Emerging Leaders Breakfast Meeting hosted by Adidas Canada

Collaborative Leadership

Join us for our first Breakfast meeting, hosted and sponsored by Adidas.

Myth busters Panel discussion

Join us for a compelling program where we begin with a dual panel session. One side of tenured leaders and the other side with emerging leaders. A vibrant and thought-provoking session where we identify and discuss myths on leadership. Let’s shatter these myths and create the new norm during an open dialogue- no holds barred!

Ideation Session

This will be followed by a group ideation session on leadership where we will discuss and discover solutions in an “out of the box” methodology. This will be a chance for everyone to contribute their thoughts and hear from colleagues facing the same challenges.

But wait, this is just the beginning! Our friends at Adidas are inviting you to a VIP shopping experience at their onsite store where you will receive a 50% discount to get ready for summer!

Charity and Door Prize

Bring a non-perishable food item for a chance to win one of the Adidas door prizes.

Limited seating, register now!

March 11, 2020 – 8:30AM—12:00PM

For more information and to register, please click here


The Extraordinary Coach Workshop

Effective coaches have a profound impact on individuals, teams, and organizations. All known drivers of productivity can be increased through improved coaching.

In The Extraordinary Coach Workshop, you will develop the essential coaching skills that are required to be a great leader. In addition, you will learn what extraordinary coaches do well and how you can maximize your leadership impact and inspire others to perform at their peak. Stop simply giving advice and learn to enable others to come to better decisions on their own.

This workshop is a one-day interactive, skills-building experience, led by Jim Clemmer. It utilizes fun and engaging videos with practice and feedback activities.
Toronto, ON – March 3

Learn More & Register.

*SPECIAL DISCOUNT for muniSERV Members – SAVE: $150 (1 DAY) OR $250 (2 DAY)


The Extraordinary Leader Workshop

In today’s rapidly changing, highly competitive environment, the organizations that excel in their respective markets will be those whose people are most competent, passionate, and focused on delivering results.

This workshop is a one-day interactive, skills-building experience, led by Jim Clemmer. It utilizes behavior modeling with interactive videos and real-time demonstrations.

Toronto, ON – March 2, 2020

OR Take both the Extraordinary Leader and the Extraordinary Coach Workshops – March 2nd and 3rd.

Learn More & Register

*SPECIAL DISCOUNT for muniSERV Members – SAVE: $150 (1 DAY) OR $250 (2 DAY)


Leadership Series: Sustainable Supply Chain

With sustainability becoming a global focus, supply chain has attained the status of being the starting point. An organization’s supply chain function can be instrumental in promoting environmental well-being, fair trade practices and human rights. Attend this session to build your sustainability roadmap.

Click here to see the full Agenda and to Register

Date:  February 21, 2020

Location:  Robert McEwen Auditorium, Schulich School of Business – 4700 Keele Street, North York, ON



Want to showcase your product to a group of supply chain professionals?

Want to network with supply chain leaders?

Let’s talk. We will provide you with customized opportunities.

If you are interested, please email [email protected] and we will get back to you promptly.


Leading with Excellence

Leading with Excellence

December 11 – 12, 2019 – 9:00 AM-4:30 PM

In today’s dynamic workforce, there are a lot of demands on leaders and management teams. Their responsibilities include; facilitating change management, reducing the negative effects of mergers, downsizing or rapid expansion. They also need to understand and motivate their staff and others in the organization. In other words, they need to lead their department and company with inspiring leadership skills and techniques.

The Leading With Excellence Program provides equip supervisors, team leaders, and managers with leadership skills that will strengthen their role as the critical link between strategic goals and tactical performance. Through this development program, supervisors and managers will learn the skills necessary to lead their teams to success.

Participants will learn and apply management concepts, techniques, and tips to communicate, direct, coach, mentor, entrust, and lead others in routine situations and during challenging times of change. They will acquire tools for managing influentially and receive constructive feedback from their facilitator and peers.

Using case studies, discussions, team activities, paired exercises, management simulations, and self-assessments, participants will learn and practice influencing others assertively, diplomatically, and powerfully. Participants will give and receive feedback for communicating expectations, coaching staff to develop their skills, providing advice and options, and helping bring about change despite resistance from others.

To Register, please click here



The Five Key Facets of High Performance Leadership

What makes a good or even a great leader?
Many people in leadership positions struggle with understanding what makes a good or even great leader. While billions of dollars are spent annually on leadership development, quality leadership is still in short supply.

