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Heading back to class boosts managers' skillset

The most recent cohort of Queen’s Foundational Leadership Program officially ended last week, but the relationships the participants forged over the past 16 months will continue well into the future.

[HR foundational leadership presentation]
Team members Nicole Fowler, Carole Morrison, Tom Herra, Sandra Brooks and David Crabb present their project to the panel including Steven Liss, Caroline Davis, Ann Tierney and Mary Elms during the graduation ceremony on May 15.

“I found it really beneficial getting to know managers across different units,” says Sandra Brooks, Manager, User Support Specialists, ITServices, and one of 28 program participants. “By working with other people, I saw the similarities in our managerial experiences, as well as some of the challenges others face.”

The comprehensive program helps managers develop their leadership and management skills through 14 full-day classroom sessions. Applying the skills they develop in class, the participants form teams and develop a project that supports an aspect of the university’s strategic framework. They presented their work to a panel of senior university administrators during their graduation event on May 15.

Mary Elms, Manager, Organizational Development and Learning, Human Resources, is continually impressed by the hard work and effort the participants dedicate to the program. The three cohorts of the program have produced managers who are more confident in their capabilities, according to Ms. Elms.

“We are really focused on leadership development as one aspect of our strategic approach to managing talent at the university,” she says. “Queen’s Foundational Leadership Program is one of our most successful programs, bringing about transformational change in many of our managers.”

After earning his certificate, Matt Simpson looked back fondly on the mad scramble he often performed before the leadership classes.

“The funny part about this pre-class anxiety ritual, personally, was that not a day went by that I didn’t end up feeling great about myself, the skills I was introduced to, or the personal connections I made with my peers,” says Mr. Simpson, Manager, Education Technology Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences. “We all have busy lives, both professionally and personally. We have been fortunate enough to have an opportunity to take some time for personal development and invest in ourselves.”

Visit the Human Resources website to learn more about the Queen’s Foundational Leadership Program.