Courage and accountability in leadership

Courage And Accountability In Leadership

Jeff Fiedling, Trudy Fahie, Ferio Pugliese, and Gerard Seijts at The Ivey Academy's third executive education alumni event.

On May 2, 2019, The Ivey Academy held its third event for executive education alumni – and first ever Global Ivey Day event.  The breakfast event, titled “Courage an Accountability in Leadership,” brought together Ivey Academy alumni, partners, and guests to hear a panel of experienced executives share lessons learned and the tough situations they have faced throughout their careers as leaders.

The panel was composed of three seasoned leaders: Trudy Fahie, HBA ’81, CEO, Duo Bank of Canada, Ferio Pugliese, Senior Vice President, Air Canada Express and Government Relations, and Jeff Fielding, Chief of Staff, City of Toronto. Moderated by the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership’s Executive Director Gerard Seijts, the panel discussed the importance of showing courage and exercising voice, and creating an environment where people can show their courage yet remain accountable to their colleagues and the organization as a whole.

The discussion included deeply personal stories from each panelist that detailed situations where they needed to display courage and accountability, instances where they failed to live up to their own standards of courage, and views on toeing the line between courage and recklessness.

The importance of leader character, courage, and accountability

While courage and accountability have always been important to individual, team, and organizational success, they are more important today than ever before.

“The reason why courage and accountability is more important now than ever is because of the incredible fast pace of change. If you think back a period of time, you could come up with a 100 per cent correct answer before having to make a decision. It didn’t take a whole lot of courage and accountability to implement decisions in that environment. That’s changing quite significantly now. The reality is, you have to move forward and make decisions without all of the information because of the pace of change. What you need is the ability to quickly learn on the spot – new concepts and new ideas that you didn’t even know existed a year ago. You need courage and accountability in the process of testing and learning. You can get a decision 80 per cent right, but you need the courage to learn from the 20 per cent failure. It takes courage and accountability to take responsibility for the things that aren’t working – and then changing them – than would have been required years ago when we could figure it all out in advance,” said Trudy Fahie.

Alumni engagement

The event concluded with a discussion surrounding imposter syndrome, lessons in leadership, questions from the 51 attendees and the 120 viewers online, and an opportunity for Ivey Academy alumni and guests to reconnect and network. The event is part of a broader alumni engagement strategy.

“The Ivey Academy is committed to lifelong learning, relationships, and growth – both professional and personal. We want to extend the learning for our alumni post-program and keep them connected with fellow peers. We have a number of initiatives underway, such as this event, which provide them with the perfect opportunity to do so,” said Melissa Welsh, Associate Director, Alumni Relations & Corporate Development.

To view the recording of the event, please click here. To learn the benefits of being an alumnus of The Ivey Academy, visit our alumni benefits page


About The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School
The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School is the home for executive Learning and Development (L&D) in Canada. It is Canada’s only full-service L&D house, blending Financial Times top-ranked university-based executive education with talent assessment, instructional design and strategy, and behaviour change sustainment. 

Rooted in Ivey Business School’s real-world leadership approach, The Ivey Academy is a place where professionals come to get better, to break old habits and establish new ones, to practice, to change, to obtain coaching and support, and to join a powerful peer network. Follow The Ivey Academy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.