Organizations have responded to the demand for effective leadership with a steady stream of education and training resources, which seem to be plentiful, (for example, at the time of writing, Amazon.com had over 9,000 references on leadership), yet most attempts at building high-performance leadership are either far too complex or too simplistic to be of any practical use to leaders who need to make things happen. So what does work?

While successful organizations focus on three imperatives: aligning strategy & people; developing world-class leaders; and building world-class teams, when we look at what successful leaders personally do to succeed, we find that they concentrate on building their capacity around what we call five key facets of leadership:

Focus – Authenticity – Courage – Empathy – Timing


Effective leaders stay focused on the outcomes they wish to create and don’t get too married to the methods used to achieve them. They provide this ‘outcomes focus’ for their organization by emphasizing the mission, vision, values and strategic goals of their organization and at the same time building the capacity of their organizations to achieve them.

This capacity-building emphasizes the need to be flexible, creative and innovative and avoid becoming fossilized through the adoption of bureaucratic structures, policies, and processes. It also means letting go of lines of business, products, and programs that don’t support the focus.


Leaders who are authentic attract followers, even leaders who are viewed as being highly driven and often difficult to work for. Simply put, they are viewed as always being themselves.and therefore followers know what to expect from them and can rely on them, come thick or thin.

Authenticity provides the leader with the currency to obtain ‘buy-in’ from key stakeholders, because it builds and maintains trust. Authenticity is the bedrock upon which the other facets are built.


The challenges facing leaders today are immense and require great courage to overcome. Leaders are constantly being challenged by others, be it their own team, customers, the public or stakeholders. Standing firm in the face of criticism, yet having the courage to admit when they are wrong, are hallmarks of courageous leaders.

Also, shifting an organization from being introspective to becoming customer-focused requires courage when people pay lip service to the new direction…it means calling people on their bluff.


Effective leaders know how to listen empathetically. thus legitimizing others’ input. By doing so, they promote consensus building and build strong teams. They coach others to do the same, and so create a culture of inclusiveness. They tend to be great listeners who capitalize on the ideas of others and provide recognition for these ideas, yet they don’t get bogged down in overly complicated dialogue.

While they create learning organizations that place a high value on dialogue and continuous feedback, they know when to take action, when to ‘fish or cut bait’, which brings us on to the fifth facet…


The one facet that can make or break a leader is in knowing when to make critical decisions and when not to. All of the other facets must be viewed as subservient to getting the timing of critical decisions and actions right. There is a need to be focused, authentic, courageous and empathetic, but get the timing wrong on critical decisions and everything else stands to be nullified.

Great leaders move with appropriate speed. They don’t believe that everything must be done immediately…they know how to prioritize, and how to get their team to prioritize. As well, they engage in timely follow-through to ensure actions that are committed to happen in a well-coordinated and timely way.

Is that all it takes to be a great leader? These facets of high-performance leadership are not exhaustive. Just as one would look at the facets of a diamond, upon closer observation other facets become observable.

Any person can aspire to be a great leader by starting with these facets. If you are in a leadership role, regardless of your position in your organization, start by asking yourself the following key questions:

Key Questions
1. How focused am I? How much of my time do I spend communicating and inspiring people about our mission, vision and strategic goals? How much focus do I create in my organization? How married am I/my organization to methods that have outlived their usefulness?

2. Am I viewed as authentic? Do people see and hear the real me? Do I wear a mask at work, and remove it when I leave each evening?

3. How courageous am I when my values, vision, and goals are challenged? Do I stand firm and only change my position when I know that I am wrong?

4. How empathetic am I? Too much/too little? Do I create enough opportunities for open and candid dialogue? Do I ever find myself getting bogged down in consensus building, or leading my team to false consensus? Is there a feeling of inclusiveness and engagement amongst the members of my organization, and with other stakeholders, including customers?

5. Do I make and execute decisions in a timely fashion? Do I know when to ‘fish or cut bait?’ – do I demand well-coordinated and timely execution of strategy from others?

What can you do to create a high-performance leadership culture? Asking these questions in a candid way will open up many possibilities for you, your organization or your clients…if you have the courage to do it. Building and sustaining a high-performance leadership culture takes time, patience and a clear focus on the vital few characteristics that leaders can develop naturally and authentically.

Listening to what people expect from you as a leader, and then responding empathically, in a timely fashion, will move you dramatically towards mastering these five key facets of high-performance leadership.

Above all, you need to TAKE ACTION.


About the Author

Brian Ward is co-founder and CEO of Affinity Consulting and Training. Based in Edmonton, Alberta he provides leadership and management development to organizations in the private and public sectors throughout Canada.

Receive a free downloadable copy of his book Lead People…Manage Things: Master The Five Key Facets of High-Performance Leadership when you subscribe to his weekly newsletter Monday Morning Mentor.



