Learning with impact: Making leadership a priority

Sylvie Quaeyhaegens

Sylvie Quaeyhaegens wanted to inspire enthusiasm in her team. UBC Sauder Executive Education gave her the tools to do it the Monday after she finished the course.

The Challenge

UBC Sauder School of Business Executive Education courses were something Sylvie Quaeyhaegens, Customer Engagement Manager at Port Metro Vancouver, learned about on the job.

"We are always given the opportunity to continue our learning and acquire new skills through education and my managers at my workplace suggest Sauder for professional development."

Quaeyhaegens has already taken several courses through Executive Education in an effort to gain her Certificate in Executive Development, but it was her most recent course, Leveraging Your Leadership Strengths, that really stood out.

"This specific course was of interest to me because I have several people reporting to me in my position at the port," she explains. "And I loved the course description because it reinforced that it would play on my strengths instead of highlighting my weaknesses."

The Personality

Quaeyhaegens has been with Port Metro Vancouver for the last two years and sees growing into her position as a team leader as a critical part of her role in the organization.

"I care about the people that I work with, my team, and I always want to inspire them."

The multilingual 43-year-old has a bachelor of Business Administration from ICHEC Brussels Management School in Brussels, Belgium - the hub of European business - and has over 18 years of international business experience.

The Experience

Before she even stepped into the classroom, Quaeyhaegens had already identified her top leadership strengths, so she says she felt better prepared and more confident right from the start.

"We had to fill out a questionnaire and this helped us identify our top leadership attributes," Quaeyhaegens explains. She says the positive tone established was something that was almost tangible in the room. 

"Many people were managers of teams with between 4 to 15 people and they all spoke so highly about their members, about how they aim to motivate and empower them," she says. "That to me was very inspiring."

One-on-one roleplaying was also used to show different leadership perspectives and to play on the participants strengths. But Quaeyhaegens adds the excercises also "helped us identify and manage our weaknesses and taught us techniques to communicate with other people with other strengths and weaknesses," adds Quaeyhaegens.

The Change

Quaeyhaegens brought her newfound inspiration to work on the Monday morning after the class and says her whole team noticed the change.

"I felt energized and they could tell," she explains. "They were excited to hear about the new concepts I'd learned and how we could begin to use them regularly."

The manager says she routinely finds herself thinking about ideas she's learned from the class and believes this is a permanent change in the way she sees her role as a leader.

"It's not just techniques or concepts. It's more than that," she says. "It's a way of working - it's an attitude."

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 residential programs 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.