From Tom Rath’s book Strengths Finder 2.0, I learned that an activator is someone impatient for action. Activators frequently ask, “When can we start?” Activators know that only action is real. Only action makes things happen. Only action leads to performance.
I was surprised when I learned that Activator is my number one strength. Why? Because I’ve felt there hasn’t been enough action in the past few years. As I’ve transitioned from entertainer to speaker, I often felt there were long periods where things weren’t moving … or certainly not moving fast enough.
The book continues … Activators are impatient. Once a decision is made, activators cannot not act.
Well, impatient fits me to a tee. I frequently find myself being impatient in situations where the solution seems obvious. And in meetings, I frequently want to scream, “Just do it! Stop talking about it and do it!”
Now maybe this has been the problem of the past few years? … ‘once a decision is made’ … Maybe I just haven’t been sure enough about my direction. Maybe I haven’t been 100% committed to a specific course of action. I take a few small steps, but then stand still. It seems like at times, I’m partially retreating.
Activators believe that acting and thinking are synonymous. Activators make a decision, take action, look at the result, and learn. The learning initiates the next round of decision, action, and result.
So maybe my retreating has been the learning. Maybe the retreat has been a course correction. Maybe by the nature of what I’m attempting to accomplish … rushing off in a fast and furious fashion would be reckless and counterproductive.
Activators know that they won’t be judged by what they say. They will be judged by what they do.
Amen! Let’s get going! Nobody wants to hear about what I plan to do … let’s instead show them what I am doing.
Out of my top five strengths, this one was the most surprising. Upon reflection, I’m actually relieved.
I am a man of action. I do prefer to let my actions speak for themselves. And as I’ve charted a new life course, I’ve been just a little more hesitant than normal. I’ve been learning to slow my pace to what feels an uncomfortable level. I’ve learned to stand still, take small steps, retreat, and correct course.
I’ve felt the angst of not taking big steps. I want to leap – but I haven’t … yet. I now understand my internal conflict. The dissonance.
Seeing activator as my primary strength, I understand the dissonance. It’s something I can accept … for now.
And when I compare being an activator with my second and third strengths: Futuristic and Strategic … it all starts to make perfect sense.
As an Activator, I say, “Action is as action does!
Next Blog Title: Futuristic
Next Blog Date: January 28, 2013