Chapter 1: The I.D. System™

Society’s expectations

Components of the complete I.D. System™

The Onion Skin model

The six needs of being human

A story on attitude

Chapter 2: The four Instinctive Drives™

The Instinctive Drive to Verify™

Driven to avoid the Instinct to Verify™

The Instinctive Drive to Authenticate™

Driven to avoid the Instinct to Authenticate™

The Instinctive Drive to Complete™

Driven to avoid the Instinct to Complete™

The Instinctive Drive to Improvise™

Driven to avoid the Instinct to Improvise™

How to get the most from this book

Chapter 3: In stride with your career choice

Choosing your career

Job interviews

Chapter 4: In stride with career development

Fast-track your career

Blind spots

Career-development phases

Chapter 5: In stride with your relationship

The Instinct to Verify™

The Instinct to Authenticate™

The Instinct to Complete™

The Instinct to Improvise™


Chapter 6: In stride with dating

The Instinct to Verify™

The Instinct to Authenticate™

The Instinct to Complete™

The Instinct to Improvise™

Chapter 7: In stride with your kids



Teaching and learning

Chapter 8: In stride with your health

Peak Performance Indicator™

Weight loss and fitness

Quitting smoking

Chapter 9: In stride with your wealth

Driven by the Instinct to Verify™

Driven to avoid the Instinct to Verify™

Driven by the Instinct to Authenticate™

Driven to avoid the Instinct to Authenticate™

Driven by the Instinct to Complete™

Driven to avoid the Instinct to Complete™

Driven by the Instinct to Improvise™

Driven to avoid the Instinct to Improvise™


Appendix A: — Needs, talents and vulnerabilities

Appendix B: Verification and development

Appendix C: Are you ready to be the best you?



What people say about Natural Born Success and the I.D. System

[The I.D. System] has helped me re-craft my conversations with my team and peers, and it has helped me to become more self-aware of the impact of my style on others. Paul and I have recently discussed how to expand the use of I.D. to my wife and kids, with the goal of improving our communications as well ... So whether your team is a family, a self-managed work group, a couple, or — like mine — a business team, this book and the process it outlines can help you better understand who you are.

I particularly like the way Paul has written the book — using real-life examples with real-life people in real work situations as well as personal situations. He cleverly takes his points from concept to explanation to examples so that the learning sticks for the reader and they can associate the learning with specific situations which embeds it in their thinking and application on a day-to-day basis.

Randy Pond

Senior Vice President

Operations, Processes & Systems

Cisco Systems Inc.

In my work with psychometric test research in the field of organisational behaviour, I have not seen anything get so quickly to the core of what makes someone tick. In my observation, when applying the I.D. System™ to students and industry participants, the I.D.™ helps people to really get to know each other. I see it as extremely useful as a tool and process that quickly helps you understand the core of the human being — much deeper than any other aspect of personality or behaviour.

Anneke Fitzgerald (PhD)

Research Program Studies Coordinator

College of Business

University of Western Sydney (UWS)

As a leader, understanding my own I.D.™ and those of my team has freed up my time; we all now achieve much better outcomes because we know how to approach each other. As their boss, I now know how to work things through with them so they can do their job in way that also meets their needs — the first time — so there are now far fewer escalations back to me and better quality outcomes from them.

Jordan Hawke

Head of Retail Sales

Tower Australia Limited

When your team is running a hundred miles an hour it’s very easy for people to be focused on themselves, on their own goals, their issues and not be thinking as much about working effectively with others. Silos emerge and the lack of involvement and connection mean that people end up feeling what they don’t understand. They make judgements about what people should or shouldn’t do and how they should or shouldn’t behave. In this context the I.D.™ has been a very valuable tool for me and my team.

One of the things that I particularly like is that there is no inherent value judgement about one I.D.™ being better than another — so instead of people being preoccupied by what their ‘profile’ says about them they are free to focus on other people and how to get on with them. It has helped each of us understand the connections at a business level as well as at a personal level. The improvements in the way my team relate to and reach out to each other has been palpable.

