Activator Influencing Theme

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.

5 replies
  1. Bev
    Bev says:

    I love my Activator (#4), as along with my other top 5 CliftonStrengths (Communication, Positivity, WOO and Maximizer) I naturally manage to influence others and get things going and keep them moving. I also have to balance this though, as because Focus is low down for me, unless I have or give myself a deadline, I can end up starting too many things and not finishing them. I use deadlines and my Maximizer to say “If it’s not finished, then it’s not excellent”!

    Reply
    • brent
      brent says:

      Excellent Bev! It’s helpful for people to realize that Activator is an INFLUENCING talent that can get others going and keep them moving. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  2. Heidi Lewerenz
    Heidi Lewerenz says:

    Wow. This is revelatory for me as I see myself in this description! Activator is my #4 and I am gravitating toward working with CEOs and Entrepreneurs… Pretty cool that this niche/focus appears to be connected to my strengths! Thanks for this little reminder of how to be aware of strengths and how to monetize them in business. I’m going to go look up my other top 5 and jot some notes!!

    Reply
  3. Kristin Clark
    Kristin Clark says:

    I’m activator #2 – I get the most satisfaction when I’m talking to my clients, I see the light bulb go on and they take action based on our conversation. I definitely move forward fast and on instinct….a lot. It feels totally natural to me but it sometimes makes other people really uncomfortable (until they know me better).

    Reply
  4. Oleg
    Oleg says:

    Thank you very much for the article, Brent! I feel my Activator, Strategic and Input in very strong connection with each other to get best results possible. Now I understand them even more. Thank you!

    Reply

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