According to Clifton StrengthsFinder, people exceptionally talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from evidence of progress.

March 19th is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Joseph, who was a carpenter, was a developer. Developers are naturally thoughtful and patient. They know that tomorrow will always be better than today. For them, everyone is on a path to getting better at something. Developers are relationship builders. They meet people where they are at, invest in them, and then help them to grow. The best developers are able to see and celebrate small improvement rather than waiting for big changes or end results.

Saint Joseph said yes in a way that few men of his time would. Through faith and love, he remained with Mary and raised God’s Son. His devotion as a developer and his recognition of better things to come resulted in our salvation.

Developers are devoted to each learner and their colleagues. They seek improvement and are talented at knowing how to support incremental growth. They encourage others easily and will thrive when they feel encouraged too. Developers do not give up easily. As a result, they might need assistance in learning when it is appropriate to give up and move on. This is not easy for them because they yearn for everyone and every project to be successful.

When forming teams, look for developers. They see potential, they focus on growth and a better future, and they celebrate victories.

The Power of “I”

– Submitted by Cherie Hamilton


I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And what I can do, I ought to do.
And what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do.
I will do more than belong…I will participate.
I will do more than care…I will help.
I will do more than believe…I will practice.
I will do more than be fair…I will be kind.
I will do more than dream…I will work.
I will do more than teach…I will inspire.
I will do more than earn…I will enrich.
I will do more than give…I will inspire.
I will do more than live…I will grow.
I will do more than talk…I will act.
I will be more than good…I will be good for something.

This poem, attributed to Edward Everett Hale, has been provided by Cherie Hamilton, a teacher at St. Mary’s School. It is a testimony of the activator theme strength and spirit. Thank you for sharing Cherie!


“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Mother Theresa

Activators are those who take the big, first leap. They have influence and are often recognized as courageous risk-takers. An activator is at his/her best when taking advantage of opportunities others are missing. Often, s/he is the change agent able to move a group or a team to a better place.S/he can inspire others to act in ways that they didn’t imagine. Really great activators know when they can act before the planning is complete and when they can push others to proceed. This urgency can be perceived by others as impatience, and often, the activator is impatient. S/he doesn’t like to wait until all conditions are perfect. S/he prefers to make corrections as necessary. The energy of the activator can be contagious. S/he often plants the seeds and is then able to ask what is needed to get an idea into play.

Teachers who are activators are often those who volunteer to pilot new programs or sit on new project committees. They will be the early adopters of change and particularly quick about it when there is a direct benefit for students. As a leader, the activator is very influential among his/her colleagues.

Student activators generally have big presence in the classroom. They might be the ones who begin tasks before the directions are provided, they might be impatient or abrupt with those who “don’t get it”, and they are possibly the ones who will challenge practice and established ideas if they think they have a better way.

When working with activators it is important to expect urgency and necessary to help develop patience. Teachers and school leaders need to be clear about expectations, especially if they do not want something to begin, and they need to celebrate progress frequently throughout a process to keep the activator engaged.

When you need to get a ball rolling, you want an activator on your team.