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What is Strengths-Based Leadership?
According to Clifton and Harter (2003), “individuals gain more when they build on their talents than when they make comparable efforts to improve on their areas of weakness.” The Strengths perspective assumes that individuals already have within themselves what they need to succeed. Our job is to recognize it, nurture it, and build on it.
At URI and the CSLD, we believe that successful leadership begins with the willingness to lead yourself first. To lead effectively, individuals must discover their talents and values, and make a commitment to invest in growing and developing both of these, capitalizing on strengths, in order to best serve others and the common good.
According to the Gallup organization, “learning and emerging as a leader is a process that takes knowledge, skills, and practice, and it requires you to be intentional in how you use your talents.” Gallup’s StrengthsFinder inventory, and the entire StrengthsQuest package of personal development resources, provides leaders with the opportunity to:
- Increase self-awareness
- Deepen knowledge and appreciation of others’ talents
- Form and maximize teams
- Help others to affirm, develop, and apply their talents
In addition, the CSLD offers additional strengths-based individual and team development opportunities including the use of the Character Values in Action inventory, the Leadership Practice Inventory, The Hope Scale, and the Socially Responsible Leadership Scale. For details, please explore the resources available on the Strengths Hub page.