A Guide to Understanding Activators
Understand your CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) Talent Themes over the next few weeks. We are going to deconstruct each talent theme and give you insights into what each of these talent themes are about.
This week, we will be looking at the talent theme of Activator. You may either have Activator or you know someone with the talent theme of Activator.
The Gallup Organization defines Activators as people who can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
The Power of Activator
Last week, we looked at the Talent Theme of Achiever where they focus towards getting things done. For Activators, the way they think, feel and behave is all driven towards getting things started.
Activators are starters. They bring a sense of urgency to the team because they are always looking towards initiating different programs and initiatives.
To quote one of the best-selling authors of all time, Agatha Christie, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started!” This is a quote that many activators can resonate with.
For activators, once they have made a decision, they must act because they believe that only action can make things happen. In the mind of activators, only action leads to performance.
Activators are proactive and they keep things fresh and exciting because they are constantly trying to start something new.
Activators love starting new ideas and are constantly looking at pockets of opportunities to progress and move forward.
Strike while the iron is hot!
Activators can deeply relate with the saying “Strike while the iron is hot”. Once they see a potential in certain ideas, they will say “Let’s get going!” To them, every idea has a very small window of opportunity and they must capitalize on it before it’s too late.
Activators also love experiential learning. Doing is the best form of learning as it gives them insights on how to move forward. They love to figure things out as they go. Every action taken allows them to make decisions.
Activators hate the idea of being inactive. To them not doing anything is a complete waste of time.
The quote “He who hesitates is lost” resonate deeply with many activators. Every moment a person hesitates to start, an opportunity is lost or passed on to others.
Many activators hate waiting around for projects to start. They get irritated when people are constantly discussing and planning but nothing is being put into action.
Activator’s Basement Behaviours
When Activators push their talent too hard, others can find it hard to keep up with them. 3 negative behaviours of Activators: –
- Impulsive – Activators tend to leap before looking or fully thinking things through. People might not be comfortable with this as they would like access the risk and problems before starting. Jumping into action immediately might be reckless to others.
- Failure to Finish – While activators loves to start things, they might not necessarily finish them. They can get bored easily given their impulsive nature; hence they can start many projects but they might not see this project through.
- Impatient – When working in teams, people in the team might see them as being impatient given their nature of always trying to get something going. Others might find it annoying because Activators are constantly reacting and pushing others to get things going.
Activator’s Best Contributions
Activators are the catalyst of the team. They give their team members a productive push over the starting line.
They create an environment of urgency within an organization and help to build momentum within the team to launch a certain project or initiative.
Team members can look to activators to create stability by providing them with clarity on where to begin. As the project progresses, they can help team members identify what are the next steps and the action points the team should start on.
Activators also give their team the courage to take risk. They are extremely intuitive when they can sense the opportunity for action. They are confident in taking the first step when others are more conservative.
Their innate genius of turning ideas and thoughts into actions gives them the courage to take the leap.
StrengthsAsia has helped many individual and corporate clients all throughout the region in identifying and maximizing their talents, in driving engagement and increasing motivation in their work and life.
Dina is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach at StrengthsAsia. She is one of the principal architect and designer of StrengthsAsia’s wildly successful Strengths Engagement Programs. She is passionate about bringing strengths to the education sector, in helping educators and student leaders discover their natural talents, passions, interests, and building ‘strong’ foundations to do what they do best every day.