You sit on the edge of your seat, foot tapping, hands clenched, eyes shifting around the room, just waiting. Everyone else seems relaxed and content to sit in this room and keep talking, but you- you’re ready to go.
You feel you may actually explode, and just as a bead of sweat starts to fall from your brow, you put everything you have into composing yourself. Instead of bouncing off the walls like you’re in a pinball machine and physically forcing everyone to do the same (you are their leader after all), you take a deep breath, wait for an opening, and ask
“When can we start?”
“Just Do It” as a Mantra
You took that deep breath because you are aware of one of your primary strength themes, Activator.
According to Gallup:
“People strong in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.”
This explains the anxious body language and the intense desire you constantly have to move meetings along. You are a person of action!
The value you add as a leader to your team is simple- you get things going. If there’s a project that needs to get done, or a proposal that’s having a hard time getting off the ground, your team, and probably other teams, will come to you to set things in motion.
If one of your team members, perhaps someone strong in the themes of Deliberative or Analytical, is having a hard time getting the fire started, you’re there to help them turn their pondering into doing. You understand that performance is driven by action, and action creates results.
L2L Reader Quote: “Invaluable advice and encouragement!”
The Dark Side of Expedience
As a strengths-based leader, the importance of understanding the potential consequences of the Activator strength are crucial. Your impulsiveness could get you into trouble in several ways; in regards to projects or team goals, your haste to get something started may blind you to the hazards and obstacles set in the path you’ve rashly chosen to take.
When it comes to your team members, you may be dismissing or overlooking their strengths, and therefore their commitment, or buy-in, to the project.
For example, someone strong in Intellection may have taken the time to sit and think about the proposed action plan and come up with a few insightful and potentially crucial ideas; however, before they were able to communicate these ideas, the process is already underway.
Because you can make decisions so quickly, you may make a poor choice or an untimely one. It’s vital that you be a strong communicator to avoid the popular perception that you are in fact impulsive and make decisions with little thought.
If you are aware of the darker aspects of your strength, you’ll be able to keep them in check, communicate your ideas, and be perceived as more of a go-getter than a rash decision maker.
Activating your Strength
Having an Activator on the team, especially as a leader, can be instrumental in achieving real results and success. As with all strengths, it is best when leveraged and anchored with complementary strengths.
So, Activators, look for people on your team who can see the potential consequences (good or bad) of a particular decision, such as Strategic, people who can make sure there is a clear destination aligned to the team and company goals, such as Focus, and someone to make sure the project is completed, such as Achiever.
As an Activator, you’re eager to get to the finish line as quickly as possible, see the results, and then learn the lesson. You believe growth is best attained through taking the next step without fear or hesitation. Use this strength to take the next step in being the best leader you can; put your strengths into action with your team’s.
Start the process of knowing who on your team has what strengths and how you’re going to leverage them in your projects. The best way for your team, and you, to grow is to start creating a strengths-based culture at work.
And the best part? You can start NOW!
If you’re an activator, how have you found this strength to be of value? Has it ever gotten in your way? Have you ever worked for an Activator? What were the pros and cons? Could a strengths-based culture have improved how that person, you, and/or your team functioned?
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