Jan. 26, 2021

CCAL Peer Network: Cultivating leadership and creating connections

First-year business students engage in activities designed to help spur their leadership development and build connections with peers
CCAL Peer Network: Cultivating leadership and creating connections

There are a number of common elements in any first-year business students’ university experience: orienting yourself, taking introductory classes, group work, and getting a handle on your new schedule. This can limit students’ time to take up new opportunities for development outside the classroom. Enter the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business (CCAL) Peer Network, a series of voluntary online sessions for students enrolled in Strategy and Global Management (SGMA 217), offered through the CCAL. Embedded in the SGMA 217 course, students can take hold of their access to leadership development opportunities and get a taste of what CCAL programs are all about.

First-year BComm students enrolled in SGMA 217 can engage with the CCAL Peer Network as a way to develop a strong foundation in leadership behaviours, focused on creating strong practices and habits. Using their own current experiences, students are encouraged to notice and practice leadership behaviours through their group work, at their work or through volunteer roles.

The CCAL Peer Network is based on the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model from the Student Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. Students participate in a combination of individual reflection-based activities as well as small group discussions with their peers. Sessions will aim to help students clearly articulate a vision, foster collaboration, recognize others for their contribution, and identify individual and group values. Small group discussions connect students to their peers that they might normally meet through other friends or in the hallway between classes, creating connections to others in the program that have an interest in developing leadership.

Following a successful first semester of incorporating the CCAL Peer Network into SGMA 217, students currently enrolled, will again have the chance to participate. Each session offers new information and provides a framework for students to continue to develop their leadership behaviours beyond the end of the course.

The first session will provide an overview of the Five Practices and will focus on giving students the chance to ask questions on how to enact the practices in their day-to-day lives. The second session focuses on how leaders think, their frame of mind and decision-making processes. The third session is focused on the actions leaders take and creating concrete steps to continue their leadership development.

For the final session, students will have the opportunity to participate in a shortened version of Learning with Leaders (former Lunch with Leaders), where they’ll connect in small groups and have the opportunity to ask questions from leaders and have a conversation on leadership perspectives and challenges.

All students enrolled in SGMA 217 for the Winter semester will have access to the CCAL Peer Network program. Stay tuned to the SGMA 217 D2L page for session specific information.

Questions? Email us at leadership@haskayne.ucalgary.ca.