“Concentrating on the positive and on strengths offers tangible benefits for both employees, teams and the company as a whole” (Hunziker, 2018, original quote in German).

Positive Leadership

Positive Leadership is a particular leadership approach that aims to achieve outstanding results by systematically focusing on human strengths (Seliger, 2014; Hunziker, 2018). Jim Mallozzi, a former CEO from a large insurance company, gave his best performance team the opportunity to implement positive leadership practices. This led the company to significantly improve its performance within one year: It got out from a financial loss of USD 140 million to a USD 20 million profit (Cameron, 2013, p. 2). Thus, positive leadership matters.


Two concrete, simple, and effective strategies to implement positive leadership by focusing on character strengths:

Character strengths are measurable, positive, individual components of good character (McGrath et al. 2010; Harzer & Ruch, 2013). For instance, the VIA-Classification (Peterson & Seligman, 2004) outlines twenty-four character strengths (e.g., leadership, creativity, and teamwork), and the instrument VIA-IS (Peterson et al. 2005) measures the twenty-four character strengths in adults.

  1. Strength-Spotting: This is a strategy to easily celebrate character strengths at work in you as well as in your teammates and employees (Niemiec, 2019). There are different methods on how to apply this strategy, but this article focuses on the three most important ones for the practical context:
  1. Application of Character Strengths: Applying character strengths at work contributes to positive experiences, such as job satisfaction, pleasure, meaning, and engagement (Harzer & Ruch, 2013).

Take-Home Message

Positive leadership brings outstanding results for the organization (e.g., profitability), and thus, it matters. There are many manners of implementing positive leadership at work, from which two of them are with the strength-spotting method and the application of character strengths at work. I wish you a positive leading!