The Difference Between Ability and Desire Share:

Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Monday, March 2, 2020
The Difference Between Ability and Desire

The best way to discover the core of your personality is by taking the Core Values Index psychometric assessment. → Take the CVI

One of my early misconceptions about the Core Values Index and other psychometric assessments was that they measured ability. If an assessment said I was a logical person, I would not be very good at creative pursuits.

I quickly learned that not all psychometric assessments are created equal. In fact, many of the bigger names — including Myers-Briggs™ — aren't worth much at all, and may even be counterproductive. Inaccurate and unreliable assessments like the MBTI give psychometrics in general a bad reputation.

The Core Values Index, on the other hand, is objectively the most reliable and accurate psychometric assessment on the market today. Longitudinal studies have shown it to have a 97.7% repeat reliability rating. If you take the CVI today and again in 10 years, your scores will differ by less than 3%. For comparison, the MBTI struggles to get above 50% repeat reliability. A coin toss might be a safer bet.

I took the CVI in 2016 and have learned a lot about it since then. One of the first things I learned was that it measures and quantifies happiness, not ability. This is important because happiness and desire must come first before education and experience can translate into ability and success.

Have you ever tried to succeed at something you didn't enjoy?

Few people exhibit exceptional talent at tasks that are counter to how they are hardwired. If you naturally dislike a type of activity, the odds that you will be a rock star performer at that task are slim to none.

Just as DNA is actually made up of very simple building blocks, these basic components combine in numerous and unique ways to define your biology.

Like your personality's DNA, the Core Values Index has four classifications of personality types, called core value energies. When you complete the CVI and read your full report, you receive a set of four scores, one for each core value energy. It is the ratio or proportion of those scores — in millions of combinations — that accurately portray your particular personality.

The four core value energies are:

  • Builder: Power and action
  • Merchant: Connections and intuition
  • Innovator: Problem solving
  • Banker: Knowledge gathering and sharing

At first, I assumed that my CVI profile determined what I was good at and where I would struggle. In part, this was true. But as I learned more about how the four core value energies manifest within me, it is more accurate to say my scores represent pursuits where I will be happiest.

For example, my highest core value score is Innovator (27 points) and my second highest is Banker (17 points). These two core value energies represent problem solving and knowledge, broadly speaking. My first love is solving problems. My second is gathering and sharing knowledge. Anything I do in my personal or professional life that utilizes these characteristics to a significant degree will make me happy. If I find myself in a role where I don't get to solve problems, or gathering and sharing knowledge plays a very small part, I will be bored, disengaged, and unhappy.

Why is the CVI important in your life?

If you are happy doing something, you will naturally tend to be better at it. This doesn't mean you will be incapable of doing other things, it just means you won't like to and will consciously and unconsciously find ways to avoid them.

View a sample CVI report to see what you get with the full CVI.

The full CVI report provides your scores and a graph that shows what percentage of your attention and energy you like to spend within each of the personality categories. A second graph shows your natural allocation between six contribution types. These are:

  • Cognitive
  • Creative
  • Community
  • Independent
  • Intuitive
  • Practical

These six contribution types are calculated based on your ratios of the four main core value energies. For example, Creative is determined by adding your Innovator and Merchant scores. Practical comprises your Banker and Builder scores. (This is explained in easy to understand terms within your full CVI report.)

It is your CVI scores and their relationship to each other that paint the picture of your particular personality.

In simple terms, you might say you are a Merchant/Builder, for example. (I am an Innovator/Banker.) But is your primary Merchant score profound (above 25 out of a possible 36 points)? Is your Builder a distant second place, or right behind the primary spot? How low is your Banker score? (Core value energies below 12 points are rarely accessed.)

Discover your personality's DNA with the Core Values Index psychometric assessment.

Remember, it is the ratio and proportion of the four core value energy scores within you that determines your personality's DNA.

Your scores matter. If you have taken the free/basic CVI, it only displays your primary and secondary core value energies, no scores — only 5% of the available information contained within a full CVI report.

If you have the full CVI report, you get your full suite of CVI scores, their ratios, your contribution types, descriptive graphs, and the other 95% of your available information.

If you've already taken the free CVI, don't worry. You can view your full results by logging into your account at and upgrading your report; you don't have to re-take the CVI assessment.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

The best way to discover the power of eRep Employer Services is to try our risk-free Discovery Program and get 3 CVIs for free without cost or obligation. → Sign Up Now

Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in information technology, software development, and project management spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing he is an aspiring multi-instrumentalist and composer, a virtual pilot in a home-built flight simulator, and a cyclist.

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