Tools & Resources

The following resources all have a Unique Ability® theme. We’ve included more information about the tools and assessments we talk about in Unique Ability 2.0 Discovery to help you get started. We’ve also recommended other resources that may be useful to help you see different facets of your Unique Ability or how central it is to designing a successful life. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but if you’re looking to better understand aspects of your Unique Ability, these are a few of the sources we most often find ourselves recommending and quoting. Keep checking back as we’ll be adding more resources over time.

The Unique Ability Question

One way to begin to understand your Unique Ability is by asking those around you what they see as your special talents and capabilities. Choose eight to ten people in your life whose opinion you respect — a mix of friends, family members, colleagues, clients, teachers, mentors, or anyone who has been in a position to see you demonstrate your abilities.

Use our template as a starting point. Simply copy and paste it into an email and then paraphrase or edit so it sounds like you. Be sure to give a time frame and follow up with a reminder.

Even if it feels scary or risky to send, do it anyway! After all, if you don’t know what’s working, how can you do more of it? You will likely be surprised and delighted by the responses you receive.

Sample Letter

Dear (Friend),

I’m currently reading a book about a concept called Unique Ability. This concept is based on the idea that everyone possesses a combination of talents, interests, and capabilities unique to that individual.

I’d really appreciate it if you would help me identify my own Unique Ability by considering the following question and sending me back an answer: “What do you see as my Unique Ability?” My Unique Ability includes my talents and abilities, characteristics that describe me, what I’m good at, how I do things, what you count on me for, and any other distinguishing features you see about who I am.

I’d be very grateful if you could respond within the next two weeks if you’re interested in helping me. Thanks for your support. I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

(Your Name)



Visit to complete an instinct assessment. These are easy to complete online in about 20 minutes. Assessments include:

  • Kolbe A Index for adults to measure your instinctive method of operation and identify the ways you’ll be most productive
  • Kolbe Y Index for youth (4th grade reading level to age 17)
  • Kolbe Parent Guide for parents
  • Kolbe B Index to measure your perception of your job responsibilities
  • Kolbe R Index measures your expectations of another person in a relationship

Business applications

WAREwithal® account: If you’re using Kolbe in a work setting and wish to do a set of Kolbe assessments for your team, call Kolbe at 602.840.9770 and ask for Sales (option 2) to set up a FREE WAREwithal account. This account sets up a mini-database within Kolbe’s system to track your team’s results.

Kolbe RightFit for hiring: We highly recommend using Kolbe as part of your hiring process. This includes a Kolbe C Index (a job description in Kolbe terms, completed by the person managing the new hire), a Kolbe A Index (you or the candidate), and a Kolbe Range of Success. When you process an applicant’s Kolbe A Index, Kolbe will compare it to the Range of Success and let you know if the person has an A, B, C, D, or F rating. If other team members’ Kolbe scores are in the WAREwithal system, it will also give you a Team Synergy Report that tells you whether the applicant will positively or negatively impact your team’s synergy. The price starts at $360 (far less than the cost of hiring the wrong person) and is customizable depending on how many you want to do. To use Kolbe RightFit, call Kolbe at 602.840.9770, and ask for Sales (option 2).


Delve deeper into the meaning and uses of your Kolbe A Index results with these books that focus on why we do what we do and how to use this knowledge to create a better life.

Conative Connection: Acting on Instincts. By Kathy Kolbe. (Kolbe, 1990) Available at
Conative Connection focuses more on the entire Kolbe system, with an overview on how it works and how to use it.

Powered By Instinct: 5 Rules for Trusting Your Guts. By Kathy Kolbe. (Kolbe, 2003) Available at
Powered By Instinct provides rules for working with your particular strengths.


Kolbe also offers a host of useful audios in their online store at and on The Natural Advantage audio that matches your results may give you deeper insight into how you operate. Contact Kolbe if you’re unsure which one applies to you.



Visit to complete the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. You can choose various options:

  • Top 5 Strengths: Choose this to discover your top 5 strengths – $15
  • Beyond Your Top 5 Strengths: Choose this if you want to reveal the rest of your list of 34 after having done your Top 5) – $74
  • All 34 strengths: Choose this to reveal your full list of 34 strengths right from the start – $89

Or, you can access the profile by purchasing the book, StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.


StrengthsFinder 2.0. By Tom Rath. (Gallup Press, 1st ed. 2007)
You can also access the StrengthsFinder profile (Gallup provides a code to use online) by purchasing the book. This serves as a great reference guide to understand each of the 34 themes. It provides ideas for action and tips on how to work with others with various talents.

Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow. By Tom Rath and Barry Conchie. (Gallup Press, 2008)
This book shows you how to leverage your strengths and the strengths of others, and outlines the four domains of leadership in terms of strengths.

Other Resources

The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling. By Stephen Cope. (2012)
In this book, Stephen Cope explores what we call Unique Ability through the eyes of yogis with the guidance of the Bhagavad Gita. He uses the stories of well-known visionaries as diverse as Jane Goodall, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mohandas Ghandi, and Robert Frost, intertwined with stories of ordinary people, to illustrate that finding and focusing on one’s unique calling requires courage, perseverance, and killing off the alternatives.

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. By Daniel Coyle. (2009)
How do you make the most of your innate talents? Daniel Coyle offers three practical strategies to grow your talent by working with the physiology of your brain, based on neurological studies and firsthand research with some of the world’s most talented people.

Outliers: The Story of Success. By Malcolm Gladwell. (2008)
Malcolm Gladwell often writes about aspects of genius. This book, by illuminating the seemingly random and unique circumstances that may explain why some groups of people become extraordinarily good at certain things, helps bring home the importance and potential of consciously cultivating talent when we see it. From the perspective of Unique Ability, his case studies leave one with the sense that the right support structure (even if it appears by chance) is vital to the development of talent. It’s great motivation to identify and optimize the circumstances that support your Unique Ability, or that of those around you, to maximize its impact on the world.

And just for fun:

The Rosie Project: A Novel. By Graeme Simsion. (2014)
This whimsical best-selling novel can be read as a charming and humorously inventive love story, but it’s also a delightful reminder of how, by stepping out of your comfort zone once in a while, you may find uses for your Unique Ability you never imagined that bring very different and desirable kinds of rewards.

On The Night You Were Born. By Nancy Tillman. (2010)
This much-loved children’s book celebrates the uniqueness of a newborn. In each of her books, Nancy Tillman beautifully conveys her message to all children that they are loved, and that they each have innate, immeasurable value.

TM & © 2015. Kathy Kolbe and Kolbe Corp. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Author Interview: Unique Ability 2.0: Discovery with Julia and Shannon Waller

Want to hear from two of the authors of Unique Ability 2.0: Discovery? Join Shannon and Julia Waller as they talk about what Unique Ability is, the difference it makes, and how to go about discovering yours. Julia and Shannon offer great insights and tips on how to discover your natural and best abilities that can create the most value for the people around you and how to focus on doing what gives you the most joy.

The key to entrepreneurial happiness is not just for entrepreneurs!

Dan Sullivan shares the thinking that underlies a transformational concept from the Strategic Coach Program for entrepreneurs — and why it’s the key to anyone achieving happiness in every area of life.