Strength Based Leadership

By utilizing the Gallup Organizations StrengthsFinder, it gave me the ability to identify my “top five” signature themes. My themes include 1. Strategic, 2. Achiever, 3. Relator, 4. Responsibility 5. Learner. Being able to identify my themes, I can apply these various talents to my DNP project and project team. Due to the complexities of working in a large academic medical center, implementing change is challenging. My strongest talent, strategic, will help me and my DNP project team navigate the complexities of the organization in a timely fashion.  Strategic theme involves the innate ability to sort through the clutter and find the best path to move a process forward. This will allow me to clearly communicate the process for change to my project team. Once the team understands how to move forward, they will advocate the change to a larger network of stakeholders to make the change a success.

For my 2nd theme, achiever, I am known for my hard work and productivity. This works well for independent projects. However, working on a team and implementing change on a larger scale, I will need help from my project team to set realistic goals of achievement. For this, I will need those on my project team with high work ethic and communication skills; who can speak up if the project goals become overzealous. As a relator, my 3rd theme, I value close relationships with others. For my project team, I can choose those I have strong working relationships. This is achievable because I select my project team, but it is not necessarily achievable with all those individuals needed to implement a change.  It is important with those on my project team as well as myself, to build healthy, trusting working relationships with those involved with my DNP project development and implementation.

With the responsibility theme as my 4th theme, I take a psychological ownership over the things I set out to do and I seek honesty and loyalty. I believe the honesty and loyalty needs to go both ways so when I choose members for my project team, I want those team members who can give and receive honest feedback. The ability to give one another feedback results in minimal communication barriers. This is important to keep the project flowing smoothly. Lastly my 5th theme is learner.  As a learner, I want to learn and continuously improve. This theme highlights the DNP essentials, particularly, the DNP essentials I, II, III and VIII. Any process improvement involves learning the current process and looking out into the literature and learning what is the best evidence to implement as the new process. I will need those members on my project team to be vulnerable and open to learn a new way of doing things which may challenge the current culture of the organization.

Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow ( Rath & Conchie, 2009)


  1. Sonica Mahat

    Hi Dale,
    Thank you for sharing your leadership strengths. Your post caught my attention as most of your strengths are my weakness except achiever. It looks like only one characteristic we have in common is the achiever. I wanted to know how you have explained some of your strengths that are my weaknesses.
    Being strategic indeed is a great talent to sort things out in any organization. I also like the way how you explained your relator strength. A healthy, trusting working relationship makes the team more substantial and more effective. Also, a responsible leader can lead the team very effectively. Besides, learners are always ready to learn and for the changes. Knowing all these strengths on you, I need to find some team members like you for my project. You provided an excellent explanation of your strengths and the application of those strengths in your project.

  2. Tiffany Lord

    Thanks, Dale, for your post about your leadership traits to guide your DNP Project. I like how you were able to reflect on your own strengths and how that applies to the team as a whole. I also enjoyed that you could determine what you would need from your team and how that balances with what you already bring to the team.
    As you mentioned, implementing a project in such a large setting can bring about unique challenges that need to be considered and thought out ahead of time. Maneuvering projects in large institutions bring out their own challenges. Still, it sounds as if you have considered your leadership strengths and how you can use those to your advantage, and how the team’s remaining members can address your weaknesses. Great work; I look forward to seeing this project put into place over the next year.

  3. giscombeny

    HI Dale,
    Thanks for sharing your leadership traits from your strengths based leadership assessment.
    Your top 5 (Strategic, Achiever, Relator, Responsibility, Learner) are very strong leadership traits. They will definitely come into great use as you work on rolling out your DNP project. I certainly appreciated your comments regarding the challenges that comes with implementing a change project at a large institution. You are on a good path, as you assessed and reflect on potential facilitator and barriers of your organization and the organizational culture. I liked how you critiqued your personal strengths and stated how they aligned with your plan to formulate the ideal team and implement your project. Excellent job, but I expected nothing less as a strategic and achiever leader. I wish you the best in your future DNP work and look forward to seeing it all come to fruition. Natalia

  4. tomsr2

    Dale, you seem to have identified a critical piece in your communication approach for your project setting which is having a sound strategy. The themes you identified seem to align perfectly with working in a busy academic organization. You mention being a learner as a theme and I agree with you that this one theme is just as important if not more than the others because it requires us to stop, evaluate and receive information that we can later use to circle back and improve our initial strategies.

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