Emerging Leaders Program:
Personal and Leadership Capacity Building Mini-Workshop Series

We are not offering any workshops at this time, though we encourage you to check back soon to see what new opportunities we have available!

For students who have attended our workshops in the past, log in to MyInvolvement and check your Co-Curricular Record to see how many workshops in the series you have completed.

About Us: Our mini-workshops explore central components of personal development and leadership capacity-building for students at McGill University. These 55-minute workshops are a great way to help you define how you want to navigate through your academic career as well as through life! Invest in learning more about yourself and your peers through these engaging, stimulating, and fun workshops. Below are descriptions of the workshops we offered in the Winter 2017 Semester.

Power & Leadership:

This workshop helps students explore positional power and social influence, particularly as it relates to their individual identities. It encourages students to critically reflect on the power they may have and how to leverage it in everyday situations. The workshop also examines power struggles and encourages students to link power to everyday leadership.

Being a Change Agent:

Students participating in this workshop will begin by playing a game to explore themes related to individual influence, personal interpretations, communication, and change. The workshop will also help students consider the impact people to inspire other and how they, as individuals, can harness the power of their passions to influence positive change in their communities.

Conflict Management:

Through this highly interactive workshop, students will work across potential disputes to balance their positionality and needs with the potentially conflicting desires of others. Students will further learn about conflict management styles by reflecting both individually and with peers so they can better understand themselves and how they can collaborate more effectively with other people.

Failure & Resiliency:

This workshop is geared towards helping students identify, when in their challenges, why they want to accomplish their goals and how they intend on achieving them. Additionally, students will explore how they can learn from and overcome potential barriers as well as how they can develop resilience in their daily life.

Ethics & Leadership:

To analyze and discover how ethics and leadership intertwine, students in this workshop begin to examine different ethical standards and then will be challenged to apply those standards to a classic ethical dilemma. By critically reflecting upon their own beliefs and the positions of their peers, students will actively engage in debate on making moral decisions. The session concludes by exploring the application of ethics to leadership.


Opening with an energizing activity, this workshop will challenge students to examine their perceptions and definitions of motivation. Common themes will be explored as students discuss and discover how to find inspiration in daily life. The workshop concludes with an overview of techniques for cultivating motivation and a consideration of students’ individual needs in regards to motivation.


Here are some other workshops we offer through our Emerging Leaders Program.

Personal Visioning and Goal Setting  

This highly interactive workshop gives participants the opportunity to learn more about personal visioning and goal setting in theory and practice. Participants will leave this workshop with the ability to more clearly articulate their own personal vision and identify immediate and actionable goals.  Added bonus: meet new people and be a part of a burgeoning learning community!

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Goal-setting theory (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2002) was developed inductively within industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology over a 25-year period, based on some 400 laboratory and field studies. These studies showed that specific, high (hard) goals lead to a higher level of task performance than do easy (soft) goals or vague, abstract goals such as the exhortation to ‘‘do one’s best.’’ So long as a person is committed to the goal, has the requisite ability to attain it, and does not have conflicting goals, there is a positive, linear relationship between goal difficulty and task performance. Because goals refer to future valued outcomes, the setting of goals is first and foremost a discrepancy-creating process. It implies discontent with one’s present condition and the desire to attain an object or outcome. While Personal Visioning poses an outward declaration of how you can manifest your core values and ambitions throughout your career and lifetime. It is formed from a deep personal experience, imaginations, empathy and a range of psycho-sociological situations over time.

Consider and reflect on the following questions:

• As an individual, what words or phrases capture your PASSIONS? ( you can draw these from your past experiences)
• Would you be able to clearly, in a few statements, articulate your core values, and how you want your life to ideally become?
• Are you able to identify and clearly set out a short term achievable goal?
• What challenges and opportunities would you face as you work towards the goal(s) you have stated above?

We encourage you to think about these questions as a great way to prepare for this workshop.


What is “Leadership"?  

Learn more about “leadership” (that term that we use so much and have so many interpretations of) in theory and practice in just under one hour! This workshop will let you explore what leadership is and how you can be a part of an accessible and relevant leadership development process during your career here at McGill.

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A study posits that leadership is a developmental process, which is based on the type of choice a leader makes. While choice implies that two good options are always available from which to select, one should make choices in accordance with one’s worldview; looking for affiliation (i.e. the Theta worldview), or looking for achievement (i.e. the Lambda worldview). Consequently, leaders need to recognize that the choices they make for organizational activities have to fit their own worldview. Pursuing the fit between one’s worldview and planned organizational activities ensures that leaders continuously improve their ethical behavior.

