Have you ever observed someone step up her game when the pressure is on? Who surfaces as a leader in chaos? If you do, then you may know someone who has the strength of Command®.

A person with the Command strength can take charge, especially in times of crisis or conflict. They thrive with clarity and honesty and hate unresolved conflict. They prefer to expose conflict so it can be dealt with quickly. Command frequently ask questions no one else has the courage to ask.

I have Command as one of my top strengths. I’ve traced this strength through my family tree. Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon, my great-great-great-grandfather, was called the Valiant Virginian, and there’s even a book written about his feats. As captain, he was the first marine on the shores of Tripoli. He organized a crew that went to Africa, marched across the desert, overcame the enemy, freed the slaves and hostages, and brought everyone back home.

He was awarded the Mameluke sword, deemed the O’Bannon sword. Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon was a courageous fighter and defender, who later used his “take charge” strength to help lead the state of Kentucky. I’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill, but Command is in my heritage. People with Command are adept at breaking bottlenecks and creating momentum as entrepreneurs. They have the desire to lead and feel energized by taking charge.

How have I monetized my Command strength? In 1993, I started a private counseling practice, which multiplied to 5 office locations, 13 counselors, and more clients than I could handle. Those early days I leveraged my Command gaining local and national contracts providing counseling and training for juvenile offenders in boot camp, probation department drug offender programs, crisis counseling for those on suicide watch, and facilitating domestic violence and anger management programs. My Command was paid well to have courage to work with these challenging situations.

In 2006 I was studying positive psychology, and a business coach introduced me to StrengthsFinder®, now re-branded as CliftonStrengths®. Just reading my customized report ignited a transformation in my personal development, my career, and my purpose. Over the next several years, I used my Command strength to build a niche as a strengths based training and coaching business.

Now I’ve facilitated more than 27,000 coaching sessions, administered 6,000+ CliftonStrengths® assessments, and given more than 750 presentations to organizations across the globe.

Hundreds of people have gone through my free online course Breakthrough with Strengths  and my Coach Business Builder Masterclass has helped new professional coaches to gain courage and confidence to market and sell their services with their strengths. My Command had the boldness to write Selling Strengths: A Little Book for Executive and Life Coaches About Using Your Strengths to Get Paying Clients. The books vision was to empower professional coaches to launch, leverage, and lead 6 & 7 figure businesses with their authentic strengths.

My Strengths Champion Certified Coach® Masterclass is an exclusive high-performance workplace training and coaching program, and has helped companies catapult employee engagement, lower employee turnover, increase product quality, boost collaboration between managers, and ultimately increase profits.

I thrive on workplace training, keynote speaking, and coaching people just like you to grow stronger, work smarter, and live richer with your strengths.

Command individuals do have a heart, but sometimes they need other people to soften them up. I think it’s ironic that my wife has four out of five relationship strengths, and therefore helps to balance my Command strength.

Dealing with a person who has the Command strength is somewhat unique. You must recognize their need to lead, but at the same time, they want your honest feedback. If they are hurting the organization or being too pushy, they want to know it.

When a person with Command is overpowering, you must help them slow down. Some refer to Commanders as “pit bulls,” and don’t we all want a pit bull on our side when it’s time to fight?

When I’m giving a keynote, for example, standing there on the big stage, Command gives me presence, and it’s natural to be the sage on the stage. However, in a coaching session or even when facilitating a small team workshop, I need less telling and more facilitation as the guide on the side. To work smarter, I call on my Individualization talent theme to soften my Command, so I’m working smarter. My Individualization slows me down enough to listen, watch body language, create a safe place for exploration, empowering others to open up and share.

What talent themes in your top five can you leverage to regulate or monetize your Command so that you’re working smarter? Let me know in the comments below. Want to talk with me about this or other strengths questions you have? Please schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call, and let’s talk strengths.

People with the Activator® strength are what I call “Just do it” individuals. Activator is all about action and momentum. Their mantra is actions speak louder than words. They want to know, “When are we going to get going?”

