UCLA Extension

Developing Your Strengths: Realizing Your Optimal Career Success

A 2-Day Short Course

A key focus of many companies is on creating effective leaders through training and development. Accordingly, individuals are encouraged to identify and improve their areas of weakness. The focus is to identify the weak areas and move them within accepted norms of performance. While necessary, this practice will at best produce “normal/average” leaders.

A new paradigm of management, however, is changing the landscape of leadership practice. It is not satisfied with mere effectiveness but strives to create excellent organizations and leaders by emphasizing strengths rather than the management of weaknesses.

Excellent organizations encourage individuals to identify and unleash their strengths. This is particularly important in a multicultural context, given the varying strengths that diverse employees contribute to their organizations. Accordingly, the focus of this course is to examine how to create, foster, and manage excellent organizations and leaders. As such, it has a dual focus: 1) on your role as leader, designing and enabling contexts where others can thrive; and 2) on your personal quest to find and create contexts where you flourish and perform at your best. The underlying premise for this course is that unlocking the strengths of diverse employees and empowering them to flourish is key to organizational excellence.

Learning Objectives

  • To develop a theory of practice of how to foster excellence in yourself and your organization
  • To enrich your portfolio of practical tools and ideas for putting your theory of practice into use
  • To create opportunities for you to learn about these ideas and tools from case studies, assessments, personal reflection, readings, and discussion
  • To create a climate where we model and experience the positive organizing dynamics that we will be exploring

Course Outline

  • Searching for organizational excellence: what is an excellent organization?
  • Designing your job: optimizing your work experience
  • Fostering excellence through high-quality relationships
  • Leading yourself: building on your strengths and the strengths of others

Coordinator and Lecturer

Thomas Sy, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside. In addition to his research and teaching, Dr. Sy provides consulting, training, and coaching services to various companies. His expertise is in the areas of leadership and team development, multicultural management, change management, emotional intelligence, and strategic human resources development. He spent several years with a top-tier global management consultancy, specializing in corporate strategy and operations. He has also served in the U.S. Army Special Forces and was the Distinguished Honor Graduate for the U.S. Army Leadership Program, U.S. Army Special Forces Program, and U.S. Army Egyptian Arabic Language Program.

Dr. Sy was a recipient of the Walker Award from the Human Resource Planning Society for outstanding contribution to the society; is a member of the Academy of Management, Western Academy of Management, and American Society of Training and Development; and a current board member of the Asian American Professional Association

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815