When leaders use their strengths as a platform, what happens when they start something new? This article is the beginning of a four part series highlighting the way four types of leaders start new organizations and how their start-up style effects others.

One of the most widely used strength identifiers is the Clifton Strengths Finder inventory. In Strength Finders 2.0, author Tom Rath, provides a detailed look at the way our strengths effect the way others see us or respond to way we lead. This week we’ll look at the Activator strength.Activator


According to Rath, Activators take charge, leave little room for ambiguity and get the ball rolling. They usually give very little attention to the process; instead they focus on achieving the outcome. When using this strength group members may feel energized by getting the job done, but some may feel left behind. Activators need to know when to push ahead and when to slow down to build their team. They will do better by utilizing others who help them build connections and think through the implications of their strategies.

One new church pastor I worked with had the uncanny ability to pick a direction that inspired others to come with him. Usually he stretched the limits of the resources of the organization to pull off an event or launch a ministry. Yet, time and again people rose to the challenge to get the job done AND very importantly added their creativity to the final outcome. One time he asked me to pull together a team to create a stage set to illustrate our theme for the coming year at our annual leadership conference. We had less than 24 hours to pull off the request. My team not only sprang into action, we also produced something that exceeded all expectations. Our team was proud of the outcome.

This Activator Leader created synergy where the sum total of the parts was much greater than the individuals. When starting something new, Activators need to observe how their strength serves the organization and not their ego. Partnering with others with Group Process strengths helps sustain the organization. Overdoing the Activator can be detrimental to the health of the team.

Coaching Corner:

Are you an Activator… When did you feel fruitful using your strength to initiate something new?  What went well? How did you involve others? What strengths did they use enthusiastically alongside of yours?

Next time we’ll look at leaders with a Command strength and how they use it to start ministries. Receive these blog posts by email by signing up at our website… http://leadershiponramp.com.