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Interview: How Arthur C. Brooks Leads With Strengths

Listen to Leading With Strengths on these popular platforms or wherever you listen to podcasts. Gallup Podcast on iPhone and iPad Clifton Strengths Podcast on Spotify

About the Leader

Arthur C. Brooks

Arthur C. Brooks No. 1 NYT Bestselling Author, Harvard Professor and Happiness Expert

  • Futuristic®
  • Ideation®
  • Strategic®
  • Woo®
  • Input®

As an author, speaker, Harvard professor and entrepreneur, Arthur C. Brooks explores leadership, happiness and living well in the modern era. He has published 13 books, including Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier with coauthor Oprah Winfrey, and writes the popular "How to Build a Life" column in The Atlantic. At Harvard, Brooks teaches the modern science of human wellbeing and shows students how to enhance the quality of their own lives and the lives of others - thus bringing more happiness and love into the world.


"Futuristic is my greatest strength, but it's also the shadow."

Brooks spends a preponderance of his time thinking about the future, planning for the future and coaching for the future. Yet his maturity in this strength helps him recognize the need to curtail it. He makes a conscious effort to learn from the past and be present with the people he loves.


"I love ideas, but I have to be in love with execution as well."

Deeply fascinated by concepts, Brooks delights in discussing and exploring ideas. To ensure that his ideas are implemented, he intentionally populates his teams with people who are talented in execution, can help distinguish between good and bad ideas, and keep him grounded and practical.


"I'm naturally very curious."

Brooks' curiosity drives him to continuously learn. He warns people with high Input to be cautious with the internet, which allows for indiscriminate learning and wasted time. To counteract this, Brooks works to narrowly focus his learning. He aims to be curious within a range.


"I want to win people over to good ideas."

Driven by a powerful personal mission to "lift people up and bring them together using science and ideas," Brooks relies on his Woo talent to charm audiences and persuade them to adopt his point of view.


"I try to live in day-tight compartments."

To ward off worry and promote better living, Brooks pairs his Strategic talent with Futuristic. He makes medium- to long-term goals and then reverse-engineers them to discover how the structure of his daily life would need to look to meet those goals.