Creating The Next Face of (business) Leadership

Ann Marie MacDougall of LeaderBoom talks about preparing the next generation for the high-pressure global business arena

Ann Marie MacDougall is president of LeaderBoom Inc.

Ann Marie MacDougall

What is LeaderBoom and why was it created?

MacDougall: LeaderBoom is a results-oriented firm launched in 2012 that provides just-in-time customized leadership development programs and advisory services designed to empower and accelerate performance in individuals, teams, organizations, and communities. We do this by integrating fresh insights mined through LeaderBoom’s global research, consulting, training, coaching and public speaking in organized through public events.

I was inspired to create LeaderBoom after completing a global executive MBA through Rotman School of Management and St. Gallen University in Switzerland in 2011. We studied in six countries over 18 months and very quickly observed the systemic global leadership challenge of young professionals being launched into leadership roles with very little leadership experience and being asked to lead highly-diverse teams through accelerated change and high complex business transformation.

Why do you use the phrase, “The Next Face of Leadership” and what does that imply?

MacDougall: In today’s dynamic world economy, developing a global mindset and building self-awareness (a leadership style that can face and endure systemic pressure while navigating teams through accelerated change and challenge) is a clear leadership competitive advantage.

chose “The Next Face of Leadership” to reflect this new requirement of 21st century leaders and as a reminder of the essential importance for transferring leadership know-how across multiple cultures, demographics and on to a sizable population of young professionals (global median is currently 31 years of age) who will be required to lead us into the future.

Why is it important for companies to have leadership training programs?

MacDougall: Continuous deepening of leadership skills is vitally important in today’s 21st century high-pressure, high-stress global business arena. By example, leaders who can think globally, anticipate and integrate key insights into their local planning, have a clear advantage. Other valued skills include developing leadership presence through increased self-awareness, strategic communication, critical thinking, change agility, focus and goal execution.

On deepening self-awareness, overcoming fear and thoughts of limitation, I’ve had the pleasure to observe many leaders in highly-pressurized environments leading high-stake initiatives and high-performing teams and you would never imagine they were carrying that level of stress and responsibility upon first meeting them.

It’s often the leaders who are willing to embrace systemic change in both their personal and professional lives who become eventual masters of self-awareness.

What companies and executives are more willing to utilize leadership training programs?

MacDougall: To date, we’ve had the pleasure to develop leadership programs (training, coaching, special events) for newcomer professional women to Canada, early career professionals, newcomer youth, high school youth, CEOs of global companies and senior teams leading in high performing environments.

It’s been a wide range of exceptional learning experiences and often it’s the leaders working in high-performing dynamic environments who are motivated to invest in their workforce with an aim to retain top talent and to maximize their performance potential.

I would add that what makes LeaderBoom unique as a service provider is that we have a very strong community orientation.

In addition, our leadership programs have lower costs to production, are high quality, dynamic, experiential in design and effective in transfer and scaling of knowledge.

By example, we often integrate community and business leaders in our programs as speakers or trainers. These would be individuals who’ve developed unique leadership wisdom over time from years of proven career or community volunteer experience.

How does a leadership training program impact a company’s bottom line?

MacDougall: LeaderBoom’s diverse delivery methods and approaches engage participants in the open and collaborative discussions required to enrich their learning experience that often stimulates real behaviour change and leads to the success of the business and the individuals.

Leadership training can benefit a company’s bottom line in multiple ways through increased operational effectiveness, increased employee satisfaction, increased sales and market expansion, increased innovation, talent retention, improved client satisfaction, etc.

Otherwise, the global bottom line is the world is changing and those changes are accelerating rapidly. The pillars of traditional hierarchical thinking are crumbling thanks to the power of social networks, increased transparency, and dramatic shifts in global demographics.

Business transformation through process automation is a key area of global focus and there’s also an increase in co-operation forming between smaller and larger firms to create temporary work clusters. From our observation of this phenomena, cross-sector clusters are forming for the purpose of developing new strategies, just-in-time solutions, networking and forecasting of business cycles that are tough to pin down.

Notwithstanding these enormous pressures, every layer of leadership is expected to stay focused, remain calm during chaos, adaptable, open minded, positive and focused on the bottom line.

The 21st century is a hero’s journey and we’re excited to be a part of this time in history and for the potential to create an even more empowered future for the many generations of leaders to follow.

– Mario Toneguzzi


leadership leaderboom training

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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