Inspiring Rural Leadership: Participant Outline

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Growing Forward Rural Agricultural Organizations in Alberta

Inspiring Rural Leadership is a **Certificate program offered by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and delivered in partnership with rural organizations.

**As participants complete each module, they work toward completing a ‘Certificate in Rural Leadership’ which is recognized by the partners and supporters of the program as enhancing individual and organizational excellence.


Increased leadership capacity with individuals and Boards effectively advancing the mandates of rural agricultural organizations across Alberta.

Learning Modules Outline (Draft)

Values Based Leadership – First Know Yourself!
  • Raise awareness and understanding of the values that have underpinned participants’ lives to this point in time.
  • Provide participants, in a collaborative environment, an opportunity to reflect on their current core values.
  • Consider how they use those values to guide their leadership (of self, team, organization and community).
  • Share best practices and enhance knowledge and skill as effective values-based leaders.
  • Foster an appreciation for why being values-driven is important to any leadership role.
Leadership Styles
  • Participants will describe and appreciate a diversity of leadership styles and consider appropriate leadership styles for differing roles and situations.
  • Opportunity to personally define and understand their dominant leadership style and how it affects others.
  • Consider ways to adapt leadership styles to the group/situation.
Leadership Practices
  • To build skills for effective leadership with teams: building powerful relationships and supporting the individuals within the team toward remarkable outcomes.
  • Kouzes’ and Posner’s research shows that the more frequently a person uses these behaviours, the more likely it is that he/she will be seen as an effective leader by those around them. This module will encourage wider application of their five fundamental leadership practices: Model the way, Inspire a shared vision, Challenge the process, Enable others to act, Encourage the heart.
Coaching as a core Leadership Practice
  • “A leader is the relentless architect of the possibility that others can be” (Ben Zander, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra). Participants will explore the personal paradigm shifts needed to adopt a coaching approach to leadership.
  • As a skill to harvest from others what they have to offer, participants will identify and practice coaching skills & explore the value that coaching can bring to leadership for bringing the best out of the people around you.
  • Better understand how the habit of grouping up and working together, in teams, is a logical element of the leadership.
  • Consider how to lead, support and communicate with groups of diverse people working toward a common effort.
  • Experience the possibilities that emerge in the presence of focused, powerful, truly creative teams!
  • Consider the complexities of effective communication while appreciating why good communication skills are important.
  • Understand how preconceptions and limited perceptions interfere with communication.
  • Provide participants with some tools and processes that effectively communicate to engage the best contributions of individuals toward shared goals and collaborative efforts.
  • Develop a personal plan for communicating more effectively.
Leading Change and Engaging Community
  • To identify actions participants admire in change leaders and builders of community locally and/or globally
  • Learn how to lead a group through change & engage others in it.
  • Create awareness of different models and tools to support this work, so that participants will be curious to research and USE a tool!
  • Build skills for leaders of change to deal with the different reactions to change that are bound to occur within individuals and between and among groups when change is occurring.
  • Participants will consider how they might utilize skills to lead change, of themselves, their committees, their clubs and their community.
  • Participants will begin to identify action they can take to enhance their knowledge and skill as effective change leaders.
Your Leadership Role in Governance
  • An introduction to the art and science of governance in order to develop and support structure, systems, procedures and protocols, formal communication, decision-making frameworks, and accountability that will sustain an organization over time.
  • Ensure participants have a clear understanding of their role/s with their organization and consideration for how they can use their leadership skills to best support and sustain their organization.
  • Clarify the difference between governing, managing and operating an organization.
  • Increase excitement in others to serve with your organization through effective succession planning and recruitment of others to succeed in your role in the future.
Strategic Thinking
  • To increase awareness and appreciation of strategic thinking and shifting the focus from “always about now” to focus on a target of where you want to be.
  • To break the broad concept of strategic thinking into manageable behaviours that support leaders to develop the capacity and habit of strategic thinking.
  • Equip participants with theory and tools to enable them to consider the deep complexities of the issues facing communities, explore preferences and desires for the future, and take action that aligns the efforts of people in effective ways and is mindful of consequences in the short, mid and long term.

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This document is maintained by Stacey Tames.
This information published to the web on January 19, 2015.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 30, 2015.