By Chad T. Ahern
"People exceptionally talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They want to do things now, rather than simply talk about them."
Moments of great change can bring out the best in Activators, with their boundless energy and undying need for action. This same need for action can also drive them toward burnout in moments of change when they:
In each of these scenarios, their impatience can lead them to either burnout by trying to push forward regardless, or disengagement because they give up trying to move the unmovable.
As we look to define and develop our new world of work, one of the most important ways you can engage and enliven those with Activator talents is to give them roles where they can play a dual role of "guinea pig" and "initiator."
As a leader or manager, one of the simplest questions you can ask right now of those with Achiever talents is,
"What can I help you start today with the resources and people we (still) have available?"
Government, at all levels, often gets a bad rap as archaic when it comes to developing people and allowing them to creatively solve problems....think of waiting at the DVM on a Monday morning.
Whether it's the detailed (but limiting) job descriptions, structured organizational charts, antiquated technology, or command and control management; government does not have the same reputation for flexibility and innovation as some business sectors... think Silicon Valley.
Yet last week, I had two experiences that have given me hope that change is on the horizon. In particular, how Strengths can be used to improve government operations.
The first, was a wonderful conversation I had with Rose Gowdey. In her role as Director of the Center for Achievement in Public Service for Vermont, she's worked with her seven colleagues to train more than 300+ supervisors in Talent/Strengths-based staff development.
The second is this recent TED Talk by Haley Van Dyck (also viewable below). Here, she emphasizes the power of small, flexible teams in solving some of our national government's biggest technology problems. Even though she doesn't mention Strengths directly, her focus on utilizing people, who've developed their Strengths within other industries, is critical to her team's success. It also could serve as a blueprint for how government workers could/should be encouraged to think about their own work for the future.
Here are three takeaways:
Let's connect so we can figure out how a Strengths-based approach might improve your local governance.
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