Weekly Slides

Leadership - Week 24

By Jeff Bryan

No one is bigger than the team. If you can’t do things our way, you’re not getting time here and we don’t care who you are.

Gregg Popovich

For an in-depth overview of each weekly slide presentation, please skip below to your specific grade level.
  • To see the 1-page Leadership Character Card and share it with your students’ families, click here.
  • For the P2 Reflection Journals, used by all elementary students at the end of the week, click here.

Starting Monday, Partner Schools nationwide will begin learning about leadership. We design our calendar so that leadership is the last character strength of the school year — because it relies upon all the other strengths. As our Partner Schools have experienced over the course of the year, every character strength is important for a leader. Nelson Mandela leveraged forgiveness in South Africa’s reconciliation; George C. Marshall’s prudence shaped the Marshall Plan in Europe; Malala Yousafzai’s sense of fairness helped her stand up to the Taliban; and Oprah Winfrey’s use of perspective helps millions of people better understand others — and themselves.

So what do we mean when we talk about leadership as a character strength? This strength’s focus is on the personal qualities of leaders, rather than the practice of leadership. These qualities include the ability to understand others and inspire them toward a common goal, the capacity to mitigate conflict and mold consensus, and the desire to lead other people.

This week’s character strength example is the San Antonio Spurs’ Coach Gregg Popovich. Coach Popovich personifies our belief at The Positivity Project that, at its core, leadership is a relationship. His style is a robust blend of “total, brutal, between-the-eyes honesty” and the need to “hug ’em and hold ’em”. As this excerpt from Daniel Coyle’s The Culture Code highlights, “the Spurs don’t succeed because they are good at basketball. They succeed because they are skilled at a far more important sport: building strong relationships.”


Positive psychology focuses on transformational leaders. This type of leadership is a process where “leaders and their followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation.” These leaders are able to create a vision, communicate the vision, develop a coherent strategy to achieve that vision, and lead the charge towards its attainment. Through their words and actions, these leaders develop an inspirational relationship with their followers. That is, they fill others with the spirit to attain the vision.

A group’s effectiveness and sense of inspiration are tied directly to the leader. Study after study shows that leaders (and managers) have the biggest influence on group success and morale. Leaders can be developed and it starts with character. As General Schwarzkopf said, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”


And, as a reminder, you can find all of our weekly slide presentations on our website’s Resources page. Enjoy the slides — and please be sure to let us know how it’s going by posting to Twitter and using the #PositivityInAction hashtag!

Jeff Bryan
CEO and Co-Founder of The Positivity Project

Jeff Bryan is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Positivity Project. In this role, he leads the organization to support educators to empower their students to build positive relationships and become their best selves.