Strengths Coaching Blog

Friday, November 10, 2017

Leadership Rhode Island Update - Called to Coach S5E34

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches, Mike Ritz and Kevin Cooper.







Mike Ritz and Kevin Cooper work for Leadership Rhode Island, a community leadership development organization founded in 1981. The mission of Leadership Rhode Island is to provide leaders and emerging leaders with knowledge and access to resources which will enable them to positively affect their communities. Mike and Kevin currently work on the “Make RI Strong” initiative, which is about making Rhode Island (RI) a strengths-based state. Leadership Rhode Island has known for decades that the state of RI suffers from a negative psyche and they are starting to see that strengths are the answer to that. 


Since starting this initiative a few years ago, over 10,000 Rhode Island residents have taken their CliftonStrengths assessment and the state has seen huge improvements in their employee engagement. Before starting their initiative, they had among the highest number of actively disengaged employees out of all the states. Last year, they moved up from 50th to 39th. Then, this year they moved up to 15th. Another surprising jump was on Gallup's Q12 employee engagement question "I get the opportunity to do what I do best." They were ranked 49th and now they are at number 1. 

Learn more about the work Leadership Rhode Island is doing with strengths and engagement by watching the video or listening to the audio above.

Join us at the 2018 CliftonStrengths Summit to learn more about improving your workplace through strengths. Register today before early bird pricing ends! 

Visit Gallup Strengths Center to browse our myriad of products and learning opportunities for strengths-based development.

Continue the coaching conversation on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to network with others who share a passion for strengths!


Kevin Cooper is the Strengths Expeditor at Leadership Rhode Island. In this role, Kevin is responsible for overseeing and managing the implementation of the Make RI Stronger initiative. Kevin was born and raised in Waterford, Ireland and moved to Providence, RI in 2009. He received his bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brown University and his MBA from Providence College.

Kevin’s top five strengths are: Achiever, Arranger, Competition, Focus and Learner 

Mike Ritz is Leadership Rhode Island’s Executive Director. Training language instructors from multiple cultures while studying applied psycholinguistics at Compania Linguistica in Mexico City sparked Mike's ongoing field research in what has become his lifelong interest -- human behavior and communication. Over the past 20 years Mike served as a Tri-lingual interrogator in the United States Army. After graduating Leadership Rhode Island and then serving two years on its Board of Governors, Mike became LRI's Executive Director in Nov, 2009. In a volunteer capacity, Mike was appointed by the Department of Defense as the RI State Chairman for the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR) in 2012. Recently, Mike became a founding member of the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative where he serves as the Director of Cultural Food Initiatives.


Mike’s top five strengths are: Communication, Activator, Futuristic, Strategic and Maximizer

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