How Thriving connects to Leadership

Thriving is that result we want for anything that matters to us. When the activity of leadership is performed effectively, a state of thriving results. Thriving is what we refer to as the universal outcome. If you were to ask someone what they want for the things they care most about, their answer will always be some version of thriving.  

The word thriving originates from Norse and roughly means “to grasp for oneself.” The word denotes seizing the moment to bring about the desired results for the important things in your life. Its original meaning implies that if we want a better state of affairs, we must “grasp for ourselves” in order to make it happen. 

The standard definition of thriving is: to grow or develop vigorously, to succeed, or to flourish. Some other descriptions that also fit: health, excellence, and happiness. Regardless of the exact wording, what we want for the things we care about is some version of thriving. Universally, we...

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Betty Cary, A Lifetime of Positive Leadership

positive leadership Apr 12, 2019

How Synchronizing Clocks is an Act of Positive Leadership

by Phylinda

Every morning Betty Cary made the rounds in one of her beloved communities quietly synchronizing each clock in the school.

Betty was an integral part of the community at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1941 until her death in 2015. This means that for over 70 years, which adds up to be over 25,000 days of her life, Betty was a positive leader in her community.

Her daughter Dorothy recalls that her mother had an absolute sense of time, and believes Betty’s care of time sourced from the same wellspring as everything else in her life: consideration for others. Dorothy said her mother led a quiet, contained life in her communities. She loved all of her communities and cultivated them her whole life. So why the clocks?

Betty knew the value of time, was deeply considerate of other’s time. She understood that taking action to sync the clocks would result in a smooth transition...

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Expressing Gratitude

 by Phylinda 

A few years ago I testified at a murder trial. The murder was a senseless tragedy and the evidence resulted in a conviction (the suspect left his cell phone and DNA at the scene. There were witnesses.) It was a memorable experience, but what really stood out to me was how the detectives and District Attorney went out of their way to make sure I was okay, and made me feel safe in what could’ve been a difficult, dehumanizing situation. They were kind even though they were exhausted. The detectives who escorted me to the courtroom had already been up 24 straight hours or more working another case. When the trial was over, I left a voicemail to thank the D.A. and the detectives for their work. I said how they handled the case, and thanked them for their hard work. I was surprised when he called me back. He said that in his 20 years of practice I was the only person from the general public to express gratitude for his work. He said how much the phone call...

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The Importance of Positive Psychology in Talent2strength Courses

positive leadership Nov 06, 2018

The building blocks that define Talent2Strength and Positive Leadership originate in the field of Positive Psychology. There is a focus on finding the common understanding of the “positive” aspect in Positive Psychology. The field of psychology has three missions: 1) Cure mental illness 2) Make the lives of all people more productive and fulfilling 3) Identify and nurture talent.

In the past, after World War II, there was a shift toward a concentrated focus on treating mental illness that while absolutely important, detracted somewhat from the missions of making people’s lives better and fostering human talents. This primary focus on mental illness persisted over the next 50 years with occasional advances in the second and third missions (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, January 2000).

In 1998, a challenge was issued by the president of the American Psychological Association (APA), Martin Seligman and a group of his colleagues. Seligman’s speech to the APA...

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The Differences Between Authority and Leadership

We believe that one of the biggest barriers to effective leadership is that it is so frequently interlaced with the concept of authority. While leadership and authority may have some similarities, the differences between them are clear. These differences should illuminate why it's so important to view them as distinct concepts. The list below outlines the differences between authority and leadership. 

Our definition of Leadership: Leadership is the effective mobilization of social force to move individuals, groups and organizations toward fulfillment of their highest potential which results in thriving.

What then, is social force? Social force is an aspect of human society that can be harnessed and channeled to evoke changes the feelings, thoughts or behaviors in individuals or groups. It describes how humans influence each other. Leading, in our view, is the use of social force to foster thriving in individuals and communities.


  • Formal power that comes...
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