Maybe you’re an Activator, and you’re asking yourself how can I monetize my strength?

Jereme Arsenault, of Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours, is an excellent example of a business owner monetizing Activator.

His Activator routinely filters out distractions like yapping dogs and impatient tourists. He’s a kinesthetic learner and, rather than just reading or listening to ideas and theories, they want to practice, they want to role play, they want to experience it. Activators are a good fit for start-up organizations and are most effective when a project needs momentum to get started.

“Being a musher is much like being a business owner,” said Jereme. “You have a pool of resources—employees, contract labor, vendors, and others—to pick from. I run a kennel of 182 working sled dogs, six different breeds of Husky, puppy to thirteen years old. When I put together a team, I have my pick of the litter. When it comes to lead dogs, for instance, a common misconception is lead dogs are smarter than the rest. Not true. The top strength of a lead dog is its ability to listen. Many also think lead dogs are the alpha. Again, not true. In a sled team, there is no hierarchy. A lead dog is nothing without the rest of the team.”

Here Arsenault paused, to bark a command to his fellow team member.

People with the Activator strength may appear impatient, but they can enjoy influencing others to take action as a catalyst.

When they act, it’s decisive.

People with Activator don’t follow the “Ready, aim, fire,” approach. Activators are more like “Ready, fire, aim.” They tend to act spontaneously with very little preparation, though they are still extremely practical.

Snowy Owl Tours was formed in Canmore, Alberta, in 1983 by Connie Arsenault, Jereme’s mother. This was back when Canmore was a quiet, small coal-mining town, and sled dog tours were nearly non-existent.

When Connie approached Alberta Parks with the idea, many thought she was crazy. Nonetheless, she began the difficult task of securing trails, all to maintain the integrity of the natural environment. Connie hiked each trail with biologists, environmentalists, and wildlife experts, documenting streams, rivers, springs, moose browsing, etc., to ensure no species would be harmed in creating these trails.

Today, Connie is more of a business mentor to her son and family.

“My mom has a great expression,” Jereme said. “He who is resistant to change is destined to fail.” and change is typically fun for an Activator.

He told me that patience is the best way to lessen resistance and therefore minimize failures. Another approach is being humble. “The dogs will teach you humility. You’re out on the ice, and the wind is howling. It’s blowing the trail away. You can’t see, and instead of slowing down, you shout and scream, you turn rude, and suddenly it’s no fun for the dogs anymore. Keep it up, and your lead dog might just decide to stop listening.

If you, the musher, don’t get a hold of yourself, she might even turn the team around and head back to the truck.”

Snowy Owl is definitely a family business: Jereme’s sister takes care of retail, reservations, and the run schedule. His brother-in-law is in charge of maintaining equipment and vehicles. Jereme is in charge of hiring, transportation to and from the trails, and timing—making sure that the tours leave and come back on time. And, of course, caring for the dogs.

Activators like Jereme must also remember to balance their strengths.

If they are always acting and not slowing down to plan, they might eventually shoot themselves in the foot. That said, Activators don’t mind mistakes because they are always learning from their experiences to make smarter decisions going forward.

So how do people with Activator use their strength to make money?

Seek work in which you can make your own decisions and act upon them.

If you are an entrepreneur, create products and services you can control, improve upon, and manufacture with minimal input from outside influences.

Take responsibility for your intensity by selecting clients and team members who value your energy and drive.

Choose clients who recognize outcomes over process because your process may be messy and unconventional.

And last, avoid taking on clients and projects in which you must submit to the whims of a committee. Instead, work directly with decision-makers, founders and CEOs and executive-level decision-makers of all flavors.

Do you have the StrengthsFinder theme of Activator? What does it look like for you? Tell us about it in the comments below. Does this sound like you, but you are not sure what to do with your Activator strength? Schedule a free Ask Brent Anything to talk with me if you have questions about how to do this.