The I.D.™ has brought significant self-realisation to the team, which has broken down barriers, improved communication and has had a big impact on our productivity.

Jim Hassell

Managing Director, Australasia

Sun Microsystems, Inc.


I always knew I would write this book — even though it has taken some fifteen years to complete and about thirteen years of false starts while I figured out a way to do it that would work for me. That way always has been — and probably always will be — for me to surround myself with outstanding people. To that end, I’ve lived a very ‘serendipitous life’ — the right people just seem to show up.

The initial encouragement and belief provided by Marg Bentley and Lyn Burgess was invaluable to me — as was their support and active involvement during the ensuing years in which the I.D. System™ was brought to life. It really was a team effort.

To the many staff members and consultants who have worked with me since then, you have all been pioneers — and I know you’ve felt the pain of that at times, just as much as you have also revelled in helping get something so exciting off the ground. In particular, I want to thank Don MacDonald, who has been with me since day one and whose support has never flinched. Gail Freeman and Al Ramos have also been there for virtually the whole journey — sharing all the triumphs and tribulations — so thank you.

What a gift Tracy Kennedy has been to me! What started as a four-month, international work-experience stint continued for four years — with Tracy quickly becoming my right-hand person. She was the first to facilitate our training programs and gain the I.D.™ ‘black belt’ — thereby giving everybody else the confidence that they could do it too. You helped build much of what we have today, Tracy. To Tracy’s mother, Linda, thank you for steering your daughter in my direction and for your support and friendship through many tough years.

How do I acknowledge the extensive contribution of Greg Meyer? The tools and resources available now for people to not only understand their I.D.™, but also to use it have much to do with your passion and unique skill. You have protected me and I.D.™ in so many ways, but — most importantly — you have relentlessly ensured we are congruent to our vision. You also introduced Anneke Fitzgerald to the I.D. System™.

Anneke Fitzgerald (PhD) and her research team at the University of Western Sydney have also made a unique contribution. Their research has added that vital academic credibility piece that was missing for so long, and your faith in me and your passion for my vision has meant just as much.

To my many clients, our live experiences with you have given us the ingredients to pull together the substance that is now within this book. Please know that you have therefore made a significant difference. I want to specifically thank Cheryl MacNaught and Noel Whittaker — and their company — who have been clients right from the start, and who have always been very public in their support of both me and I.D.™ You have been an inspiration to me while writing this book.

I have a special relationship with Cisco Systems and enjoy working with the people there immensely. In particular, I want to thank Randy Pond for his active support and friendship and for the kind words he contributed to this book. You’ve taught me and inspired me far more than you realise. You challenge me to keep growing so I can always add fresh value to you, your team and your organisation. And thanks to Brad Cook for getting this amazing journey started, which was a whole seven years ago now!

To Greg Hodge, thank you for your stunning foreword. Our time together with the swimmers remains one of my favourite career highlights. Your ethics, skill and genuine care for the holistic development and wellbeing of elite athletes always inspired me to give you my best.

To my current team of staff and consultants, thank you for the passion, commitment and sheer hard work that you contribute every single day — I am so proud of you. You are amazing people and I love working with you. You set a great example of what a high-performance team really looks like. Thank you also to my manager, Peter Read, for your unswerving loyalty to me.

I needed a special person to help me write this book and I found that person in Karen McCreadie. I want everyone to know that Karen is a genius! Thank you, Karen, for your passion and your outstanding skill. Thank you also for working so patiently with me, meeting every deadline and making it so much fun.

As for my personal circle, I would — first and foremost — like to say thank you to my beautiful wife, Kim, whom I adore. I finally got this done! Can you believe it? I love sharing my life with you, and I totally appreciate your untiring patience and support, not just while this book has been written, but always. I know it’s challenging at times being married to someone who is passionately driving a vision, but I often feel like I can only do it because I have you to come home to. I love you.

