Strengths Coaching Blog

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Activator: The Brave First Step - Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Activator. 





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If you’re an Activator you’re a starter, a realizer. You can really quickly take an idea and make it into something going on. There’s confidence and courage in Activator. It is about taking opportunity in the moment. You have more courage than others to begin. The beauty of Activator is that it takes a brave first step on situations others had been too scared to begin. You have the ability to think through next steps, and are able to get things moving with these steps. An Activator dreams about the act of pushing things off center and getting things going. 

Who are you when you’re at your best? You are taking advantage of opportunities that other people are missing. You are finding your area of expertise that will catapult your career to a new place. An Activator can not only start their own progress, but can also inspire others to take that first step. At its best Activator is also about taking action on ideas that others are still considering. There is a continual motion to always start something. There is a gracefulness in knowing to push that first domino when others are still working on getting them set-up. 

There is a lot of risk in starting something, and Activators are willing to take that risk. 


Do more assisting. Understand your own talent, and offer it on purpose. It is okay to get something going, and then hand it off to be taken to the next level. You don’t have to measure success by being able to take everything to maturity. Figure out how you can hand things off very cleanly, and then learn how to delegate to others to inspire them where to take it. 

Ask for better access to a team. This will give you a better understanding of who plays which role. This will help you with delegating to inspire greatness. Ask for a fast paced environment where there are high expectations to deliver. Look for the lanes that are swimming faster. If you can have more autonomy to get things moving this will be a greater environment for you to grow. 

Worry less about knowing the details before you begin. Your magic is about beginning and being confident without all the details you might need. If in your gut you believe it’s ready to go, than go. Think about developing your own vocabulary of questions that help shift towards an action. Pay close attention to what sets others’ anxiety at ease. Don’t try to be the person who tries to own things from end-to-end. Think about being an urgency consultant to help people see the bigger picture. Let them see the benefit that can be gained from taking action. 

If you are working with someone with Activator expect urgency. Expect that they’re going to have the desire to act. You can also expect to feel an energy when they’re present. If you’re ready to get moving with a project, invite an Activator to the meeting. 
Celebrate the progress an Activator has already made to give them recognition. Don’t just think about what’s been completed, celebrate what’s currently in motion. You can even celebrate the courage that it takes to get started with projects. Talk about where you are now, compared to where you were. Talk about the effect. Praise the action that’s been started. 

Help and Activator understand their audience. Give them access to teams and projects outside their typical sphere of responsibility. Help them develop language for why action matters. Ask them what they are doing today to make a difference in five years. 


If Activator is one of your Dominant Themes, invest in it this week through the following challenge items: 
  • Before your next meeting ends; ask out loud for action items.
  • Take a five minute break to list all the new goals that you’d like your team to tackle. 
  • Help somebody else take a big first step on a meaningful project. 

How is your Activator challenge going for this week? Share your thoughts and experiences on the Called to Coach Facebook page.

Pressed for time? We now have all of our Theme Thursday videos in short, easy-to-digest snippets and other Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches break down the nuances of each theme.

Catch up on this season of Mastery Monday!

Register for the 2018 CliftonStrengths Summit here!

The world needs more builders. Learn more about Gallup's Builder Initiative here

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