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How to Be a Better Leader

Only 10 per cent of us come by our leadership abilities naturally, according to Gallup researchers. For the rest of us, there's continuing education at SFU.


BCBusiness SFU Continuing Studies

Credit: SFU Continuing Studies

Only 10 per cent of us come by our leadership abilities naturally, according to Gallup researchers. And even if you’re born for it, leading today isn’t easy. From global disruptions to racial inequities, leaders around the world face complex and thorny issues.

Leaders today must be agile, collaborative, creative and innovative. They need to build relationships, motivate teams, and adapt rapidly to changing environments. Through a blend of instruction and one-on-one coaching, the Executive Leadership Certificate program at SFU Continuing Studies focuses on developing this capacity.

“We know the traditional top-down model of leadership is no longer workable,” explains Julia Denholm, dean of SFU Lifelong Learning. “Our program is designed to cultivate the critical practices leaders need in our times.”

TELUS manager Angela Finch says she initially chose the part-time program as a faster, more flexible alternative to an MBA. But she was surprised by the deep insights it gave her into her own leadership style, as she learned to examine her own behaviour and its impact on others.

“I highly recommend this program,” says Finch. “You learn a lot about yourself and your own gaps.”

Through the program, she also gained confidence in her ability to manage change, an essential skill in the ever-evolving tech industry: “You never know what the future holds. I think this program has given me the foundation to be able to adapt and keep growing.”

Also searching for an opportunity to grow, Dana Bech enrolled in the program when he began to feel “stuck” in his executive role. “I felt I had reached my capacity to really develop the team and other executives around me,” says the VP of a Lower Mainland landscaping company.

Bech says his coach and instructors helped him attain a clear understanding of himself as the first step in understanding others and what motivates them. Since bringing the lessons he’s absorbed to his organization, he’s seen a shift towards a more collaborative culture, as colleagues learned from his authentic approach and inclusive leadership style.

For Bech, the Executive Leadership program’s benefits have extended far beyond the workplace—they’ve been life-changing, he says: “It gave me a chance to reflect on my work life, on my life outside of work, and to become a better person.”

Explore the online Executive Leadership Certificate program at SFU Continuing Studies.

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Created by BCBusiness in partnership with SFU Continuing Studies