Why invest in leadership development?

Now, more than ever, strong leaders will be the key to employee retention, engagement, and a healthy workplace culture. Covid 19 has shown us that leaders who are intentional about supporting, motivating and inspiring their teams will stand out as employers of choice in the competition for labour. Strong leadership leads to a happy, engaged, invested team that comes to work excited to contribute. The result is an awesome culture, effective execution of strategic goals, high levels of performance and a positive impact on the business bottom line.

“In an era where employees have lots of job options, strong managers must see their employees as people, not just workers with a dollar sign. That simply won’t fly, especially with the younger workforce. The future of work demands that we put people at the center of every organization by encouraging them to bring their whole selves to work. Inclusive leaders lead from the heart, understanding that people cannot separate themselves into pieces that belong in different slots. Managers who support the whole person when they come to work  and lead alongside, not above them, will reap the results of a stronger culture, higher retention, productivity, and personal accountability.”

– Ingrid Vaughan 

Smart Leadership Academy

Whether you’re a business owner, manager or supervisor in a leadership role, the Smart Leadership Academy will be a valuable experience for your professional growth and business success. The Academy focuses on helping leaders hone their people-management skills. It’s a six-month cohort-based program that includes classroom instruction, facilitated group activities, peer support and applied workplace learning, delivered in an engaging, relaxed learning environment. Leadership growth and development is enhanced by one-on-one coaching and structured accountability. 

Here’s what you’ll learn at the Academy:

Part 1   –   Leading Self – Learn how to lead from a place that reflects who you are, not copying someone else’s style.

Part 2  –   Leading Teams – Learn new strategies, tools and models for effectively leading and inspiring your team.

Part 3 – Leading Organizations – Maximize your leadership skills to impact on your organization’s success.


Upcoming Academy Intakes:

September 2023

Click here to enrol.

January 2024

Click here to enrol.

Leadership Coaching

You’ve heard the phrase “it’s lonely at the top”? Many business owners and leaders find this to be true, especially if you don’t have a leadership team to share the load. Sometimes you just need a sounding board, new ideas and strategies, or a shoulder to lean on when the load feels heavy. Our leadership coaching is a collaborative process focused on tools and strategies to grow your skills and support you on your leadership journey. It’s customized and personal.

Customized, because your business is unique, and so is your leadership. Personal, because who you are impacts how you lead. We believe self leadership comes first and facilitates an understanding of your specific strengths and blind spots that may be negatively affecting your leadership. Team leadership grows out of self leadership. We work with you to understand your team, your culture, and your impact on both, providing strategies to celebrate what’s working and to address what’s not. Leading your business flows out of self and team leadership.

Contact us to book your complimentary exploration session to see if leadership coaching is right for you. Twelve hours of one-on-one leadership coaching is included as part of the Smart Leadership Academy so if you’re interested in taking your leadership to the next level with a group of amazing leaders, click here for information about the Academy.

Board Development

Are you investing your time on a non-profit board? Effective board leadership is a key to successful non-profit growth and sustainability, but many boards struggle with how to do that well. Understanding the role of the board and how it interacts with the Executive Director and staff can make or break the health and effectiveness of the organization.

We work with your board to facilitate a shared understanding on who you are as a board, how well you’re executing on the mission of your organization, your role as board members and what may need to change to become more effective leaders.

If increasing your leadership effectiveness as an individual or as a whole board is a priority for your non-profit, we can support the path toward clarity and best practices for a dynamic and successful leadership environment. Contact ingrid@mysmarthr.ca to book your free consultation, or click here. 



Give Us Your Feedback

Our Academy is growing and we're committed to making sure we're providing opportunities to as many leaders as possible. We realize a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't meet everyone's needs, so we'd love to hear from you on how we can make it more accessible. If you were to consider participating in the leadership Academy, which of these options would be a best fit for you?

Bring the Academy to your Workplace

Wondering what it would be like to bring Academy right to your door? If you have between 6 and 10 leaders and are interested in an on-site, customized program that focuses on the specifics of your work environment, leadership needs and culture, we’d love to chat about making that happen. 

Participant Experiences

“I really enjoyed the range of backgrounds of the people in the cohort.I found the exercises around discovering my values and getting to know myself asa leader particularly valuable.”

Jillan Valpy

“I would recommended this program because it gives you as a leader a space for collaboration and space to ask questions which isn’t always something you can do as a leader. It also opens you up to your possible blind spots which is the only way you can improve on them. The most beneficial part for me personally was that it shows me that I was not alone in my struggles.”

– Kari-Ann Leadbitter

Victoria Native Friendship Centre  

“The structure of the Academy is perfect for working professionals.  Along with collaboration within your cohort, you build off each other’s experiences. The content within the program is all hands-on experience and between each class session, you have plenty of time to digest and implement what you have learned.  If you are in a senior leadership role or have recently been promoted to a managerial position I strongly recommend signing up for this incredible experience”    

– Andrea MacDonald
My Smart HR & Leadership  

“The highlights for me were spending time with high calibre, engaged leaders and the depth of the curriculum – setting the bar high. There is enormous potential for me to grow, using this material with my team moving forward.”

Peter Richardson

Level Ground Coffee