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Strengths-Based Leadership Expands Into MBA@Nebraska

22-mag-Strengths-Based Leadership Expands Into MBA@Nebraska
MBA@Nebraska student Morgan Holen, ’20 recently presented at the 2022 Clifton Strengths Institute Summer Conference sharing about her experiences as Miss Nebraska and in the new course called Strengths-Based Leadership.

Students in the No. 1 ranked MBA@Nebraska program for best value by Financial Times regularly apply what they learn to their careers in real time. First offered this summer, a new elective course called Strengths-Based Leadership (GRBA 896) helped students learn ways to incorporate CliftonStrengths® into their leadership style and professional role.

“The course opened my eyes to the ways in which differing strengths play a vital role in engagement and well-being in a workplace. Now more than ever, businesses and leaders are concerned with how to keep employees engaged and motivated. Learning how to lead with strengths not only maximizes the talent of the individual but the entire team,” said Morgan Holen, ’20, who served as the 2021 Miss Nebraska.

Taught by Timothy Hodges, executive director of the Clifton Strengths Institute and assistant professor of practice in management, ’00, ’01 & ’20, the course focuses on leadership development. One of their assignments pairs up students for a one-on-one interview for more understanding of their strengths and how to apply them in their current positions.

“Our MBA students are already in roles where they coach other employees. This activity helped increase their level of self-awareness by talking about their strengths while also growing their appreciation for another person’s set of strengths,” said Hodges. “We also spent time focusing on great leaders, great leadership teams and why people follow.”

Using the book “Wellbeing at Work” in class, students met authors Jim Clifton, chairman of Gallup, and Jim Harter, ’86, ’89 & ’97, chief scientist of workplace management and wellbeing at Gallup. Both shared insight and answered questions about building resilient and thriving teams.

“The addition of this course means the MBA@Nebraska program values a well-rounded individual who not only grows in knowledge of business but also how to work with different types of people and motivations,” said Holen. “This course is special because it combines business and positive psychology with research that started on our very own campus.”

To learn more about the Clifton Strengths Institute, visit:

Published: December 1, 2022