To my gorgeous kids, Laura, Mitchell, Jace and Sam, no father could love his children more nor be more proud of them than I am of you. Nor could he learn more from them or have more fun with them than I do with you. Thanks for giving it all back to me in spades — I love how that works. You inspire me every day to be — and give — my best.

I am also privileged to be stepfather to Kim’s children — Matt, Sharn, Lindsay and Jarrad — an instant party! You are all so loving and accepting and you make it easy for us all to be together. You make our family fun.

To my siblings and their families — along with Mum and Dad — thank you for always believing in me and supporting me. Together with my faith, I’m sure they’re the greatest gifts you could have given me.

Finally, to all my friends — they know who they are — you influence me more than you know. My life is so much richer because of you and I always cherish every minute we spend together. To all of you — and others who I’m not able to list here by name — I hope that you each know the very simple truth of my journey. I couldn’t have done this without you.

I dedicate this book to my mum and dad, Alison and Frank, whose rock-solid trust and belief in me is a source of example and inspiration every day — in every facet of my life.


I first met Paul when he was working with a young athlete who was in my swim program at Sutherland Leisure Centre, in Sydney, Australia. This guy in a bright tie and colourful trouser braces turned up on pool deck to talk about ‘Kate’. This was early in the 1990s. As a school teacher and swim coach I was extremely interested in human behaviour and how best I could motivate and challenge the kids in my classroom and swim squad. The I.D.™ principles made immediate sense to me. I needed to be involved. I was hooked.

I decided to introduce the I.D. System™ to twenty of our best teenage athletes and I believe it had a profound impact on the squad as a team, on each of the children who applied it (six of them went on to become Olympians or members of the Australian Swim team), on their families and certainly on my coaching and future career. In fact the one athlete whose father was skeptical and therefore did not participate in the program was the only one of these twenty who I believe was held back from being an Olympian and from having a successful tertiary education experience and career.

For me, the I.D.™ helped me better understand my own coaching style and how it impacted on each swimmer. It was insightful to realise how they interpreted my coaching style and my communication — athletes respond to coaches in different ways. It is not enough for the coach to present his or her training programs in one way. I clearly remember ‘Steve’, for whom too much information just confused him. His training (and results) improved dramatically when I pitched the manner of my delivery differently for him. Then there was ‘Kathy’ who needed to know every aspect of every part of the training sessions (even before they started) so she could plan her effort accordingly.

The self-awareness gained by each swimmer made it easier for them to have stronger self-belief and to be able to be more accepting of others. No longer did athletes complain because one athlete missed a few laps while others did more yards, or why some athletes needed much more of the coach’s time for one-on-one instruction whereas others could function effectively with group talks. And, given how well I came to understand the kids, I was even able to help the parents communicate better with their children.

As I moved away from club coaching into managing the High Performance programs for the NSW Institute of Sport and later Australian Swimming, the impact of the I.D. System™ profoundly influenced the implementation of new and innovative programs. I wish that I had this book with me then, but I was fortunate to have Paul ‘on hand’ to steer me right when I was unsure or needed further schooling in getting the best out of the athletes.

Since Paul invites you to go straight to the section of the book which interests you, naturally I went to the section on kids and parenting. My children are adults with family of their own now so it was a bit of a ‘retrospective’ but it did also give me further insight into my new grandson and my daughter as a parent. Paul provides practical insights and strategies by using his own family experiences which will resonate loudly with many readers. The I.D.™ is presented in a fun and humorous way which all readers will enjoy regardless of their interest in the total book. Kids are interesting, challenging, unique and fun and all these leap out at you from the pages of the book, making it simultaneously informative and enjoyable.

From Paul’s analogies and descriptions of parent behaviour I could readily identify myself and recall many other ‘styles’ I have seen over the years as a teacher and coach. This book will help you find out about yourself, your kids and others.

