Strategic Leaders Program

A New, Bold, and Different Way of Thinking about Leadership

The Strategic Leaders Program builds on McMaster’s six leadership capabilities, the program integrates three key themes:  Leading Self, Leading Others, and Leading at the University.  Participants will gain an awareness of their current capabilities and work to develop them to more effectively lead others and ultimately position themselves to grow their careers within McMaster.

View the program information webinar.

Program Overview

Winter 2019 Tentative Program Schedule: Feb 13, March 6, 27, April 17, May 8, 22, and June 19, 2019.

Winter 2019 applications open October 16. Applications close December 7.

Time:  9:00 am – 4:00 pm (continental breakfast and networking available 8:30 – 9:00 am)

Location: Sessions will be held at a variety of McMaster and Hamilton locations.

Who should attend: The Strategic Leader Program is available to employees who oversee a function and/or team within a department or faculty. Typical job titles at the Strategic Leader level may include: Assistant Director, Assistant Registrar, Chair, Manager-Finance, Manager-Information Technology, Program Manager, or Research Program Manager. Applicants must have served in a strategic leader role for a minimum of one fiscal year cycle as of the program start date.

Key Application & Selection Dates:

  • Applications Open:  October 16, 2018
  • Applications Close:  December 7, 2018
  • Applications Review and Selection:  December 10 – 14, 2018
  • Admission Offers Sent: December 17 – 21, 2018
  • Acceptance Deadline:  January 11, 2019
  • Program Welcome Information Distributed: January 14, 2019
  • Program Start Date: February 13, 2019

What’s New, Bold & Different

  • New Facilitator Format:  Multiple facilitators and guest speakers from diverse sectors will present ideas and lead discussions.  A lead integrator will ensure continuity and threading of themes throughout the program.
  • Online/Blended Experience:  Avenue 2 Learn will be used to expose learners to online learning and enable engagement between sessions.
  • Community Focus:  Drawing on the expertise of community leaders, sessions will be hosted at a variety of McMaster and Hamilton locations, and participants will engage in a community-focused, experiential initiative.
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches:  The program will incorporate articles and resources from the literatures of the humanities, social sciences, health, education, and business.  An interdisciplinary lens will be used in discussions and activities.
  • Capabilities Assessment:  Participant completion of a McMaster-specific multi-rater tool will generate feedback related to the leadership capabilities and McMaster values.
  • Dynamic Curriculum:  Compelling and thought-provoking stories, narratives, and case studies that relate to McMaster and Hamilton will be part of the program.  Participants will analyze situational implications for the University and experience diverse leadership lessons.
  • New Perspectives:  Guest facilitators and speakers will challenge participants to view their roles and work differently.
  • Senior Leader Connections:  The program includes opportunities for dialogue with members of PVP, business leaders, and community leaders.

Program Learning Outcomes

Through the program, the participant will be able to:
  • Describe the Strategic Leader Capabilities and demonstrate growth in relation to the capabilities from program beginning to end.
  • Understand his or her own personal leadership style and leverage it to effectively interact with others and develop teams.
  • Participate in learning based on lived experience and implement knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired through experiential activities in the workplace.
  • Strengthen existing and develop new networks that will enhance cross-organization collaboration and cooperation.
  • Experience increased comfort and skill in practicing leadership consistently and successfully across the University.
  • Connect leadership practice and behaviours to support and advance University strategy.

Application & Registration

To apply for the Strategic Leaders Program, complete the following steps:

1.  Review the opportunity with your supervisor.

2.  Complete the Online Application. Be sure you are logged out of Mosaic tabs/browsers before beginning your application!

a)  As a McMaster employee, login to the application page using your Mac ID.

b)  Identify the specific program to which you want to apply (Strategic Leaders Program).

c)  Always save the information on the application pages before you proceed to the next items.

3.  Complete the Participant Commitment Form and upload the PDF to your online application.

4.  Ask your supervisor to review your learning goals and complete the Supervisor Support Form and upload the PDF to your online

5.  Prepare and upload a one-page letter of intent answering the following questions:  1.  What are your relevant knowledge, skills and work experiences as they apply to your interest in the program? 2.  What are your learning and career goals?  3.  How do you think this program will help you meet your goals?

Note:  In the Mosaic application interface, you will be asked to upload various documents.  Do NOT upload a transcript.

Selection Process: Only completed applications will be reviewed and considered following the application deadline date. The following criteria will be considered in the selection process:

  • The alignment and specificity of one’s stated learning and career goals with program outcomes, as stated in one’s letter of intent.
  • The length of time in one’s role; and
  • One’s current leadership role; priority is granted to individual currently working in a strategic leader capacity. Individuals seeking development and promotion into a strategic leader role will be considered as space is available.

Representation from across the University (inclusive of all University faculties and departments) will also be considered to enhance networking opportunities and to include diverse perspectives across academia and administration.

In the event that applications are deemed equal after review, a lottery draw will be used to fill available spaces.

Certificate of Completion: Individuals meeting program requirements will earn a McMaster University Certificate of Completion.

Questions may be directed to:


Strategic Leaders Program is delivered by the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) and sponsored by Human Resources Services.

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

Steven Hawking