“One of the most enlightening realizations of my professional career.”

Audrey Cannata was a schoolteacher for seven years.

In her eighth year, she hit a wall.

“I couldn’t do it anymore,” she realized. “I was dead. I was unhappy. And it sucked because I liked teaching. I liked it a lot. But I was physically and mentally done. So done.”

She knew she needed a change, so she reached out to a longtime friend in the digital marketing industry and found a new role as Operations Lead.

Problem solved, right?

Wrong.

Something was still off. While she was happy with her new career, Audrey struggled with the feeling that she had quit on teaching. It was an awful burden. She felt like she had just given up. She felt like she had let down the kids.

She felt like a failure. That struggle continued until Audrey heard about a Kolbe Plus Workshop that offered to help her maximize personal productivity, improve communication, and collaborate more efficiently with coworkers. It sounded like the perfect recipe to get her new career started off right, so she registered with enthusiasm. Little did she know the profound impact this decision would have on her personal and professional life.

Audrey headed to the workshop excited to discover new professional tools and insights. She left with peace of mind — and a deeper understanding of her 6-7-3-4 Kolbe A™ Index result.

Not only did the 1-day Kolbe Workshop provide insights into those instinctive strengths and help establish a successful working relationship with her CEO, it also fundamentally transformed the way she viewed her experience as an educator.

Audrey had always strived for a “Pinterest classroom,” the type of ideal setup others would want to emulate. She worked best when things were pristine and beautifully organized, with every system in place. On a perfect day, she had an expertly run and executed class from start to finish. But in her school environment, she got a “perfect” day once every two or three months if she was lucky.

“In my role at the school, I was constantly adjusting and changing and switching up my plans and going with the flow, having to pivot and be agile. And I could not keep up,” she explained.

Once she got the context of her conative strengths at Kolbe Plus, everything finally made sense. Audrey was being asked to work against her instinctive strengths on a near-daily basis.

Given her 7 in Follow Thru, those “Pinterest classrooms” were a natural fit. She was at her best building systems for everyone to follow, and keeping things organized. But the day-to-day challenges of her environment were unpredictable, and she often could not finish what she started. Her 3 in Quick Start means she is a natural stabilizer and will minimize risk and uncertainty whenever possible. In her classroom, however, she had to improvise constantly and continually experiment with ideas to meet urgent and constantly shifting needs. Her role was not a conative fit. That’s why she was burnt out. That’s why she never had any energy left. That’s why she was miserable.

It was a stunning realization.

“I had goosebumps,” she explained. “I almost had tears in my eyes thinking about, wow, okay. I didn’t just give up. That’s just the way I am. I just don’t have that operating system to keep up. So that was a huge moment. Life-changing really.”

Audrey’s life currently includes a job that better fits her instinctive strengths, and she works with a team that understands and values her conative needs. She’s growing every day as a professional, and her team is growing with her. Now, when she’s striving, she’s thriving.

It turns out, Audrey Cannata was never a failure. She just needed the freedom to be herself.

The best place to start finding the freedom to be yourself is by taking the KOLBE A™ INDEX.

Posted by Kolbe Corp

Our mission is to help people succeed by having the Freedom to Be Themselves. We’ve discovered the secret to what makes people tick – the instincts that drive individual and group behaviors. Our validated assessments help you learn your conative strengths, and how these innate strengths fit into jobs, relationships, and on teams. Conation -- the power behind performance – determines your M.O. (modus operandi), and the true culture of any group.

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