Leadership Styles

School of Public Affairs
Leadership Capstone Reflection

At American University, I’ve had the opportunity to experience multiple leadership positions. 

From Student Director to ATV News Producer, I saw how leaders need to highlight other voices and provide a platform for others to succeed. A team needs each other. One person alone cannot accomplish everything. I saw this firsthand in my internships and on-campus experiences.

Moving forward into the “real world,” I know that I need to do my best to elevate others’ voices, especially in a communications role. As I enter new positions and grow as an employee, I look forward to using the leadership lessons I learned at AU and in the program to help others. 

Strengths-Based Leadership Skills

Based on Gallup research and the book by Tom Rathe and Barry Conchie, below are my five leadership themes attached with a personal description provided by the report.
  1. Achiever
  2. Learner
  3. Futuristic
  4. Individualization
  5. Input

My Personal Strengths Insight Report


“It’s very likely that you typically check and double check your work. You need to ensure everything is in order. You likely adopt a serious-minded approach when evaluating the accuracy of reports, research results, evidence, data, or facts. By nature, you actively seek out advisers whose judgment and expertise you trust. Whenever you find yourself in a questionable situation, you likely ask them to help you identify the proper course of action. Why? You are committed to doing things correctly. Instinctively, you probably have a reputation for working hours and hours when the assignment adds special meaning to your work, studies, or life in general. Driven by your talents, you tend to be a very good adviser to many individuals. When offering suggestions or asking questions, you probably are much more engaged, intense, and involved than usual. Because of your strengths, you occasionally work in earnest to coordinate things for people. Activities can include orchestrating a cross-country move, accommodating a handicapped person’s special needs, planning a project, or directing a community event.”


“Because of your strengths, you probably place your confidence in professionals, especially when you need instruction or realize you can benefit from their experiences. Asking specialists questions and respectfully paying attention to their responses are just two ways you keep the peace. You are apt to count on these individuals to help you handle sensitive problems, make appropriate choices, or design workable solutions that people can accept. Driven by your talents, you relish reading about topics that fascinate you. People are not surprised to find you with your nose in a book — that is, reading all the time. When a subject intrigues you, you review a wide range of printed materials. You glean — that is, collect bits and pieces — as much information as you possibly can about your areas of greatest interest. By nature, you prefer having quiet time to mull over ideas as well as read and examine interesting topics. Periods of uninterrupted thinking give you great pleasure. You probably excuse yourself from noisy, active, or distracting situations to thoroughly process your ideas. Instinctively, you treasure books and other publications because they are rich sources of information. You regard the printed word as a gateway to a vast world of new ideas. Your quest to interpret events, grasp facts, or understand concepts appears limitless. Frequently you read to broaden your perspective on very familiar, as well as altogether unfamiliar, topics. Chances are good that you are the person people turn to for insights about why certain things happened. You piece together events and unravel problems. You make discoveries and make sense of things for yourself and others.”


“Instinctively, you are typically enthused about what you can accomplish in the coming months, years, or decades. Your ability to think about the future naturally feeds your desire to be the very best. Because of your strengths, you take charge of your future. You are determined to shape it as you wish. You probably spend a lot of time thinking about your goals. You are driven to create the experiences you desire. You tend to agree with the notion “If you can think it, you can make it happen.” By nature, you intentionally take steps to be the mastermind of your own future. You refuse to leave your destiny to chance. You probably resist placing it in someone else’s hands. You trust your own intelligence and imagination when setting a direction for your life. Chances are good that you are energized by your plans for the coming months, years, or decades. Bringing your ideas to life is an exciting proposition for you. You sense you have the power to transform whatever you think is possible into tangible outcomes. It’s very likely that you have an ability to imagine what visionaries believe is possible as you read about their innovative ideas and plans. The information you acquire generally frees you to make a mental leap from this moment in time to the future that these thinkers see.”


“Because of your strengths, you enjoy being busy, especially when you can assist someone in need. You are likely to be a good partner at home, in the workplace, at school, or in the community. You tend to do more than is expected of you. Why? You probably worry about wasting time. This explains your habits of volunteering for projects and asking for extra duties. Instinctively, you appreciate frank, candid, or blunt comments about things you need to do better. You probably have a reputation for being able to handle criticism. Actually, you go to individuals who will be truthful with you about your shortcomings. You really want to hear their comments. Why? You think you can make more progress when you concentrate on overcoming your flaws and mistakes. Driven by your talents, you exhibit a capacity for discovering the unique qualities of people. You routinely observe their strengths, limitations, likes, dislikes, interests, hopes, or emotional triggers. Armed with this information, you can mix and match the personalities and strengths of various individuals. When they cooperate, they usually reach their common goals more quickly, efficiently, or easily. It’s very likely that you enhance your own quality of life each time you reach out to someone in need of assistance. By nature, you need to know that your approach is correct before you offer help or advice.”


“By nature, you may feel better about life when you can take the mystery out of complicated procedures. Sometimes you outline in detail the steps to understand exactly what is happening and why. It’s very likely that you find it easier to befriend people when they tell you what they want to accomplish. Knowing that much, you probably read books, journals, newspapers, correspondence, or Internet sites to broaden your knowledge about their interests. When you can share information that helps people move closer to their goals, you understand each other better. Because of your strengths, you absorb the written word like a sponge sops up water. You revel in an opportunity to lose yourself in a book. Time seems to float by when you are the grateful guest of an entertaining or informative author. Your only choice is to finish the book as quickly as possible. Driven by your talents, you prepare for assignments by reading extensively. Your capacity for pulling together information from books, publications, correspondence, notes, or Internet sites serves you well. As a result, you often avoid feelings of self-reproach — that is, blaming yourself for not knowing something you should have known. Chances are good that you are attracted to the printed word. Each discovery raises new questions. Each insight enables you to forge linkages between facts, statements, events, or data. The more you read, the more you know — but the more you know, the more you realize what else you need to know. Through reading, you acquire knowledge and gain new skills. You feel happy when you are blossoming — that is, coming into your own.”