The test I took from Stacey Bevill’s coaching firm confirms that I’m a “Very Low Organizer”: “Your spontaneity makes others who need more structure uncomfortable. You may not care so much what others think of you, which may make you less sensitive to feedback.”
Here’s the thing about that feedback from the Focus Energy Balance Indicator test, though: It’s spot-on.
“There’s nothing woo-hoo about this,” says, Bevill, the first FEBI-certified coach in South Carolina and one of only 25 in the U.S. She now uses the instrument in her work as president of Golden Career Strategies.
FEBI (sounds like “Phoebe”) stems from nearly 100 years of research. In the 2000s, Dr. Ginny Whitelaw, who has a Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Chicago and once worked with NASA, developed FEBI with Mark Kiefaber. Whitelaw is now CEO of the Institute of Zen Leadership; IZL owns FEBI.
“FEBI in my mind is really understanding what you’re trying to achieve,” says Steve Olson, who purchased Golden Career Strategies in 2017 and sold it to Bevill in 2020; he had purchased the outplacement and career-development company from Myles Golden, who started the firm in 2002.
“It’s like another tool in the toolbox,” he says. “How do I make myself more productive? How do I make myself a better communicator?”
Of the test he also took, Olson says, “The idea is not helping you just finding a job, it’s supposed to be transformational. It’s supposed to change your approach to life.”
FEBI generates an Energy Balance Profile with four energy types: Driver, Organizer, Collaborator and Visionary.
“I love the fact that it doesn’t just label you,” Bevill says of FEBI, “but it says, ‘Here are four different ways that you can work.’ You have access to all of these, so it’s not like a pigeonhole: ‘Here you are; deal with it.’ It’s, ‘Here you are, and here are opportunities for growth.’”
That is, the assessment aims at helping you balance your energies to enhance leadership effectiveness and personal growth.
Bevill, who started her own marketing company 21 years ago, hasn’t stopped growing as owner and president of the Greenville-based Golden Career Strategies. She has earned certifications from Case Western Reserve University; Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia; Newfield Network Executive Coach Training School; and Clemson’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Emily Alpert, FEBI operations manager at the Wisconsin-based institute, worked with Bevill in IZL’s fall program.
“One of the first things that immediately comes to mind is that she just is truly a delight,” Alpert says. “This will sound corny, but Stacey radiates the same type of energy for me as what I expect from a field of sunflowers.”
Bevill hopes she can use FEBI to help professionals blossom, too.
“I thought that this is an incredible tool,” she says, “because I don’t want to be in a position where I give somebody an assessment and it’s like. oh, well, that’s just how you are. I want people to be able to be the best they can be.”
How does FEBI work?
The test measures four “energy patterns”: Driver, Organizer, Collaborator and Visionary. FEBI also focuses on movement, body language and other physical manifestations of leadership strengths (and weaknesses):
“These energy patterns, based in the way the nervous system functions, show up at every level: in how you move, feel, think, work, lead or relate to others and behave in the world,” the assessment says, to wit:
- Driver: Direct, challenging, loves to win, stays on point. Characteristic movement: pushing, thrusting
- Organizer: Steady, disciplined, does the right thing, one step at a time. Characteristic movement: holding form, shape
- Collaborator: Engaging, enthusiastic people-person, fun-loving. Characteristic movement: to and fro, swinging
- Visionary: Thinks big, outside the box, open to new ideas, lets go. Characteristic movement: extending, hanging
Source: Focus Energy Balance Indicator. Used by permission. Developed by Ginny Whitelaw, Ph.D. and Mark Kiefaber, © 2005-2020, IZL. All rights reserved. This report may not be reproduced without permission. FEBI is a trademark of IZL
The test took me about 17 minutes to complete. I soon received a 17-page assessment and a follow-up debriefing from Golden Career Strategies’ president and owner, Stacey Bevill, the only FEBI-certified coach in South Carolina.
The results, loaded with charts and graphs and lots of fascinating reading, offer an all-too-accurate portrayal. Among other things, I am a “High Collaborator,” which means:
- Goes back and forth on decisions
- Builds consensus
- Talks a lot
- Values cooperation and teamwork
- Sometimes says one thing and does another
- Not always taken seriously.
I score as a “Moderate Driver” (on the low side), a “High Visionary” (also on the low end), a “High Collaborator” (122 points out of 140) and a “Very Low Organizer.”
Further, the document provides tips on how to strengthen these things. To boost my (very real) low organization skills, FEBI says, “Nothing will increase your ease in the Organizer pattern more than moving in it. Develop a 20- to 30-minute-a-day practice doing the following types of activities,” such as:
- Ballet, waltz, and dances of precise form
- Meditation, reflection, time to pause
- Walking, jogging (and other step-by-step activities)
- Word puzzles, logic puzzles
- Dressage (formal horseback riding)
- Kayaking (slow and easy)
- Synchronized swimming
- Marching band and other drill squads
Makes a lot of sense. It takes no small time-management organizational skill for me to take an hourlong bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
Source: Personal assessment, FEBI.