PhD Plus Business in Society 7: Best Self

ZOOM (Register for link)

This is the seventh session of the PhD Plus Business in Society: Adding value with your PhD skills series.

Leadership is a fundamental aspect of business. Despite myths about leadership being an inherent trait, you can develop critical skills through practice to improve your leadership ability. In this session, we will explore how to effectively lead yourself and lead others by reflecting on your strengths. This session uses an evidence-based appreciation perspective and applies a positive organizational scholarship lens to help you discover individual and collective strengths. Together, we will uncover our best-self enablers and blockers, and how to learn from both our successes and failures to bring out the best in ourselves, and in others. Specifically, we will explore the following questions: 

  • How can I become aware of my own leadership strengths and shortcomings? What does it mean to be at my best?
  • What enables me to be my best self?
  • What blocks me from being my best self?
  • How can I leverage my strengths to create strong relationships with colleagues and effectively lead others?


  • Reflected Best Self Exercise (please come to the session with your self-portrait completed and contribution stories from at least 3 individuals)


Ayana Younge, Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Leadership and Organizational Behavior area at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. 



This is a popular series and requires commitment to full participation. Registrants are expected to complete readings/assignments between sessions and engage in weekly sessions through instructor-student and peer-to-peer interactions. 

Priority of attendance will be given to those who commit to participating in the majority of the series (including learning time in between sessions) and are in advanced stages of training (e.g. PhD students in 3+ years). Registration will close by 5 PM (ET) on Jan 26, 2024, or when we reach our maximum registration capacity (whichever is earlier).


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