Insights at UBC Sauder

UBC Sauder professor tapped by Governor General to teach Canada’s future leaders

Rob Prowse

UBC Sauder adjunct professor Rob Prowse is sharing his expertise in leadership development with a select group of Canadians participating in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.

For over 25 years, UBC Sauder adjunct professor Rob Prowse has been involved in the area of leadership development – teaching courses across the school’s academic and executive education programs as well as developing programs for large corporations such as GlaxoSmithKline, Scotiabank, Ledcor Group and BCAA. 

Now Prowse is sharing his expertise with a select group of leaders from across Canada participating in this year’s Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference (GGCLC). The two-week leadership development experience explores the relationship between leadership and community while also empowering conference participants to further hone their own leadership skills.

The conference brings together Canadians from across the country who have been identified as “emerging leaders” and are selected by the alumni of the GGCLC on that basis. Attendees range from a bank vice president, high school principal and union leader to a member of the Canadian Navy and the head of the National Theatre School. 

Before they set off on a nine-day journey across the country to examine various issues and challenges related to leadership, 32 conference leaders selected from more 200 participants will attend a full-day course led by Prowse. During the workshop he will focus on leadership and teamwork – giving participants a strong foundation to work more effectively and efficiently within their groups to achieve the conference’s goals. 

According to Ian Anderson, executive director of the 2017 GGCLC, UBC Sauder’s reputation in the area of leadership development sets it apart from other schools. “UBC Sauder’s focus on experiential learning, combined with its custom executive education courses and award-winning faculty made it an appealing choice,” Anderson says. “I also was very impressed with their ability to listen to what we needed – and adjust their curriculum to help us meet our unique goals.”

For Prowse, the workshop is ultimately intended to empower participants to develop stronger collaboration and leadership skills. “We’re giving these future leaders the foundational tools they need in order to understand the Canada they want to build, and how they’ll achieve that in their own leadership years,” he explains. “These emerging leaders will have profound impact on Canada’s future.”

Using feedback from previous conference attendees, Prowse developed a customized workshop focused on concepts such as shared leadership, the benefits of team diversity and cultivating team productivity. Prowse currently teaches courses in Management Consulting, Organizational Change and Leading Teams in UBC Sauder’s Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Management and MBA programs. He also teaches Performance Management and Essential Management Skills in the Executive Education program.

The Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference was created to broaden the perspectives of future business leaders, union leaders and public administrators and help them gain a broader understanding of the direct consequences their decisions may have on individual Canadians and their communities. After travelling to a specific region of Canada – where they will examine issues through the practical experiences of local companies, communities and regional leaders – attendees will reconvene in Ottawa, where they will present their reports to the Governor General of Canada.