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Interview: How Gordon Gee Leads With Strengths

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About the Leader

Gordon Gee

Gordon GeePresident, West Virginia University

  • Intellection®
  • Learner®
  • Achiever®
  • Arranger®
  • Woo®

Learn how West Virginia University connects strengths to students' purpose.

“There's no one set of strengths that makes you fantastic. The key is figuring out what yours are and then using them -- proudly.”


"I just want to see people in their place."

Gee goes to where his students are. From attending their birthday parties to inviting them out for a slice of pizza, Gee always finds ways to surround himself with the people he serves. Lively social interaction, especially with his constituents, energizes him.


“I can see pathways for hope.”

Gee uses his Learner to create hope for his constituents. He knows that the more he learns -- the more he reads and converses with people -- the more solutions and hope he will find. He absorbs information and creates tangible opportunities, like the creation of a renowned university hospital system.


"I read all the time."

In his effort to be well informed and to positively impact the students at his university, Gee reads incessantly. He consumes four to five newspapers a day along with a steady diet of books -- both serious and lighthearted -- which further stokes one of his primary driving forces: curiosity.


"I want to get things done, and I want to get them done fast."

When it comes to making decisions and taking action, Gee believes in speed. He says that given the chance, “the perfect squeezes out the good,” which is unacceptable to him. His Arranger talent leads him to see the large-scale harm slow decision-making has on organizations, so he prefers rapidity over painstaking deliberation.