Explore The Clifton StrengthsFinder Talent Theme – Activator

What Is The Clifton StrengthsFinder Talent Theme of Activator?

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Activator Strength?" First, know that StrengthsFinder will help you figure out your potential. We call them natural talents or natural patterns. We know you're here because you want to turn them into superpowers in your career, so here's the gist: People strong in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.

Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

Activator - Learn From Others

These 10-15 minute "Theme Overview" videos give you a peek into the awesomeness of your talent theme. They also explore the idea that talent themes represent potential, yet if they are not invested in, they might show up looking raw and unproductive at work.
These "Talent Testimonials" videos are real people sharing their experiences with this talent theme. Although you may apply your talent in a different way at work, it's helpful to hear how others use the same natural patterns of thinking, feeling, or acting at work.
These "Strengths Stories" give you another chance to see, in a very specific way, how other people with similar talents show up in life. They give you examples of where they see it in use as a strength. And they share action items that can help you aim it to performance at work.

Your Strengths Will Strengthen Your Performance At Work

In the next section, you'll explore what fuels you up and what drains you. Just like gas (or petrol) in your car, you need to keep your personal tank full to be at your best. Each StrengthsFinder talent theme is energized and drained by different things. When you see the stick figure who looks strong, you can consider how these things fuel you up at work. They're your energy makers. When you see the stick figure who looks weak, consider if these things are draining you at work. They're your energy takers.

Activator Yucks

What's a Yuck?

It's a situation, condition, or behavior you might see at work that zaps your energy. Yucks are also things you see on your calendar or to do list that make you think, "yuck, if I never had to do that again I'd be thrilled."

 

Yuck Situations for Activator

  • Waiting around for projects or people to start what you've been talking about.
  • Wasting time when you could be getting things off the ground.

Example yuck from client: "My closest co-worker cannot make a decision to save her life. She is paralyzed inside of Excel formulas, and I could have finished the project by the time she's ready to start."

Activator When Starved

What's a Starved Talent?

This section describes how you might be perceived when the shadow side of your talent is showing. It’s when you’re overusing, misapplying, or squashing down one of your natural talents rather than investing in it to turn it into a strength. We often see people starve, squash, or ignore their talent when they assume it is not valued in that role or company culture.

Perceptions of Starved Activator

  • You could be viewed as hasty because you're so concerned with starting.
  • You could prompt risk-management concerns if people think you leap before looking as a  conscious strategy.
  • Your impatience for careful people could show up as a lack of teamwork.

Activator - How To Insult It

What's An Insulted Talent?

Usually talents get offended or insulted by other people who have natural preferences that are different from yours. It also happens if they fail to see their actions have an impact on someone else (you!). You can also insult your own talents if you have a "troublemaker strength" that speaks loudly and overpowers this one.

Things That Will Insult Activator

If you like to carefully weigh every option before taking action, keep a close eye on those who lead with Activator. Dealing with analysis paralysis will be extremely frustrating to them. They get satisfaction from starting things, so every delay and moment of bureaucracy can make them feel like an animal trapped in a cage.

 

Activator Yays

What's a Yay?

It's a situation at work that boosts up your energy or makes you feel productive. Yays are also things you see on your calendar or to do list that make you think, “yay, fill my days with this."

 

Yay Situations for Activator

  • Getting things kicked off - being the one to press the proverbial Go Button.
  • Creating momentum for the team when it has been stagnant.

Example yay from client: "Give me a stalled project, and I'll get it moving. I love kicking things off like lighter fluid. Lean on me for forward progress. When people say, 'let's do this,' that's a yay day for sure."

Activator When Fed

What's a Fed Talent?

This section describes how you might be perceived when the best version of you shows up at work. It’s when you’ve invested in your natural talents to mature them into strengths. You can feed your talent by considering “how” you approach each “what” on the job. When you apply your talents to productive outcomes, you’re feeding them.

Perceptions of Fed Activator

  • You show people that dreams are merely wishes if you don't get started. You inspire them to take the first step, or you model the courage yourself.
  • You are a catalytic spark of energy for the team.
  • As a movement maker, people will often follow your lead because you confidently get things going.

Activator - How To Honor It

What's An Honored Talent?

Usually talents feel honored when other people acknowledge your needs and potential contributions. Talents feel honored when someone “extends an olive branch” to help you work at your best. You can also honor your own talents by investing in them, by choosing work that naturally calls on them, or by applying your strengths to performance on the job.

Things That Will Honor Activator

To unleash the A-game of someone who leads through the Activator talent, give the person the opportunity to move fast and get things started as often as possible. They appreciate not getting bogged down red tape and slow decision making. If you need someone to instigate action because the team is stuck, rely on those who lead through Activator.

Personal Brand - "How" Activator Operates At Work

Most people have a good handle on "What" they bring to the workplace. Resumes, CVs, and career development conversations are filled with lists of skills and job titles that show "what" you can do. Nearly everyone misses the "How".

Your Clifton StrengthsFinder talent themes help you communicate "How" you show up. It's how you think. It's how you feel. It's how you act. These are huge differences in each person that are differentiators on the job. Consider these adjectives you might want to consciously put into your personal branding efforts.

We recommend working a "How" description into the Summary section in your LinkedIn profile (if you don't yet use that section, don't worry, most people haven't paid attention to it until now). Of course, make up adjectives or phrases that describe you at your best. Try to avoid words like "motivated, self-starter" because they're so overused that you'll blend in with everyone else. Here are some ideas to spark your thinking:

  • Instigator
  • Fresh Thinker
  • Action Jackson
  • Initiating
  • Just Ship
  • Influential
  • Action-Oriented
  • Propulsive
  • Spark
  • Gets It Going
  • Momentum Creator

How To Invest In Your Activator Talent On The Job

  • Offer justifications when you request action. Otherwise, people might dismiss you as impatient and label you a ‘ready, fire, aim’ person. Because you like speed, practice writing fast business cases and creating compelling stories that make people want to act urgently.

  • Partner up with conceptual thinkers. Help them move their ideas from conceptual theory to concrete practice. Then everyone wins. You get to spark action, and they get to use more of their headspace for creative and original thinking.

  • Make it a point to have lunch with influential people at least once a quarter to share your ideas. They can support you in your activation and provide critical resources to make your ideas happen.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The Activator Talent

  • Select a departmental goal and give this person the responsibility for initiating and organizing the launch. Tell her you selected her because she makes things happen. Your expectations will energize her.

  • Assign her to startup or turnaround situations. Put her on a team that is bogged down and talks more than it performs. Support her entry in that role by telling that team she's there to stir action and get things un-stalled.

  • Look at the other talent themes this person can pair with Activator. For example, if she is strong in Command, she may have the potential to sell and persuade effectively. If she is strong in Relator or Woo, she may become an excellent recruiter or closer for you.

What To Consider When Partnering With A Colleague Who Leads Through Activator

  • Ask this person to partner with you when you have a can’t-get-off-the-starting-blocks project and you need help getting momentum.
  • When your team is facing a big change that they’re having trouble with, ask this person to persuade coworkers that they can increase productivity, solve problems, launch programs, overcome obstacles, and bounce back from defeat.
  • Call on them when they can make their own decisions and act upon them. Don’t put them in a situation bogged down in bureaucracy.

Listen To The Lead Through Strengths Podcast