Strengths Spotlight: Activator vs Achiever

Activator vs Achiever Strengths

Knowing how to manage our natural gifts is one of the most important benefits of strengths development. There will be times when you will want to increase or decrease your natural gifts.  A concept that I teach is to imagine your strengths with dials, as if they were each in their own pot on a stovetop with dials from 1-10.  Those of us who have familiarized ourselves with the benefits and blind spots of our top strengths know how and when they serve us best. When dialed just right, we feel great and we achieve the results that we want. However,  when we drift into one of our strengths blind spots, the red light appears letting us know that one or more of our strengths is too much of a good thing at that moment. With strengths awareness you will easily know how to adjust the mixture, turning some down and others up, to get the results that you want. This ability leads to greater confidence as you skillfully manage your individual gifts with grace and ease.

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

  1. If you have the Activator strength, you excel at getting things started. Your team members will look to you to light the fire and create momentum. You’re known for being an initiator who can bring a catalytic sense of urgency. One of the blind spots of this wonderful strength is a sense of impatience. That sense of urgency can cause you to begin too quickly at times. When you feel impatient, let that be your indicator that your Activator strength may need turning down.  Ask yourself which of your other 9 strengths would be more useful in that moment to set the appropriate pace.
  1. If you have the Achiever strength, you are a hard worker who likes to get things done. Contrasted to the Activator’s starting abilities, you are excellent at finishing tasks. You set the pace for production with an intensity and stamina that is impressive.  Sometimes, that intensity can be daunting to others who don’t share this strength. They may need to go at a different pace than you. Notice if the people around you are in sync with your energy, and if not, consider slowing down, appreciating, and celebrating what has been accomplished before moving to the next task on your list.

These are just two examples of the ways it can be helpful to know both the upside and downside of your top 10 strengths. One of the reasons I love this tool is that we have opportunities every day to learn something new about the ways to dial and manage our strengths for the most optimal results.