Free Live Webinar – Women in Leadership: Leader Know Thyself

Free Live Webinar – Women in Leadership: Leader Know Thyself

In this FREE LIVE WEBINAR, you will learn how to find your courage and take meaningful steps forward as a woman leader.
Presented by: Kerry Black
Executive Coach, Coach Educator, Educator, Speaker, LevellingUp Sage


In this LIVE WEBINAR, you will learn

  • Your two key voices, and the choir of your other voices, that influence everything you do.
  • Practical strategies to work with your two key voices; your inner mentor and your inner critic.

Do you find yourself holding back? Waiting to be asked… asked to speak, asked to lead, asked for your input?

Do you find yourself just dreaming and not taking action? Or maybe seeing the opportunity to make an impact and yet hesitating?

Do you hear a variety of conflicting messages in your self-talk? “Go for it! You can do this! Wait, maybe not. You’re not ready. Just do it, you can lead! Think it through, you’re not ready.”

If this sounds like you, please join me for my introductory webinar. I guarantee you will know yourself better. Self knowledge is key to leading yourself and leading others.


Free Webinar – Lead from Your Strengths

In this FREE LIVE WEBINAR, you will learn how to focus your STRENGTHS on your personal, team, and leadership challenges.

About this Event
Lead From Your Strengths – Thursday, Sept 5 @ 2-3pm EDT

Presented by: Pam Danyluk
LevellingUp Sage, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach

In this free, live session, you will learn:

  • What sets you apart from millions of others.
  • How to trust your gut, and to lean into the talents already within you.
  • How to focus your strengths on your personal, team, and leadership challenges.
  • Do you feel like you have potential bubbling over the brim – and you’re ready to do something about it?

Then you are ready to DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS!

Learn More & Register Here


The Mediocre Leader – Pt.3

The world is full of mediocre leaders, and I am one of them.

But I don’t want to be mediocre, and I don’t believe I’m condemned to a life sentence of mediocrity. Most of all, if I have any compassion on those I lead, on those subjected to my middling skills, I have to get better.

In Part 1 of this article, I talked about how odd it is that we practice our leadership skills on those we lead. Unlike other high-skill professions (surgeons, speakers, pilots, musicians, etc.) that are practiced off-line, our expectations of our leaders are apparently so low that we allow them to practice while performing.

Is an Effective Leader Simply a Well-Practiced Leader?

Before I get completely hung up on the idea that a significant quantity of deliberate practice is all that’s required to make me an awesome leader, I am forced to consider that there is much debate around Ericsson’s work. The debate doesn’t challenge the value of deliberate practice, or even the 10,000-hour marker. Rather, it suggests that inherent, non-trainable traits differentiate the best from the rest – such as height and bone structure in sports.

This debate makes sense to me, and completely I agree that effective leadership requires more than just deliberate practice. However, unlike height and bone structure, the traits that differentiate the best leaders from average leaders ARE trainable. In my experience, these differentiators are a leader’s principles – the leader’s beliefs about herself, about others, and about how things operate in world at large.

Much has been published regarding leadership principles by Ray Dalio, John Maxwell, Simon Sinek, Patrick Lencioni, Brené Brown and many others. Desiring to improve their “leadership game”, many leaders (including me) voraciously consume this literature. We learn from, and are second-hand mentored by, these strongly-principled leaders, and we slowly change our bone structure – our differentiating traits.

Principled and Practiced

But, to be effective, a leader must be both principled and practiced. And while I’m very much looking forward to my next shipment of principle-focused books from Amazon, I just can’t help but be disappointed with my lack of attention to deliberate practice.

To create opportunities for deliberate practice of leadership skills, LevellingUp was formed.  At Levelling Up, we help growing leaders quickly become exceptional leaders by connecting them with expert mentors & coaches.

Visit us at www.LevellingUp.ca

The experts you want.  The skills you need.



2-Day Effective Facilitation Course

The Effective Facilitation program builds a strong foundation of knowledge in both practice and theory for facilitation success. Knowing the techniques to use and how to effectively facilitate in different situations – meetings, presentations and training sessions – in today’s environment is critical.  With its focus on asking rather than telling, and listening to build consensus, facilitation is the new leadership ideal, the core competency everybody needs.

During this 2-day program, you will gain an understanding of the full cycle of facilitation. It will provide you with the resources, materials, and tools that can be used to confidently and effectively facilitate in any situation. You will also get the opportunity to practice what you’ve learned in a safe and supportive environment.

Join us May 2nd & 3rd2019!

For more information, please click here

To Register, please click here