Focus on strengths

Photo/Dennis Sparks

Teaching and learning improve and motivation increases within the school community when leaders focus on strengths and organizational assets. School cultures infused with negativity and fault finding deflect the school community’s energy and prevent it from using its strengths to achieve its most important purposes. Choosing an asset-based leadership approach, whenever possible, strengthens relationships, increases goal-focused behavior, and significantly increases the likelihood that important results will be achieved.

“Positive psychology . . . focuses on optimal functioning, in other words, what’s right with us, what enables us to live fulfilling, happy lives, bounce back from adversity and perform well whether at home, school or work.” —Bridget Grenville-Cleave

5 Ideas For Changing Your Leadership View from What’s Wrong to What’s Right —Art Petty

Take a moment now to . . .

• consider which organizational strengths and resources can be applied to support the school community in achieving an important goal. Determine when you can talk with others about incorporating those assets into the school’s continuous improvement efforts.

2 Responses to “Focus on strengths”


  1. 1 Bruce Beairsto June 4, 2010 at 10:53 am

    The Search Institute has long championed a strength-based asset development approach in working with children and youth. There are many parallels with, and lessons for, working with adults and developing school culture.

    See http://www.search-institute.org/assets/.

  2. 2 Heather Langenhahn June 4, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Beginning each day by reading your blog Dennis always allows me to frame my objectives for the day in both a positive and reflective light. I enjoyed Art Petty’s ideas. They reinforce how critical our own energy is and the impact it can make on those with whom we work. Looking for the positives builds gratitude and trust so that when questions arise, people are more willing to listen and respond.


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