Activator: Just Getting Started

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending a fundraiser for the Rosen School of Hospitality in Orlando.  The namesake and major benefactor of the school, Mr. Harris Rosen, had the opportunity to address the crowd.  He spoke of how quickly this college had become one of the top Hospitality institutions in the nation, and praised the founding Dean of the school, Dr. Abe Pizam, for his vision and dedication.

Dr. Pizam is retiring and gave a moving farewell address to the audience.  Of Jewish decent, he quoted the "Spiritual Father of the Jewish State" Theodor Herzl (see quote above).  The reference had much to do with Dr. Pizam's own ability to get things started and make things happen.

My list of remaining Talent Themes to blog about this year is down to 6.  I had already decided on Activator before attending this charity event.  As soon as I heard the Theodor Herzl quote, my Ideation (#2), Futuristic (#3) and Achiever (#5) kicked into gear.

I researched Theodor Herzl.  He was one of the first leaders to promote Jewish immigration to Palestine to form a Jewish State - which of course would become Israel nearly 50 years after his death.  The Israeli Constitution makes mention of Theodor Herzl and Israeli's honor him one day a year with a National Holiday.

My interpretation of the quote at the top of the page is that if you start something, it goes from being intangible (a dream) to tangible (a reality).  Theodor Herzl didn't just dream of a Jewish State, he "started the fire" to make it a reality.  Likewise, Dr. Abe Pizam put a plan into action resulting into a top ranked college with over 10,000 graduates.

Mr. Herzl and Mr. Pizam are Activators.  People with Activator as a Significant Talent Theme turn thoughts into action and are often impatient to get things started.  Once a decision is made, they must act.  They naturally know how to turn ideas into action and are not afraid to take risks.  Activators know that they will be judged not by what they say or what they think, but by what they get done.

Activators believe that action is the best form of learning.  They make a decision, take action, study the results and learn.  This learning informs their next action and the actions after that.

Activator is considered an Influencing Talent Theme.  People with this powerful theme in their Top 5 are catalysts and are highly persuasive due to their ability to get things started.  Activator ranks #24 on my list of Talent Themes.  With Strategic (#1), Ideation (#2) and Futuristic (#3), I often find myself on the backside of Thedor Herzl's quote, not willing and always dreaming.  My prescription are dynamic partnerships with people I have identified as Activators.  They show me the way to make the intangible tangible.

Activators can become the catalyst to get things started,  Here are some tips on how to aim this Talent Theme for optimal results;

* Help them brand themselves as a "starter" in your department by informing others that they can call on this person when circumstances require energy and instant momentum.

* Aim their Activator strength towards getting started on advancing tactics related to team goals or improvements which need to be achieved.

* Assign them the role to consistently request and summarize action items in every team meeting

Dan is currently serving 20 years to life as the Sr. Director of Destination Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort.  He prefers white-water rapids over data lakes and lists Ideation, Futuristic and Positivity amongst his signature talents.    Find him on Twitter @dpddonovan and Instagram @strengthszone  


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