Executive Lab: Creating Strong Leadership

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Take your executive performance to new heights.

Embrace the challenges and opportunities of leadership from the unique perspective of an Executive Director.

As the most senior leader of your not-for-profit organization, your most important role is aligning your employees, board members and volunteers with organizational goals that deliver your mission. It’s a tall order, and it is achievable. Executive Lab is your first step.

Hear from Executive Lab participants and mentors

Move beyond the technical requirements of your role and maximize your leadership impact. From shaping organizational culture to leading change, from great governance to developing high-performing teams, Executive Lab offers senior leaders a new roadmap that takes their leadership and organization to the next level. You've never experienced a learning opportunity so uniquely focused on the executive role.

How the Program Works

Executive Lab is a seven-month program that hones executive leadership skills and fosters a network of generative, community leaders. Through five, intensive in-class learning sessions participants develop competencies across core areas of not-for-profit leadership. You put your learning into practice through partnership with a seasoned executive mentor, leadership journal practice, and self-paced assignments.

Program Details

2018 City of Vancouver Application Deadline:
February 21, 2018 at 4:00pm PT

2018 Program Schedule:
March 7, 2018 | 5:30pm - 8:30pm
April 11, 2018 | 9am - 4pm
May 9, 2018 | 9am - 4pm
June 6, 2018 | 9am - 4pm
July 11, 2018 | 9am - 4pm
September 12, 2018 | 9am - 4pm
September 26, 2018 | 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Location: 1183 Melville Street, Downtown Vancouver 

Fee: $2875.00

Program Benefits

Executive Lab provides coursework, activities, practical tools and mentorship to increase your effectiveness as an Executive Director. You will gain new insights and key skills to effectively align people to deliver your mission. Along the way, you develop supportive relationships and a personal network with other senior not-for-profit leaders.

Who Should Attend

Executive Directors (or Chief Executive Officers, Artistic Directors and Managing Directors etc.) looking to strengthen leadership skills, apply new tools to improve mission delivery, and exchange ideas with a network of not-for-profit leaders. Please note: this program assumes participants have foundational knowledge of good practice in not-for-profit management. If in doubt, please contact Carla Koulas for more information.


  1. Introduction - the role of the executive in creating mission alignment
    This is the first introduction to your peers and mentors and the starting point for a shared learning environment over the next seven months. Your personal leadership assessment, the mentoring relationship and core program concepts are also introduced.
  2. Personal Leadership – start with personal accountability and self-awareness
    This session starts with a focus on discovering your leadership style and strengths and then allows you to discover new ways to practice personal leadership to further the mission of your organization.
  3. Leading a Culture – uphold the vision, mission and values of your organization
    This session enhances your role as leader of your organization’s culture. You will examine how culture is practiced at your organization, and identify ways that your leadership approach can best engage people in maximizing organizational performance.
  4. Introduction to Coaching – hold others capable for achieving success
    In this highly-experiential session, you will have the opportunity to practice coaching skills and experience being coached. Learn how to use coaching conversations to support team members to generate their own solutions to workplace challenges.
  5. Leading Others – inspire excellence, create collaboration and support others to lead
    This session introduces you to tools you can use to develop leaders at all level of your organization. Learn critical skills to foster accountability and excellence in others, and empower everyone in your organization to contribute to the mission, whether individually or part of a team.
  6. Leading Change – drive execution and innovation
    This session builds your ability to lead change and manage transition in your organization. You will discover the key leadership skills required to create change that works.
  7. Review & Celebration - reflecting on the journey
    This is your opportunity to identify and celebrate how you have taken your leadership and impact to the next level over the course of seven months.

What are my responsibilities?

Along with attending the seven sessions you will:

  • Complete the Strength Deployment Inventory leadership assessment
  • Establish personal leadership learning goals
  • Work towards your personal leadership learning goals with a seasoned executive mentor, meeting in-person or by phone once per month
  • Complete assigned tasks and activities
  • Keep a journal of your experiences in between sessions
  • Develop a case study related to one of the topics, to be incorporated into the program activities

Registration Information:

The fee to participate is $2875.00.

2018 City of Vancouver Application Deadline: February 21, 2018 at 4:00pm PT

Application must include:

  • Resume including your professional and volunteer experience
  • Letter of support from your Board Chair, outlining the expected benefits to the organization


Executive Lab not-for-profit vancouver professional devlopement


City of Vancouver Grantee Organizations can apply for an Executive Lab bursary via the program's application form. Candidates will be selected by a panel according to specific criteria.




City of Vancouver Application Deadline
February 21, 2018 at 4:00pm PT


2018 Schedule
March 7, 2018 | 5:30pm - 8:30pm
April 11, 2018 | 9am - 4pm
May 9, 2018 | 9am - 4pm
June 6, 2018 | 9am - 4pm
July 11, 2018 | 9am - 4pm
September 12, 2018 | 9am - 4pm
September 26, 2018 | 5:30pm - 8:30pm





t: 604 875 9144
f: 604 875 0710
1183 Melville Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 2X5


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