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Elevating Team Performance and Potential through Conation and "Who Not How"

The pursuit of growth and innovation requires not just a vision but also the right team to bring that vision to life.

The book "Who Not How" by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy challenges entrepreneurs to shift their mindset from figuring out how to accomplish goals to identifying who can help achieve them. This principle, combined with the Kolbe system and Karen Gerdes' additional insights on conation, creates a powerful framework for leaders aiming to unlock their team's full potential and bring their vision to life.

Embracing the 'Who': The Key to Unlocking Potential

The "Who Not How" philosophy emphasizes the importance of leveraging the strengths and talents of others to achieve your entrepreneurial goals. However, most leaders don't have an easy way of understanding what those strengths and talents are. By applying this mindset with the understanding of conation and the implantation of Kolbe, entrepreneurs can create an environment where every team member's natural way of tackling tasks is recognized and valued. This approach not only optimizes productivity but also fosters a culture of respect and collaboration.

The Kolbe Model as Your 'Who' Compass

The Kolbe model identifies the instinctual strengths of individuals, offering a clear guide to understanding WHO on your team is best suited for specific tasks or challenges. This aligns perfectly with the "Who Not How" approach, as it provides a framework for assigning roles based on natural inclinations rather than traditional job titles or hierarchies. By focusing on who is naturally inclined to excel in certain areas, you're more likely to achieve superior results and higher job satisfaction among your team members.

Creating Synergy with Conative Diversity

Diversity in conative strengths, as revealed by the Kolbe model, is a treasure trove of potential for entrepreneurs and business leaders. When combined with the "Who Not How" philosophy, this diversity becomes a strategic asset. Encouraging team members to collaborate based on their conative strengths ensures that the right people are in the right roles, leading to enhanced creativity, efficiency, and problem-solving capabilities.

Investing in Your Team's Growth: The Ultimate 'Who'

A critical aspect of applying "Who Not How" in the context of conation is the focus on personal and professional development. Understanding and investing in your team's conative strengths not only caters to their current roles but also prepares them for future challenges. This investment in your team underscores the principle that the growth of individuals within your organization is paramount to the growth of the business itself.

Strategic Hiring: Finding the Right 'Who'

The synergy between "Who Not How" and the Kolbe model extends to the hiring process. Business leaders can use the Kolbe A conative assessment as a tool to identify new hires who complement the existing team's strengths or to fill a role that requires a certain approach. This strategic strategy to building your team ensures a dynamic and adaptable workforce, poised to meet future challenges head-on.

The question you should be asking isn't, "How do I do this?" but rather, "Who can do this for me?"


For entrepreneurs and business leaders, combining the principles of "Who Not How" with the insights from Karen Gerdes' research on conation and the Kolbe model offers a revolutionary approach to team building and management. By focusing on the strengths and natural inclinations of your team, you can create an environment where everyone thrives, leading to unprecedented growth and success for your venture.

In this journey, the key is not just knowing how to achieve your goals but understanding who can help you get there!

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