Aug. 30, 2021

Leadership Development for First-Year Commerce Students

Haskayne students gain a leadership edge through participating in the CCAL Peer Network
Leadership Development for First-Year Commerce Students

The Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business (CCAL) designed and delivered in-class leadership development programming for first-year Haskayne BComm students through Strategy and Global Management 217 (SGMA 217) in-class virtual tutorials. The goal of these leadership sessions was to introduce students to the “basics” of leadership behaviours.

The leadership learning was based on Kouzes and Posner’s research-led Student Leadership Challenge model. The model proposes five leadership practices. These are:

  • Modeling the way: Identifying values and being a role model in living up to those values
  • Inspiring a shared vision: Defining an exciting future and helping others see it
  • Challenging the process: Finding innovative ways to solve problems
  • Enabling others to act: Inviting others to collaborate and improve
  • Encouraging the heart: Recognizing and appreciating others’ contributions

These CCAL Peer Network leadership tutorials were delivered in both Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms. These tutorials introduced the five leadership practices and focused on self-reflection, practice, and breakout discussions.

The CCAL research team tracked the progress of students participating in the leadership development interventions by inviting them to complete three surveys distributed before the first session, after the last session, and one month after the last session. The surveys asked students about their leadership behaviours, leadership identity, and leadership efficacy. A total of 100 students answered both the first and second surveys, and 106 students completed both the second and third surveys.

The results show positive leadership development for the participating students. Participants reported seeing leadership as a meaningful part of themselves (leadership identity) after the last session of the program. They also reported an increase in positive leadership attributes, a higher degree of concern for others, and more clarity in their expectations from others one month after the program.

The initial data suggest this leadership development program might be fruitful in developing leaders at an early stage in their professional lives. Future research can provide better insights into the effectiveness of the program.

These are just a few of CCAL’s programs available to students in the upcoming academic year. To keep updated and learn more about our events and initiatives, sign up to receive our monthly newsletter here.