Positive Links Speaker Series Session: Cultivate Positive Identities

Laura Morgan Roberts(rev)

November 17, 2014

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

The Colloquium, 6th Floor, Ross Building, Stephen M. Ross School of Business


The Positive Links Speaker Series 2014-15 season features contributing authors of How To Be a Positive Leader: Small Actions, Big Impact.

Positive leaders are able to dramatically expand their people’s—and their own—capacity for excellence. And they accomplish this without enormous resources or huge heroic gestures. Leading scholars describe how this is being done at organizations such as Wells Fargo, Ford, Kelly Services, Burt’s Bees, Connecticut’s Griffin Hospital, the Michigan-based Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, and many others. Like the butterfly in Brazil whose flapping wings create a typhoon in Texas, you can create profound positive change in your organization through simple actions and attitude shifts. Please join us to learn how.

Click here to view the video!

Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts is an author, professor, researcher, leadership development coach and organizational consultant.  She is the Professor of Psychology, Culture and Organization Studies in Antioch University’s Ph.D. Program in Leadership and Change. She is also a core faculty affiliate of the Center for Positive Organizations. A thought leader in the areas of authenticity, identity, diversity, strengths, and value creation, Laura co-edited Exploring Positive Identities and Organizations (with Jane Dutton). Laura earned her MA and Ph.D. (Organizational Psychology) from the University of Michigan and BA (Psychology) from University of Virginia.

Leadership theories and practices encourage people to acquire and build various forms of resources, such as financial capital, social capital and human capital, to help them pursue strategic goals. Yet, we often overlook the power of positive identities as critical resources that strengthen individuals and institutions to generate vitality and value creation. This Positive Links Speaker Series session will focus on the science and practice of cultivating positive identities at work, with an emphasis on how positive identities inspire authentic leadership and best-self engagement. Participants will experiment with “positive identity infusions” that facilitate self-discovery and growth, relationship-building, and leading transformation.

In this session you will:

Examine how the practice of cultivating positive identities is the foundation of a multi-level model of strengthening leadership capacity. At the basis of this model is the practice of self-leadership – discovering your best self and engaging it purposefully – which unlocks resources that strengthen individuals, relationships, communities and institutions.

Learn the four components of the G.I.V.E. model of cultivating positive identities – Growing, Integrated, Virtuous and Esteemed selves. The G.I.V.E. model is grounded in psychological and organizational research that illuminates the sources of strength fueled by (re)defining a personal or collective identity using images, stories, and descriptions that are considered to be positive or valuable in some way.

Explore how leadership creates the conditions for generating resources through positive identity construction.  Identify personal, social, and structural factors that threaten positive identity construction at work, and develop leadership strategies for addressing these factors. Identify the mindset and behavioral tactics that anyone can use – regardless of rank, position, or title – to exercise leadership through cultivating positive identities through daily work practices.

The Center for Positive Organizations thanks Diane and Paul Jones (Ross School of Business MBA 1975), for their generous gift in support of the 2014-2015 Positive Links Speaker Series.