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Faculty Focus | Learning from Leaders

Volume 17, Number 1
January 2011


The 2011 session of Learning From Leaders will start on September 8 and will feature seven noteworthy leaders. Guests will include Pierre Bergevin, HBA '89, President and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield Ltd; Shelly Jamieson, Ivey Executive Program '98, Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Ontario Public Service; Heather Kitchen, MBA '92, Managing Director of the Dallas Theatre Centre; Adam Waterous, HBA '84, Vice-Chairman, Head of Global Investment Banking and President, Scotia Capital and Head, Scotia Waterous; Trudy Fahie, HBA '81, President and CEO Wal-Mart Stores, Walmart Canada Bank; Doug Murphy, HBA '85, President, Corus Entertainment Inc.; and Jason Thacker, HBA '02, Retail Market Manager-Hudson Region, TD Bank. These experienced leaders will discuss their key leadership experiences and what they've learned from their roles. Students in the program will learn how to groom themselves to be prepared and selected for leadership roles.

Bonus Feature

Watch Ken Hardy's interview with Shelly Jamieson, Ivey Executive Program '98, Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Ontario Public Service, following her 2010 session with Learning From Leaders Watch Video

Watch a 6-minute interview with Ken Hardy discussing how his new course, Learning From Leaders, helps next-generation leaders develop critical leadership skills

If many of life's lessons are learned by example that theory should apply to developing leaders.
That's the premise behind Learning From Leaders, a new course at Ivey that exposes HBA students to some of Canada's most prominent leaders. Through frank, candid discussions where the leaders share their challenges and heartaches, students learn important lessons about leadership, particularly that it's a responsibility that requires commitment and hard work.
"What really builds character is the ability to emulate successful leaders. They'll see the kind of strengths of character that these leaders have," said Ken Hardy, Professor Emeritus and creator of Learning From Leaders. "I wanted to expose the students to excellent examples of leadership so they'll get a framework for how to prepare themselves for leadership. I want them to pursue leadership."
Since the inception of the course in the fall of 2008, leaders from a wide range of fields and with varying levels of experience have visited the class. Examples include James Irving, President and CEO of the New Brunswick business dynasty, J.D. Irving Limited; Shelly Jamieson, Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Ontario Public Service, who was recently inducted into the Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame; William T. Brock, Retired Deputy Chairman, TD Bank Financial Group and his wife, Ann; and Donald K. Johnson, a Canadian philanthropist and senior adviser to BMO Capital Markets.
The course borrows elements from Inside The Actors Studio, the former long-running Bravo television series that offered in-depth interviews and often startling revelations about some of the biggest celebrities.
Professor Hardy aims to capture that insider component by asking the guest leaders to discuss their biggest trials and errors. 
"What I appreciate most is these leaders tell everything - they'll tell about the hardships and the heartaches, as well as all the successes. It's all done in this confidential trust environment," he said. "Part of the giving in this climate is they can tell about their mistakes. The students need to know that everybody makes mistakes. If you have the freedom to make mistakes, you can really learn from your job."
Professor Hardy once taught in an experimental school in Norway and is a proponent of experiential learning. A key component of the course is the opportunity for students to prepare their own personal action plans for leadership.
"This course is like a brief mentorship wherein they discuss really practical issues. Eventually, the job of every student coming out of Ivey is to lead. I would like to see them all become leaders and I will be tracking to note the progression."

(Ivey's 2010 session of Learning from Leaders just wrapped up in December. Special guest leaders from the fall 2010 session included Pierre Bergevin (HBA '89), President and CEO of Cudhman & Wakefield Ltd.; Paul Atkinson (HBA '86), managing partner of Southwest Sun Inc.; Laurence Applebaum (HBA '94), Vice President of Salomon Canada; Sylvia Chrominska (HBA'75), Group Head, Global Human Resources and Communications, Scotiabank; E. Scott Beattie (HBA '81, MBA '86), President and CEO of Elizabeth Arden Inc.; Shelly Jamieson (Ivey Executive Program '98), Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Ontario Public Service and Winston Bennett  (HBA '03), Vice-President and Director of Helios Energy Inc.)


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