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Developing Leadership Character

Gerard Seijts Ivey Idea Forum Leadership


May 05, 2017, 7:30AM - 9:30AM

Calgary Petroleum Club, 319 5 Ave SW, Calgary, AB

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Developing Leadership Character

Character is an often overlooked aspect of leadership that shapes what leaders notice and how they interpret and react to information and events. Yet character is seldom used in recruiting, selecting, promoting, or developing leaders and that oversight has an impact on organizational leadership.

For our inaugural Ivey Idea Forum in Calgary, Professor Gerard Seijts, Executive Director of the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership and co-author of the book, Developing Leadership Character, will lead an interactive discussion on findings in the book that illustrate how different character dimensions can be developed, strengthened, and applied in a business setting. A panel of leaders – Naheed Nenshi, Calgary Mayor; Sarah Raiss, Corporate Director; and Andrew Wiswell, MBA '80, President & CEO of Imagine Enterprises Ltd. – will share their insights on the importance of leadership character, how it is developed, and how it helps leaders through challenges.

This event is part of Global Ivey Day and is the J.J. Wettlaufer Lecture in Leadership.


Fee: $30 (non-alumni), $25 (alumni), $20 (current students)

Event Details

J.J. Wettlaufer Lecture in Leadership

May 5, 2017

7:30-8 a.m. – Registration and breakfast
8-9 a.m.Presentation from Gerard Seijts and panel session with business leaders
9-9:30 a.m. – Q&A
Location: Calgary Petroleum Club, 319 5 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
Tickets: $30 (non-alumni), $25 (alumni), $20 (current students)

Topics You Will Explore

  • Why does leadership character matter?
  • How can leadership character be used in recruiting, selecting, promoting, or developing current and future leaders?
  • How does leadership character play a role in individual and organizational success?

About the Speakers

Naheed Nenshi
Naheed Nenshi, A’paistootsiipsii, was sworn in as Calgary's 36th mayor on October 25, 2010 and was re-elected in 2013.

Prior to being elected, Mayor Nenshi was with McKinsey and Company, later forming his own business to help public, private, and non-profit organizations grow. He designed policy for the Government of Alberta; helped create a Canadian strategy for The Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy; and worked with the United Nations to determine how business can help the poorest people on the planet. He then entered academia, where he was Canada's first tenured professor in the field of nonprofit management, at Mount Royal University's Bissett School of Business.

For his work, Mayor Nenshi was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, was awarded the President’s Award from the Canadian Institute of Planners, and received the Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Psychological Association for his contributions to community mental health. In 2013, after his stewardship of the community during devastating flooding, Maclean’s magazine called him the second-most influential person in Canada, after the Prime Minister. He was also awarded the 2014 World Mayor Prize by the U.K.-based City Mayor’s Foundation as the best mayor in the world.

In 2014, he was also honoured by Elder Pete Standing Alone with the Blackfoot name A’paistootsiipsii, which means “Clan Leader” or “He who moves camp and the others follow.” In 2016, Elder Bruce Starlight of the Tsuu T'ina First Nation honoured him with the name Iitiya: "Always Ready."

Mayor Nenshi holds a Bachelor of Commerce (with distinction) from the University of Calgary, where he was President of the Students' Union, and a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he studied as a Kennedy Fellow.

Sarah Raiss
Sarah Raiss is a Corporate Director of Loblaw Companies as member of the Governance and HR Committee as well as the Pension Committee; Commercial Metals as Chair of the Compensation Committee and member of the Nominations and Governance Committee; Ritchie Bros as chair of the Compensation Committee; and Vermilion Energy as member of the Governance and HR Committee and also the HSE Committee.

She is past Chair of Alberta Electric System Operator; and a past board director of Shoppers Drug Mart, Canadian Oil Sands as Chair of the Governance and HR Committee and member of the Audit Committee; Business Development Bank of Canada as Chair of the HR Committee and member of the Governance Committee and the Audit Committee; as well as past board member of numerous not-for-profit boards including President of the Calgary Petroleum Club.

From 2001 to 2011, she was Executive Vice-President of Corporate Services for TransCanada Corporation. Raiss brings experience in government relations, engineering, operations, strategy, merger integration, governance, and marketing from the energy and telecommunications industries.

She has a BS in Applied Mathematics and an MBA from the University of Michigan. She was named to the Directorship 100 by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of the 50 most influential corporate directors in the U.S. in 2015. In the inaugural 2003 – and again in 2004, 2005, and 2006 – Raiss was named Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100, and in 2007, inducted into the Top 100 Hall of Fame. She has an ICD.D.

Andrew Wiswell, MBA '80
Andrew Wiswell is President & CEO of Imagine Enterprises Ltd. and an Ivey Advisory Board member. He earned his BA in 1971 and LLB (Law) 1974 degrees from the University of Manitoba. He practiced corporate and commercial law, completed an MBA at the Ivey Business School at Western University in 1980, and joined Gulf Canada Resources Limited.

He spent 16 years at Gulf Canada, which included key roles as Vice President Marketing and Senior Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, he was actively involved in corporate strategy, equity and debt financings, acquisitions and divestments, investor relations and organizational restructuring and change.

After his tenure at Gulf, he joined ICG Propane as President, where he revitalized the business leading to the sale of the company to Superior Propane. In December 2001, he joined Parkland Industries Ltd. as President and CEO.

At Parkland, he led the company’s conversion to an Income Trust in June 2002, completed restructuring and enhancement of the company's performance, and delivered strong value creation for investors. In May 2005, he joined NAL as President and CEO. With the closing of the Pengrowth-NAL transaction in June 2012, he retired from NAL.

About the Moderator

Gerard Seijts
Gerard Seijts is a Professor of Organizational Behaviour, holds the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Chair in Leadership, and is Executive Director of the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership at the Ivey Business School. He is co-author of the books, Developing Leadership Character, and Leadership on Trial, and the author of Good Leaders Learn.

Seijts received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1998. Prior to joining Ivey in 2000, he was on the faculty at the I.H. Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba.

He is teaching on several leadership programs. He has worked with organizations including Aecon, Intact Financial Corporation, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Maple Leaf Foods, J.D. Irving Limited, Hutchison Ports, Cigna, A.S. Watson, and Bank of China Hong Kong. He has also worked with local government in Canada and Hong Kong on issues such as leadership and change. He has taught EMBA, MBA, and undergraduate courses in leadership, leading change, organizational behaviour, performance management, and staffing.

His research activities; spanning journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers; cover a wide range of topics including leadership, change, goal setting, training and development, teams, organizational justice, and performance management. He also enjoys writing practitioner-oriented articles.

About the J.J. Wettlaufer Lecture in Leadership

This lecture series was established to express our profound appreciation and to pay tribute to (Jack J.) J.J Wettlaufer, a long-time faculty member who played a pivotal role in shaping the School. Jack was a faculty member for more than 40 years, was dean from 1963 to 1978, and helped develop the School’s first executive programs. He died in 1992, and the former executive development centre in Mississauga was named in his honour.