Mason Institute for Leadership Excellence
Center for the Advancement of Well-Being | The College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Foundations of Strengths-Based Leadership

The Foundations of Strengths-Based Leadership course is a 3-day program held on the Fairfax, VA, campus of George Mason University. This course focuses on creating deeper awareness of ones strengths and talents, developing and influencing others, leading teams, and leading change. Each participant works one on one with an ICF accredited leadership coach in the weeks following the program to help with integration and implementation of all the newly acquired knowledge.

What You'll Experience

  • Awareness of strengths and insight into managing weaknesses
  • Opportunities to continue your personal development
  • Broadened understanding of your leadership
  • Enhanced ability to influence others
  • Individual leadership coaching

Program Format

Day 1: Leading with Strengths Day 2: Leading People and Teams with Influence Day 3: Leading Change
Gain awareness of your strengths and talents Influence strategies for creating a high commitment workforce Understand the process of leading change
Understand how to apply your strengths Learn how to lead teams to make effective group decisions Discover how to best lead change based on your unique strengths and talents
Learn how to position yourself and others for maximum leadership effectiveness Discover your preferred style and how your strengths influence your leadership style Develop strategies for change and take away tools for leading change
Develop the capacity to become a more conscious leader Learn how your leadership style and strengths can help you build shared understanding and commitment Begin to identify the team strengths, knowledge and skills needed to effectively lead change
After the 3-day program, each participant works one on one with an ICF accredited leadership coach to help with integration and implementation of all the newly acquired knowledge.

Leading with Strengths

Participants will be introduced to the principles of leadership and the importance of the strengths and virtues in leadership development. Leaders will explore techniques to engage and align strengths to improve individual and organizational performance. Leading with Strengths is day one of the Foundations of Strengths-Based Leadership course. Aspects of this day are incorporated throughout the entire course curriculum and every other course that MILE offers.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain awareness of your strengths and talents
  • Understand how to apply your strengths in leadership
  • Learn how to position yourself and others for maximum leadership effectiveness
  • Develop the capacity to become a more conscious leader

MILE takes a strengths-based approach to leadership development. This is very different from the "deficit-based" approach used in many development programs. By examining what leaders do well rather than what they do wrong (focusing on strengths not weakness) can provide a basis for flourishing and sustainable well being. The focus during this day will be on you and what makes you a unique leader. Leaders can be most effective when their strengths are aligned with expectations and the context within which they provide leadership. With this knowledge you can learn how to position yourself and others for maximum leadership effectiveness.

Leading People and Teams with Influence

Participants will explore motivations, influencing methods, and team leadership approaches from a strengths perspective. By understanding the different leadership and team decision making styles and their impact on influencing others, they can expand the tools they use to reach more individuals. The group will also explore the importance of networking and its impact on one's ability to influence and lead teams.

Leading People and Teams with Influence is day two of the Foundations of Strengths-Based Leadership course and can be adapted and paired with other components for customized programs to meet your organizational needs.

Learning Outcomes

  • Influence strategies for creating a high commitment workforce
  • Build networks to increase your leadership effectiveness
  • Discover your preferred style and how your strengths influence your leadership style
  • Learn how to lead teams to make effective group decisions
  • Learn how your leadership style and strengths can help you build shared understanding and commitment

One of the most important determinants of leadership effectiveness is success in influencing people and teams. We discuss the range of power-based techniques for influencing and persuading others, and for creating highly successful decision-making teams. We will also discuss the importance of networking for influence and leadership, better understand how our own strengths can benefit our networking capacity, and identify features of networks that enable us to better influence and lead.

Leading Change

Program participants will be encouraged to think more deeply about shifts they want to make within their organizations. They will have the opportunity to create a change agenda for implementation. This session will explore the importance taking a more systemic approach to change. The group will discuss how to create a more appreciative and positive dialogue about these shifts as a way to lessen the resistance most change creates.

Leading Change is day three of the Foundations of Strengths-Based Leadership course and can be adapted and paired with other components for customized programs to meet your organizational needs.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the processes of leading change
  • Discover how to best lead change based on your unique strengths and talents
  • Develop strategies for change and take away tools for leading change
  • Begin to identify the team strengths, knowledge, and skills needed to effectively lead change

Leading change is a challenge facing leaders at all levels. MILE participants will discuss the "strengths" and "influence" components of individual and organizational change. These components are often not considered as part of the change process. It is important for leaders to understand these relationships as they lead change and develop their leadership.

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