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Academic Courses

OBHR (previously HROD) 559- The Haskayne Leadership Expedition

Extraordinary times and challenges call for uncommon leadership. And there is a growing recognition that the skills and knowledge of advanced leaders are balanced and quickened by a less tangible but no less important set of personal qualities. The Haskayne Leadership Expedition is a unique field course designed to help students cultivate the practical skills and qualities they will need to thrive as leaders in the modern business world. The course is highly experiential and students will have multiple extended opportunities to practice and receive feedback on their leadership skills in a dynamic and challenging environment.

The Haskayne Leadership Expedition is a five-day backpacking expedition that will take participants into spectacular high mountain terrain in the Rockies. Recalling the old adage that “there are no passengers, only crew” on a true expedition, students will quickly find themselves engaged in learning to lead every aspect of the journey. Alongside the fun, camaraderie and adventure, course elements will include training in a range of technical skills for traveling safely and efficiently in the mountains (e.g. trip planning, navigation & route-finding, risk assessment, camp craft, wilderness skills, ecological awareness), problem-solving challenges, leadership assignments, structured personal reflection, small group work and both the structured discipline and adaptive creativity required to achieve expedition goals while traveling in challenging wilderness terrain under unpredictable conditions. Taken together, these elements will be used as a foundation for developing and practicing the fundamentals of advanced leadership including:

  • clear communication and feedback skills
  • self-awareness and reflective skills
  • judgment and decision-making skills
  • problem-solving skills and resourcefulness
  • compassionate resilience (mental toughness and maintaining positive influence under challenging circumstances)
  • group management and facilitation skills
  • the ability to foster and contribute to an effective team culture
  • personal authenticity (aligning behaviour and values)

Who is it for?

The course is intense and challenging and is designed for students who are committed to both developing themselves as leaders and to playing a leadership role within the Haskayne School of Business. No previous outdoor or expedition experience is required but you will need to be fit enough to participate in a week-long wilderness backpacking expedition in the mountains carrying a pack and sleeping in a tent.

There are only 24 places on the course and priority will be given to Haskayne undergraduate students who are committed to developing themselves as leaders and to giving back through acts of leadership and service. In order to participate in the Leadership Expedition, students must have achieved a C- or higher in HROD 317.

What to expect

To get a sense of the expedition, check out this video about the 2014 program and this video about the 2015 program. And here's a message from Dr. Julian Norris, in which he describes the Leadership Expedition and speaks about the value of spending time in the mountains.

Application Process

The application deadline has been extended to Monday, April 24, 2017. CCAL is currently accepting applications for the 2017 Leadership Expedition. Applications are available in the CCAL reception area (SH 225). Please contact CCAL Projects Coordinator Jeff Millar at jeffrey.millar@haskayne.ucalgary.ca for more information. 


MGST 559.4 - The Wilderness Retreat

MGST559.4 is known as the Wilderness Retreat and is open to BComm undergraduates.

Each summer since 2004, Haskayne School of Business professor Dr. David Lertzman has taught students about leadership and sustainability in a remarkable classroom — the Rocky Mountains.

Delivered at the Barrier Lake field station of the University of Calgary’s Biogeoscience Institute, the Wilderness Retreat is one of Haskayne’s most unique and exciting elective courses. The one-week course is offered at both the undergraduate and MBA level.

The retreat is an unconventional learning experience for business students that combines outdoor activities, personal growth challenges, team building, self-reflection, and cross-cultural learning.

The purpose of the course is to cultivate core leadership skills in the context of sustainable development. “Great leaders are people of exceptional integrity, vision, and creativity who inspire others to achieve their best for the greater good,” says Lertzman.


Application Process

Register using the university's course registration page


BSEN 749 - The Wilderness Retreat

BSEN 749 is also known as the Wilderness Retreat and is offered to MBA students. There are two sections for this course.

Each summer since 2004, Haskayne School of Business professor Dr. David Lertzman has taught students about leadership and sustainability in a remarkable classroom — the Rocky Mountains.

Delivered at the Barrier Lake field station of the University of Calgary’s Biogeoscience Institute, the Wilderness Retreat is one of Haskayne’s most unique and exciting elective courses. The one-week course is offered at both the undergraduate and MBA level.

The retreat is an unconventional learning experience for business students that combines outdoor activities, personal growth challenges, team building, self-reflection, and cross-cultural learning.

The purpose of the course is to cultivate core leadership skills in the context of sustainable development. “Great leaders are people of exceptional integrity, vision, and creativity who inspire others to achieve their best for the greater good,” says Lertzman.

Application Process

Register using the university's course registration page

MGST 770- The MBA Capstone

MGST 770 is designed to be a ‘capstone’ experience for students coming to the close of their MBA program that prepares them for the transition from individual contributor to team and organizational leader. It invites students to think about the significant trends, opportunities and challenges (socio-cultural, economic, political, technological, ecological, etc) they see shaping their future and to consider the practical leadership implications for themselves and others in their fields. The course provides an opportunity for students to;

  • reflect on their learning and development during their MBA;
  • identify key areas for ongoing personal and professional development and create an actionable plan to address them;
  • clarify their future personal and career objectives.

The course also offers the opportunity for ongoing personal and skill development related to the “soft skills” dimension of leadership. Students examine relevant theoretical models and participate in self-assessments, group discussions, simulations and experiential activities designed to help them cultivate greater self-awareness and refine their inter-personal leadership competencies.

Application Process

Register using the university's course registration page