People with the Activator StrengthsFinder talent theme live life with a wide open throttle. They make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They have a need for speed.

Understanding the Activator Strength

Activator is ranked 29th in frequency out of all 34 strengths. It is most likely paired with Strategic at .33% and least likely paired with Deliberative at .02%. 10% of the population has Activator in their top 5 strengths.

Activator has a sense of urgency that may appear like impatience. People with Activator may come across as fast thinkers, fast talkers, and like to move quickly. They are a catalyst to instigate others to action. They frequently say, “Just do it.”

Other words we might use are starter, originator, dynamic, risk taker, and influencer.

Activator is part of the Influencing domain of leadership. They not only desire to take action themselves, they want to light a fire under others to start.

Refined Activator Strength

One CEO client I coached had Activator #1 and Strategic #2. Marcus was an incredible entrepreneur and business man. I lead Marcus through an exercise to name his Activator strength. He loved to restore old race cars. He said, Brent my Activator is WOT. Wide Open Throttle. That’s how I lead and live life.

There was no fear to put his foot on the gas pedal literally and figuratively. He was willing to take risk, test, learn, and continue to move to grow his business.

Richard Branson in his book, The Virgin Way has this same urgency to test new innovative ideas and take those ideas into the marketplace quickly.

Raw Activator Strength

When Activator is under developed, immature, or speeding in excess can spin out and wreck on the race track of life. They can lose control temporarily with impatience, lack of restraint, and lack of listening.

Marcus admitted that he was not a great communicator and his team agreed. Because he was running wide open throttle it was sometimes hard for others to keep up with the speed of change.

Activator may sometimes operate under their own mantra of ready, Fire, aim.

Contrasting Activator

Activator says “let’s speed this up” and Deliberative says, “let’s slow this down.”
Activator is all about action, while Intellection is all about thinking.
Activator is about the starting line; Achiever is about the finishing line.

The Power of Activator is quick action that influences others for the better.
The Joy of Activator is getting the ball rolling.
The Beauty of Activator is that things are always changing and not static.
The Hope of Activator is to find opportunities to turn into action.

Action Items for Activator

·       Look for independent roles and startup opportunities.

·       Keep your involvement toward action oriented meetings.

·       Make sure you have purpose with your action.

·       Communicate succinctly the why of your desire for action to others.

·       Make sure you measure outcomes not the process of your Activator.

Discovery Questions for the Activator Strength

·       What is your best story of turning a good thing into great action?

·       How does your Activator like to learn best?

·       What other strengths in yourself can you shift gears and slow down?

·       Who are your best people and strengths to partner with?

·       What area of life and work do you need more action and less talk?

About the author: Brent O’Bannon coaches individuals, teams, and organizations as a PCC and the 1st GALLUP Certified Strengths Coach in the world. He is an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author. Learn more at &


‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

Share This