Who is the leader or what qualities do ideal leadership require? One quality of a leader is self-awareness (Goleman, 1998, p.84), which we define as “having a deep understanding of one's emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives.” By this definition, leaders should also understand their own values and goals in order to express themselves accurately and openly. This suggests that good leaders are able to clearly articulate their deepest emotions and life goals, a feat which psychological research suggests people find difficult (Niemeyer, Anderson and Stockton, 2001).

Humans need a purpose. As each person has their own individual personality, they therefore search for a unique purpose (Frankl, 1963). While we cannot attain true purpose, humans are aware that we have a purpose and should search for it (Frankl, 1963). Focusing on the search for purpose as a goal requires maturity, one of the most important qualities of a leader (Zaleznik, 1977).

Consider and reflect on the following questions:

• Do you think leaders are BORN or DEVELOPED?
• There are a few leadership models and theories which includes; Situational Leadership, Social change model and Transformative leadership. How would you describe your style of Leadership? (NOTE: It is okay if you cannot identify your style yet. It will be discussed in the workshop.)
• Personal Vision/purpose helps you become a better leader in various ways. Can you think of your personal leadership vision?


Getting Involved at McGill: Exploring Leadership

Thinking about getting involved on campus but not sure where to start? Not sure why getting involved is even worthwhile? This interactive workshop will help you discover relevant and exciting involvement and leadership opportunities on campus and advise you on how to get the most from your university experience.

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During the past forty years, students who attended college or university likely heard the slogan, “Get involved!” all over campus.  People may wonder why faculty, administrators, and other students persist so doggedly to involve undergraduates in both academics and experiences offered outside the classroom.  Is it because these enthusiastic individuals simply need members to survive and carry out their goals and purposes?  Or, does active participation have some benefit to the students who choose to take advantage of those opportunities?  According to Astin’s (1999) theory of involvement, students can actively participate in creating a positive impact on their own development and learning.  He also postulates that student involvement leads to increased satisfaction with the entire college experience as well as increased rates of student retention. 

When students are involved, they are likely to identify more closely with their institution and feel they play an important role within it.  Positive feelings about their institution contribute to an enjoyment of academics and learning, and promote the desire to further their education beyond the undergraduate years.  Finally, personal growth and development occur when students are involved in opportunities that provide stimulation, challenge, and exposure to diversity.  The more involved students are, the more likely they are to benefit intellectually and personally.  Miller and Jones (as cited in Fitch, 1991), went even further asserting that extracurricular programs should be viewed as essential components to overall education since they provide such strong benefits, rather than being considered merely supplemental, as they are by many administrators. We also see that involved students often discover more opportunities as one outcome and theorize that this can lead to developing one’s capacity as a citizen, hopefully being able to make positive change in all of the different communities one becomes a member of over a lifetime.

Consider the following questions as you prepare for the workshop:

• What are your interests and passions?
• How have you been involved in your community, school, family etc., and what benefits have you accumulated?
• There are so many opportunities at McGill; how aware are you off all the different clubs, services and organizations at university?
• What could be possible obstacles that may hinder your involvement and how would you like the Campus Life and Engagement office (as well as other student services) to assist you in overcoming these challenges?


Global Leadership and Intercultural Consciousness

Increasing globalization and intercultural contact (we live in a connective era, after all!) is a reality that demands expanding one’s cultural skill set. This workshop will help everyone understand more about what it takes to be a global leader and recognize how to increase intercultural consciousness. Through reflective and participatory practice, you will gain the skills and information needed to interact in a variety of group settings. Take advantage of your unique situation as a student here at McGill and in Montreal where we have the advantage of being a part of a truly culture-rich population!

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Leadership is inherently a value-driven concept (Terry, 2003). Our notions and assumptions about ethics, power, influence, relationship dynamics, organisational vision, change management, human motivation, work-place productivity, integrity and other functions and actions associated with leadership are influenced by our world view. We carry our world view into all human interactions and relationships. Teaching Leadership theory without discussion of cultural context results in great void in students’ preparation to meet the contemporary demands and challenges facing leaders in an increasingly inter-dependent, diverse and culturally pluralistic world. Personal characteristics such as attachment styles, communication, empathy, motivation, respect, tolerance for ambiguity, and self-confidence have been considered important for improving intercultural success (Gertsen, 1990; Hannigan, 1990; Manning, 2003; Seale & Ward, 1989; Van den Brouche, De Soete, & Bohrer, 1989; Ward & Kennedy, 1992).

Consider and reflect on the following questions as you prepare for the workshop:

• What does Global Leadership and Intercultural consciousness mean to you?
• Are you aware of certain assumptions and suppositions you have based your personal world view?
• What steps are essential from your perspective in ensuring mutual respect and consideration of each other’s cultures when interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds?
• What other characteristics do you think could be also important for improving intercultural consciousness?