Managing Employees Who Love to Start Projects...but May Not Finish Them

The Strength of Activator: “Let’s Just Do It”

Activators love to get things started. They derive energy from creating momentum and getting projects off the ground. Since it’s one my top 5 CliftonStrengths, I love to make things happen!

This strength can be powerful in a business setting

Not long ago, I was scheduled to begin a half-day workshop with a large corporate client. Our start time was 9AM. I’d spent lots of time preparing various materials to help the team discover their strengths. I was excited to help them learn how to pool their natural talents to benefit the team.

My phone rang at 8:30AM—it was the manager in charge of the team. Turns out, the team was all contractors, not actual employees, so the department wasn’t authorized to provide “personal development training” to this particular group.

Now what?

People without the strength of Activator may have panicked, thrown in the towel, felt defeated, and maybe even cancelled the session. Not me.

As I thought through my options, my Activator strength said, ‘It’s better to do something than nothing.” Because Activators thrive on getting things started, we love the motto, “Let’s Just Do it.” This was a perfect opportunity for me to put that motto into action.

So we did. I ditched my plans and without a single prepared slide, handout, or talk, I facilitated a half-day session to help the group brainstorm about upcoming projects.

I divided them into 2 teams and had them physically draw their ideas for the project. To help them articulate those ideas, I requested that they design colorful visuals that would be easy for me to understand as a layperson. Each team devised a game plan and pitched their ideas to the other group.

After presenting all of the ideas, they chose 10 they loved and planned to use them in the digital marketing for their upcoming projects.

This is what Activators do best: think and act!


Good team partners for Activators

While Activators are fantastic project starters, they aren’t always as good at the follow through—finishing the things they start.

A great partner for an Activator is someone with Achiever as a strength, because these folks Get. Things. Done.

Without being aware of how to capitalize on these strengths, these two employees might cringe at one another’s natural talents. The Achiever might see the Activator as hasty, impatient, and unable to finish the job. The Activator, in turn, may view the Achiever as a plodding list-maker, who’s unable to shift course and resolutely focused on the finish line.

Knowing their strengths can help them realize: Hey, we’re a great team. You start and I finish. Boom!

This kind of symbiosis yields exactly what you want—teamwork, productivity, and results.

Getting the get the most out of an Activator employee

·      Put them in situations where they can create momentum for a team or specific project.

·      Give them assignments where they can make decision and act on the, without dealing with a lot of bureaucracy or slow decision makers.

·      Have them lead a team that’s been mired in indecision. Charge them with creating a plan and taking action.

How Millennial Guru can help you boost your team’s productivity

Using CliftonStrengths assessments, Millennial Guru can help your team recognize one another’s strengths, understand how having employees with contrasting strengths benefits the team, and facilitate conversations on how to capitalize on those strengths.

Schedule an informational meeting today to find out how we can help you empower, transform, and motivate your team to produce high-caliber results.

Paige Cornetet