A large part of leadership is understanding, reflecting on and enhancing your personal character traits, as well as those of your employees and potential leaders within your organization. Aligning jobs, tasks and goals to dominate character traits can help an individual or organization become more productive and successful. Alternately, aligning professional development opportunities to less prominent traits will help develop well rounded leaders and employees.
Providing information and resources for the development of character traits is the mission of the Via Institute. “The VIA Institute on Character is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the science of character strengths to the world through supporting research, creating and validating surveys of character, and developing practical tools for individuals and practitioners.”
Through the VIA institute website, leaders can take a survey that will rank and describe the character traits that they exhibit. Survey participants will receive a report with descriptions of each trait. The website then provides a deeper look at each trait which includes identifying the key concepts that support the trait, ascribing a motto to the trait and offering suggestions to practice/develop the trait. Additional research regarding how character traits can be used for personal and professional growth, a variety of tools and resources and links to online courses can also be found on their website.
These materials align with the research and recommendations of writers such as John Maxwell, Shawn Achor and Kim Cameron and can be a beneficial addition to the professional development of current and prospective leaders.