The I.D.™ is an important concept in today’s complex world and allows greater flexibility for individuals, parents, teachers, coaches, team leaders and managers by providing us all with an accurate insight into the true person with whom we are interacting. I’m delighted that Paul has finally written this book and I strongly recommend you read it — better yet, apply it.

Greg Hodge

Former Head Coach

Swimming Australia

March 2007


Our quest for happiness, fulfilment and success has been the topic of thousands — possibly millions — of books. It has spawned the explosion of personal development courses and workshops aimed at unleashing our hidden potential and finding our true purpose. What is it that makes people successful? Is there a pattern to success? Is there a pattern to failure? What is happiness? Is it possible to feel a sense of fulfilment most of the time? Can we really have it all?

There are a plethora of theories and ideologies that profess to have the answers. Some would say all you need to do is find your passion and discover what excites you and inspires you — those subjects that you lose yourself in as hours feel like minutes. It’s a nice idea and it certainly makes sense, but how many people do you know who are genuinely passionate about something? And how many of those people are making a living in an area or field they love? Chances are you won’t know many.

Surely if obtaining success and fulfilment is as simple as finding our passion, we should all be able to possess success and fulfilment. But finding our passion is more easily said than done, I can assure you! Many people who have found their passion did so quite unintentionally. I can’t imagine there are many people who sat down one Saturday morning and said, ‘Right. Time to find my passion’, and then by mere reflection or consultation stumbled across it! Nonetheless I believe there are ways to get close to the bullseye on this one, and I cover that further in chapter 3. Suffice to say, however, that finding your passion is (by itself) not a panacea leading to success and fulfilment.

The other argument strongly advocated is that happiness and success can be found by using your unique talent or ability. You do have a talent or ability that is not shared by everyone. That we all have gifts that make us special is a nice idea, but if it was so easy to identify them, then people would know what they were particularly suited to and be using those gifts to successfully earn a living — and most people are clearly not doing that.

The fact remains that millions of people the world over still squash into train carriages at 7.30 am on their way to another day in a job they hate. Millions of people still feel trapped and miserable in a profession that robs them of self-esteem and joy. Millions of people continue the cycle that sees them come home from work thoroughly exhausted. They slump into the settee to escape into a couple of hours of mindless TV before falling asleep, only to wake the next day, dog tired, to start the process again.

Adages such as ‘Do what you love and the money will follow’ have sent us into a frenzy as we search for that elusive Holy Grail. Yet all this talk of finding our passion and locating our talent is not actually helping us find them — and even if it does, finding them does not necessarily lead to a life of success and happiness. There are thousands of theories and methodologies available, and the problem is not that they don’t work — it is that they don’t always work for everyone. Why not? How is it possible that two people can read the same book or attend the same course and achieve completely different results or outcomes from it? If the information helps to change one person’s life, why does it not work for everyone? The fact is all these approaches may be valid — but not for everyone and not all the time. So there has to be something else at work.

This quandary fascinated me for years. What is it that makes someone successful? What makes someone happy? Why is happiness so different for different people? What leads to a sense of fulfilment? Does fulfilment mean different things to different people? If so, why?

The answers to all those questions and more are in this book. I believe the reason we are so often thwarted in our quest for fulfilment and success is that what we seek is too limiting. The concept that there is a specialist niche of some kind that we were born to fill is just too narrow for most of us to find. Especially if we are busy living life and don’t have the luxury of spending hours in quiet contemplation. Consequently we are all scurrying around looking for our exact place in the world — the jigsaw puzzle in which our shape fits perfectly and everything suddenly falls into place and makes sense. But finding that niche is like looking for a needle in a million haystacks.

What if happiness and success are a product of how you live rather than what you do?

What if it isn’t that specific? What if happiness can be found in a multitude of places and professions that are radically different yet share certain characteristics? What if your destiny isn’t to be a writer, for example, but instead to live an unstructured, creative life? Then whether you find that lifestyle as a writer, an accountant or a horse breeder wouldn’t actually matter that much would it? What if we are searching for the wrong thing? If we just need to find the right haystack and not necessarily the needle within it? Wouldn’t the search be significantly easier?

