Strengths, Positivity, and Halo EffectsThroughout my work I’ve quoted extensively from Martin Seligman’s pioneering work in founding the breakthrough field of positive psychology. This is the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions to raise the importance of psychological health around the world. His most recent focus has been on helping people move from enjoying a good life to flourishing. This involves changing our focus from what’s wrong or where we’re lacking to building on our strengths and what brings us the deepest meaning and purpose.

Seligman has written over 250 scholarly articles and 20 books. I’ve reviewed and drawn most from his books, Learned Optimism, Authentic Happiness, and Flourish. It was my search for methodologies to implement these approaches within our leadership and organization development services that drew me back to reconnect with Jack Zenger and his company. Zenger Folkman’s advanced strengths-based methodologies are building an impressive track record in helping leaders and organizations flourish.

I was delighted to learn that Martin Seligman was just honored with the inaugural Tang prize. This is a new $100,000 award created by Dr. Fay Tang of the Tang Foundation to recognize individuals who have made an indelible impact on the field of psychology. The prize is administered by the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology.

Tomorrow we publish my November blogs as the December issue of The Leader Letter. The halo effect discussed in this issue is an example of the magnifying power of strengths-based leadership development. You can also review my short video clip defining the vital skill of coaching so critical in building strengths and helping others flourish. And you’ll see how extraordinary leaders strengthen psychological health by helping others take ownership and accountability for his or her actions. Strong leaders either nurture or neuter that personal initiative.

This issue also looks at ineffective leadership and how ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s blindness that often leads to destruction. And we’ll gain insights from new Conference Board of Canada research on the shaky state of leadership development and a joint webinar we’re broadcasting on December 17 to address a few of the opportunities.

I hope my blogs and newsletter are giving you ideas and insights to positively impact your own psychology and build leadership strengths!