Learning with impact: Discovering your inner leader

Kam Mokha discovered his own leadership style and learned how to embrace it to make an impact at his organization.

 
thechallenge

Having assumed a series of increasingly senior positions Kam Mokha, a branch manager at credit union G&F Financial Group had reached a level in his career where his leadership style really mattered. With staff looking to him for guidance, coaching and vision, he decided it was time to make leadership a priority.

“I’m good with people, but I wanted to harness that skill and use it strategically, to become a leader who’s able to think clearly, not take issues personally and find constructive solutions.”

Seeing his leadership potential, Diane Sullivan, VP Human Resources, G&F Financial approached him about taking Meeting the Leadership Challenge at UBC Sauder Executive Education.

“We send people every year to leadership courses at UBC Sauder because we know the benefits are substantial,” says Diane Sullivan, VP Human Resources, G&F Financial. “We like to target employees that are fairly new to a leadership role and if we send two or three at a time they form a team so when they come back they continue to encourage each other.”

Diane Sullivan

Meeting the Leadership Challenge is an intense learning experience. Over six days, participants stay in an executive downtown hotel and unplug from work and family so that they can completely focus on learning who they are as leaders, meaningful strategies to improve and techniques to make an impact the first day back at the office.

thepersonality

After receiving a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Punjab University in his home country of India, Mokha began what would become a 20-year career in the banking world.

Early on in his career, he worked in finance with the Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Bank. After several years he moved into the credit union sector where he has spent the majority of his career.

Since January 2014, Mokha has been with the BC-based G&F Financial Group, and has taken on the title of Branch Manager at one of the institution’s busy branches.

theexperience

“It wasn’t what I expected,” answers Mokha when asked about his experience in Meeting the Leadership Challenge.

He had readied himself to be lectured to, but what he discovered was a deeply interpersonal and interactive learning environment.

“The instructor was extraordinarily engaging and had real skill in delivering information in a way that felt actionable. It was surprising how personal this was for everyone in the class,” he says.

“What I really found about this course was that it was about understanding who you are, what your personality traits are, what makes you tick, what your values are and owning the qualities that you have.”

Small group workshops helped participants get to know each other on a deeper level, says Mokha and this made it easier for him to open up about struggles with certain aspects of management.

“I met people from all over the world in this course and we talked about everything from our fears, to negotiation tactics, to ways we could improve our people skills,” he explains.

“We were all there to learn and you realize you’re not alone in a lot of these issues because—despite what business you’re in—you realize we’re all in the human business and that it’s all about managing relationships.”

Kam Moka
thechange

Mokha says his relationships with co-workers and employs have seen substantial benefit. “I apply the lessons from the course to my day-to-day interactions and it's had a positive influence on how I resolve issues, find solutions and provide vision.”

“The results from Kam were phenomenal,” says Sullivan, adding that the changes in Mokha were noticeable from his first day back to work.

“We always knew that he was a great leader, but this course really took those skills to a new level,” she says. “From the employer standpoint, it’s been a very good return for G&F.”

Diane Sullivan



Executive Education at the Sauder School of Business

Our professional development programs aim to transform your career and accelerate your organization’s business objectives. With more than one hundred open enrolment programs taught by top Sauder faculty and leading industry experts, we zero in on your goals and ensure you get results.

We have a broad range of programs, from short skill-building courses for managers who want to make their mark to intensive week-long programs in residence for senior leaders. Each is comprehensive and convenient, minimizing your time away from the office and family. All our programs can be customized to meet your organization’s business objectives and professional development needs.