptualize and can see what it is when you're trying to solve the problem. Someone else on the other end of the spectrum, an Initiating Implementer, is going to be more see, touch, and feel. The folks that I know that are Initiating Implementers, they're the ones you find with the Rubik's cube or the fidget spinner in their hands.

They are touching things. We had an advisor who was an Initiating Implementer and he actually had this Jenga block, right? I'm going to have you conceptualize and visualize a Jenga block, and on it were the different pieces of wealth management. He had long-term care in there. Little Jenga blocks that he could insert with asset management, long-term care, insurance, and you would push and pull and move the pieces together to show a holistic approach. I mean, I would never think of that, nor would I be interested in moving the Jenga block pieces. But for other people, that satisfies their needs, where the two of you are the same and have very little conflict in that area. If you do need to deliver a tangible, that's your stress.

Steve Seid:
I have a question for that. Our industry tends... we're not necessarily dealing with physical things. Do you find that most people in our industries are counteract in Implementer, or do you see a spectrum of people even though our industry might not make you think it would be that way?

Jennifer Scaglione:
Definitely the far majority accommodate and counteract of the advisors that we're working with. Being lucky enough to attend some of the Kolbe sessions, it's really interesting because we're a little bit unique, right? We do Kolbe as part of our day jobs. The far majority of Kolbe consultants actually do this, right? They're business coaches and all of that. I've seen and their pool of people are much more diverse. I have actually been able to participate in some Kolbe related tasks with Initiating Implementers and how they approach things. I think for financial advisors, we have one or two that I know and I tell them they're my unicorns. I love talking to them, and they're the ones that think about things like I just talked to you about that Jenga block. We also see it manifest in the idea of this quality and tangible solutions. That's something else.

Sometimes that trips people up because we're not talking about a quality, which like almost is actually a Fact Finder strength in its sense of delivering a well-thought, thorough... When somebody hears quality, it's literally like the durability of a material, which just doesn't apply in our we're not constructing a widget. If we were, that would be much easier. But I've also seen this manifest in advisors. Like to problem solve, they literally have Post-it Notes, right? And they're writing out the different steps in something and physically moving the pieces of a Post-it Note around to solve the problem. Financial advisor or not, this is how we naturally take action. We still see those different strengths amongst the population.

Kurt Dupuis:
I think I can truthfully say I've never done that in my life is to use Post-it Notes to solve a problem.

Jennifer Scaglione:
And move them. And like literally move them around a whiteboard.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's what you see like computer science engineers when writing out formulas and coding, that's something they would do.

Jennifer Scaglione:
Houston, right? Houston, we have a problem. Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Steve Seid:
One final question I have, and you have been amazing. Thank you so much. I know Kurt and I are eating this up and I sure hope our audience is. Thank you so much for coming on.

Jennifer Scaglione:
It's been my pleasure.

Steve Seid:
But one final question, do you get pushback? Did someone say, "Oh no, this is not me. I don't feel like I'm this, or I don't see this." How do you handle that situation?

Jennifer Scaglione:
Yes, that definitely happens. What I think when we talk about how start when you're talking about Kolbe, what's really important to think about is Kolbe... Your striving instincts are at work when you are striving and engaged to solve a problem. This is not about what you like to do on the weekend when you don't have anything else or when you really don't care. Those things might be very different. I think in one of my first interpretations, I was talking to one of my team members who is a Counteractive Quick Start, right?

How you deal with risk and uncertainty. She said to me, "That doesn't sound like me at all. On the weekend. I go out. I do Triton runs. I do Spartan marathons, all that. I jump out of planes. I cannot possibly be Initiating Quick Start, or I'm sorry, Counteractive Quick Start." Well, that is what you like to do with your hobbies on the weekend. But if I asked you to solve a problem, how are you going to approach it? "Oh yeah. Well then, that is how we approach a problem." I think that... It almost always sounds like somebody...it is so validating to have somebody hear you. They're looking for the magic eight ball. I remember another one of my admins who... we do these interpretations after we hire someone. We hire them. We bring them on board. And after they start, after a week or two, we'll do the interpretation with them, really take them through their results and help them understand how they fit with their team. She said to me, she's like, "Geez, I feel like you understand me better than my previous employer who I worked with for five years.
This is just such a validating and you tell somebody that there are no wrong answers. Right at the top of the Kolbe A it says perfect results. You scored a hundred. You did perfectly. Who doesn't want to hear that about themselves?" Usually when you put it in that context, folks are pretty happy to participate in understanding themselves. We all like to talk about ourselves, right? Not me, but everybody else.

Steve Seid:
Especially Kurt. Especially Kurt. Awesome. Thank you so much. Jennifer, if people want to check out The Network, what's the best way to do that? Is it the website?

Jennifer Scaglione:
It is, fsnweb.com. We are always happy to share more information.

Steve Seid:
Awesome. Thank you to our guest, Jennifer. Costanza Corner is next. This is The Whole Truth. Stick with us.

Kurt Dupuis:
And welcome back to the Costanza Corner where we would like to end the show on a high note. You got something for us today, Seid?

Steve Seid:
Yes. It's going to be quick, but I think it's super cool. I'm going to give you a multiple choice. Okay? What we're going to do is talk about the oldest land animal that exists today in the world. Okay? Your first multiple choice is: is this a bird? Is it a cat? Is it a turtle? Which you think one of those are? Oldest land animal in existence today.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oldest. I think it's turtle.

Steve Seid:
You're right. Good call.

Kurt Dupuis:
Of course. We're talking about animals.

Steve Seid:
Multiple choice of how old this particular turtle is. He's in the Guinness Book of World Records. He's living on the Island of Saint Helena, which I don't even know, but was discovered in 1882. At that point, they've realized like this guy's been around for 50 years in 1882. That's like our guesstimate of this. Well, I kind of gave it away if you do the math, but if you're like me.

Kurt Dupuis:
You did. I'm not good at math, but I can probably back into it now.

Steve Seid:
Okay. Well, let's just say, is this turtle 125 years old, 190 years old, or 220 years old?

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm going 220, Bob.

Steve Seid:
Incorrect. That would be crazy, but 190 years old. That's what this turtle is. Thought to be born in 1832. Wow! That's pretty cool as I'm looking at this picture of this 190 year old turtle. Can you imagine living that long? Holy cow! The article goes through all the things that it's lived through from the different world wars, from all kinds of things.

Kurt Dupuis:
What makes me smile is imagining you rescuing one of these turtles and adding it to your inventory there.

Steve Seid:
I know. I kind of want...

Kurt Dupuis:
You guys put space for that at the homestead?

Steve Seid:
For 190 year old turtle, I would create space. Let's put it that way. I'd give all my backyard. Thanks to everyone for listening. We'll see you next time.

Kurt Dupuis:
You can find The Whole Truth and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. We'd love it if you took the time to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. It helps others find the show. For more episodes of The Whole Truth, go to www.touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. That's www.touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. All one word.

Disclosure:
Please note that this content was created as of the specific date indicated and reflects views as of that date. It will be kept solely for historical purposes and opinions may change without notice in reacting to shifting economic, market, business, and other conditions. Touchstone Funds are distributed by Touchstone Securities Inc., a registered broker dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC.