CliftonStrengths Analysis on Marvel's Black Panther

March 13, 2023

It's no secret that one of the reasons Black Panther was so successful is that audiences were drawn to its well-written and relatable story. But many people may not realize just how much of the film's success is due to its underlying themes of self-improvement and personal growth. 


If you take a CliftonStrengths analysis of Black Panther, it becomes clear that titular heroes T’Challa and Shuri embody many of the qualities that are important to coaches, entrepreneurs, and self-learners alike. 


Let's take a closer look at some of these strengths and see how they can be applied in our own lives.


T’Challa’s Top 5 Strengths


In Black Panther, we are introduced to T’Challa, the newly-crowned king of Wakanda. T'Challa is thrust into the spotlight where he must defeat his cousin Killmonger to protect Wakanda and its people. Throughout the journey, we see different aspects of T’Challa's character and learn what makes him unique. T'Challa is a complex and nuanced hero whose strength lies not in his physical prowess, but in his intellect, wisdom, and character. Below is the outline of his noteworthy strengths:



1. Responsibility

T’Challa displays exceptional ownership in everything he does and is guided by his ethos of honesty and loyalty to his people. This trait makes T'Challa an excellent leader and someone who can be counted on in times of need. 


2. Belief 

He is passionate and is not afraid to sacrifice himself for things he deems important:his country and family. He stands by his principles during crises, even at the cost of his own life. 


3. Connectedness


He believes that the event that unravels happens for a reason and that everything is connected to some degree for the greater good.


4. Relator 


T’Challa grew up in a loving home with his father King T’Chaka, his mother Queen Ramonda, and sister Princess  Shuri, making him a family man who enjoys building close relationships with others. He may find it rewarding to work together with friends or family to achieve a goal. 



5. Individualisation

Besides being a strategic leader, T’Challa is highly astute and has a gift for seeing people’s potential and unique qualities. T’Challa understood that Killmonger is driven by his past trauma and offered him a chance at redemption instead.


T'Challa is a gifted leader who possesses many attributes that exemplify his natural-born leader persona. He is extremely decisive, always making fast decisions to protect those around him. He is also very strategic, planning every move ahead and never leaving anything to chance. Using the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, we analyzed T'Challa's dominant themes and discovered that they mirror many of the same strengths seen in successful leaders and entrepreneurs. 




Shuri's Top 5 Strengths


Another scene-stealer in Black Panther is Princess Shuri, sister of the T’Challa and head of Wakanda’s Science and Technology Department. Her intelligence, innovation, and quick wit were ultimately what saved the kingdom from destruction. Let’s take a look at the top five strengths she embodied:



1. Positivity

Princess Shuri is a highly positive person whose enthusiasm is contagious. She can light up a room instantly just with her presence and her upbeat personality gets others excited as well. 


2. Futuristic

Most of the innovations in Wakanda are the brainchild of Princess Shuri, a thinker, and a tinkerer. She is a highly talented individual who can visualize the future and work towards making her visions happen. This is evident from the innovative scientific creations she fabricated from tapping into the energy of “vibranium” to power up the technologically advanced nation. 


3. Ideation 


Fascinated by ideas and seriously creative, Princess Shuri’s out-of-the-box inventions of EMP Discs as well as her brother’s nanotech suit and sneakers are some examples of the work of her brilliant mind.  


4. Strategic

Princess Shuri is not only a brilliant scientist but a strategic leader too. She has the foresight to create an extra nanotech suit for backup when she could have only created one. The extra suit was one of T’Challa’s greatest assets in helping him defeat Killmonger.

5. Self-assurance 

Being a royal requires one to possess admirable qualities, and Princess Shuri has all that and more: her winning confidence. Being a self-assured individual means that she is assertive, can take risks, and possesses the confidence to chart her life course. 



Although she may be young, Princess Shuri is an incredibly powerful force to be reckoned with. Without her,  T’Challa may be left without the critical technology to defend his nation, and Wakanda may not have developed into a futuristic nation with one of the most enviable technological advancements in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Princess Shuri is also an inspiring character who empowers others to be their best selves, especially in a world where women often take on supportive role in leadership positions. 






Analysis of Team Strengths


In an alternate reality where Wakanda is a corporation where T’Challa is CEO and Shuri is CTO, how will the company operate under both leaders?


Let’s explore some of the key principles that they both embody and how they can be applied in the business world:


  • The sibling duo complements each other’s domain. Where T’Challa is lacking in the influencing part, Princess Shuri with her self-assurance can make up for the lack of T’Challa’s ability to win over others. With their combined personas, they can influence people to invest or buy into their cause.
  • Both characters possess a strong relationship-building domain — positivity, and connectedness — which are essential in helping gain people’s trust.
  • Princess Shuri is a naturally gifted innovator who can use her strategic domain to showcase the technology she created.
  • T’Challa and his executing domain (responsibility and belief), with his passion and proven track record as a leader, would be able to empower his workers to work together to achieve the company's common goal.




Key Reflective Questions


As company owners and coaches, we hope you've found the insights provided above to be eye-opening; here is some food for thought to help deep dive into your strengths as a leader.


  • What are the key takeaways from this analysis?
  • If you and your team were to take the assessment, what will your domains be?
  • What will your team dynamic be like?
  • What do you think will be the constraint?
  • How will you manage the dynamic of your team?
  • How will you co-lead the company?
  • What do you think are the major domains you need help with?


What Is CliftonStrengths 34 Themes?


CliftonStrengths is a personality assessment created by Donald Clifton to help people discover their natural talents and strengths. The test categorizes your top five themes out of 34 possible options, which can provide some insight into what you're good at and how you can use those talents to your advantage.

If you're looking for a nudge in the right direction, or just want to see how your own strengths can be applied in the world of business, CliftonStrengths 34 have helped entrepreneurs, leaders, and coaches alike to unlock their talents and achieve success in all areas of life.

Whether you're looking for guidance on your personal growth or want to become a leader who can help others unleash their potential, learning about your CliftonStrengths is a great place to start. 

Want to find out what your top 5 strengths are? Our team at Circularity Coach International will analyze your CliftonStrengths Finder profile and give you more insight into your strengths. Get started today and start working on your own personal growth journey to reach an optimal experience called flow. 


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