Executive Certificate in Leadership

Stay ahead of the competition.

 Build personal leadership skills, strategies and capacity to grow your company.
Develop dynamic, productive and collaborative management teams.
Create a culture of innovation and creative problem-solving. 

Details at a glance

Program length: 6 courses over 12 weeks (From March 22 to June 12, 2021)
Program includes: Two leadership assessments; three 1-hour sessions with a Certified Executive Coach; Action Leadership Project with guidance from faculty mentor.
Instruction method: Fully online
Cost: $4,248
Funding option: Eligible participants may qualify for funding through the Province of Nova Scotia’s Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Initiative (WIPSI)

Who should attend?

Whether you are new to management, in the early stage of your career, in mid-career, or experienced in a senior management/director capacity, the Executive Certificate in Leadership is for you if you are seeking to:

  • Advance in your career
  • Develop sound leadership, collaboration and stakeholder management skills
  • Learn how to develop and manage innovation in your organization

What will I learn?

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  • Understand and demonstrate leadership behaviors, attitudes, skills and competencies
  • Create, define and manage their own personal leadership style
  • Lead responsibly and demonstrate values-based leadership
  • Effectively engage and lead teams within, across, and external to the organization
  • Understand what a culture of innovation and creative problem solving is and how to create and lead it within their organization
  • Effectively employ collaboration skills and design thinking methodology
  • Demonstrate complexity and systems thinking through strategic analysis, problem identification and problem-solving capacity
  • Partner with others to increase organizational and leadership capacity overall

Course Descriptions

Introduction to Leadership

An introduction to the leadership development program that includes a review of the courses, the program structure, objectives, and expected learning outcomes. This module is an opportunity for participants to examine where they are now in terms of leadership development and where they aspire to be by the end of the program. It also begins to orient them to an engagement with the practice of lifelong learning. 


Self-Management | Self- Awareness | Self-Leadership

Self-awareness and self-management are the foundation of successful leaders. This course focuses on four core elements of self-management – emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, thinking strategies and reflective practices. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of their skill levels in each of these areas; practical skills to use when they return to the workplace, and a self-management plan to take forward.

This is an ideal course for professionals who want to understand the importance of self-awareness as it relates to leadership and for those interested in effectively self-managing their ability to deal with emotions, conflict, communication and thinking. 

Learning outcomes

  • Develop and refine the practice of mindfulness, feedback and reflection
  • Understand one's preferred style of conflict management
  • Identify ways to apply conflict resolution skills creatively and effectively
  • Apply an Emotional Intelligence framework that will make one a more successful leader
  • Identify key strategic thinking styles and develop the capacity to use multiple thinking strategies
  • Assess individual ability to lead responsibly
  • Create a self-management profile

Teams and Relationship Management

This course explores the role of teams within the systems model, and emphasizes the key role teams can play in problem-solving and innovative thinking. Team management is a key competency of managers, and requires new models of leadership, with supporting motivational and performance management components such as recognition, reward, and support. Participants will discuss how to build and lead successful teams to achieve optimal performance in organizations. They will explore and develop a set of tools that when combined with planning and collaboration will result in enhanced performance of teams and improved retention of talent within their organizations.

Learning outcomes

  • Critically explore the roles of individuals as members of teams
  • Examine the roles teams can play in problem solving and innovation within organizations
  • Acquire the skills and competencies to lead teams to achieve optimal performance within organizations

Collaboration, Complexity, and Innovation

Collaboration allows organizations to use the collective wisdom of multiple individuals or groups to accomplish tasks or projects. As the complexity of issues, projects and networks increases, so does the need for powerful collaboration. Yet, achieving the increased effectiveness and efficiencies associated with collaborative effort is no small undertaking. Barriers to collaborative effort abound and the costs of collaboration are often under-explored by managers and organizations.

This module enhances understanding of how to actualize collaboration in organizations.  We will look at the barriers and boundaries that make collaboration a challenging endeavor. We will examine the individual skills that backstop strong collaborators and discuss how organizational systems both disrupt and facilitate an organization's ability to enhance its collaborative capacity.  Finally, in an effort to link the collaboration discussion back to the theme of innovation, we will look at an approach to problem solving (design thinking) that leverages the power of collaboration in the pursuit of creativity and innovation.

Learning outcomes

  • Examine the role of ‘complexity’ as an increasingly important driver of collaborative efforts.
  • Understand the skills and competencies that enable individuals to be skilled collaborators
  • Understand organizational pre-conditions that foster successful collaboration
  • Explore the relationship between collaboration and innovation through a preliminary introduction to design thinking
  • Examine course themes within the context of organizational and professional priorities 

Decision Making & Creative Problem Solving

Decision-making is a fundamental skill for individuals at all levels of an organization. The importance of being able to make well informed, timely, and strategic decisions is essential to organizational success and high performance. This course examines decision-making and creative problem solving skills and techniques, and moves the participants through practical applications to enhance their skills.

Learning outcomes

  • Have a better understanding of a rational problem solving process and one's current skill level and preferred style.
  • Understand various conflict resolution strategies and one's preferred method of dealing with interpersonal conflict.
  • Understand the relationship between problem solving frameworks and resolving conflict in the workplace in an optimal manner.
  • Develop an ability to recognize and remove perceptual blocks in order to effectively resolve issues in the workplace

Harnessing Innovation

In today's competitive marketplace, businesses and organizations need to innovate not only in terms of new products and services, but also in the ways they design processes, practices and business models to compete in increasingly global markets. This course first debunks the myth of innovation by establishing what innovation “is” and “is not”.  From this definition, leading innovation systems are examined and best practices established. Various innovations are then examined and benchmarked against these best practices in an effort to identify, shape and develop breakthrough products, services, processes and practices.

Learning outcomes:

  • Recognize various types of innovation: product, process, service and business model innovation
  • Appreciate the innovation spectrum: sustaining innovation versus radical innovation
  • Know when and where to use innovation systems, tools and methods
  • Understand and sponsor innovation culture in their business
  • Know how to lead organizational innovation