My research, which I share with you through this book, proves that we are indeed searching for the wrong thing. Yes, we do have gifts and talents that make us unique. And yes, it would be fun to be able to use those talents in everyday life. But talent alone is not the magic bullet. Neither is passion — I have met people over the years that are genuinely passionate about what they do, yet that alone does not make them happy or successful. I have also met people who believe they have a talent and have demonstrated it to amazing effect, and yet they are still not happy — at least not consistently. Certainly passion and talent helps, but to gain real, lasting fulfilment, it’s also necessary to apply the skills — even the seemingly insignificant ones — that come naturally to you. For example, Steve Irwin proved himself to be extremely passionate about wildlife and conservation — and that passion took him a long way in his career; however, Steve’s success was not only a product of his passion, but also a product of his other, quite-observable skills — such as his people and communication skills.

Passion or talent is one thing — Instinctive Drives (I.D.) are quite another. It is Instinctive Drive™ (an underlying motivation) that offers you a blueprint for success and happiness. Finding out what instinctively motivates you and discovering your natural operating system can transform your life — and that’s what I.D.™ is all about.

Your I.D.™ is your Instinctive Drive™; it is what motivates you to do the things you do and it never changes. By knowing the fundamental building blocks of your self and how they manifest in life, you are armed with the knowledge and insight to make decisions that will support your happiness and success rather than work against your grain. (If you turn to appendix C, you will find details about having your I.D.™ profile assessed by Link-up International at a special discounted price available only to readers.)

We have all experienced moments in which we were ‘in stride’— some call it being ‘in the zone’ — yet if you think back to two or three instances of this in your life you were probably not doing the same thing each time. You might have felt in stride while you were on a sports field, in a meeting or perhaps while giving a presentation at a company event. Perhaps you were alone for some experiences, in a group for others, and sometimes at work or play? So how can things feel so natural and effortless in one situation and difficult and laborious a week later? I.D.™ unlocks that puzzle — it unlocks what makes you you.

Previously there have been two schools of thought on identity — one says that genetics or nature plays a major role in who we become, and the other proposes that nurture exerts more influence. Through the course of my research I profiled identical twins, and they had very different characteristics — which was evident even in the way they did things. I have also profiled people through generations of families and, again, they are very different — no correlations or patterns. So it can’t just be genetic. If who we are is just about nurture then siblings brought up in the same way would have similar personalities, yet any parents with more than one child will tell you that their children are totally different — ‘like chalk and cheese’ is the expression most parents use. I have four children who have the same parents and were brought up in the same way, yet they are each unique — and the characteristics that make them special were apparent within weeks of being born. So there has to be something else influencing who we become!

What if I was to tell you that the key to success and happiness is just a few pages away? What if you could find what you’ve been searching for wherever you choose to look? What if finding your passion is not the Holy Grail — some epic search that would lead you from one frustrating disappointment to the next? What if I was to tell you that happiness and success are not the product of finding your passion, but rather of understanding your own I.D.™ and living in a way that is congruent to your true self — that essential nature that makes you who you are? What if I was to tell you that you could eliminate stress in your life, regain your health and cut down medication or eliminate it? What if you could feel a sense of fulfilment and joy as a permanent experience, rather than as an occasional and random occurrence dependant on external forces beyond your control? What if I could show you a way to enjoy a sense of achievement, operate at peak performance, enjoy high self-esteem and self-worth and have oodles of energy — just by understanding the nuances of how you uniquely work best?

I can show you a system that will never let you down and a way of living that is suited to your essential nature that will result in your success, happiness and fulfilment.

Welcome to I.D.Instinctive Drives™ —your pass key to happiness, consistent success and rewarding relationships.

Paul Burgess


March 2007