Former Olympians turn to leadership development

Gold medallist Mark Tewksbury and Debbie Muir have teamed up to deliver a coaching program that applies sports lessons to corporate culture

Two former Calgary Olympians have unveiled a leadership development initiative called The Corporate Champions Program.

The program is being run by Mark Tewksbury, who is an Olympic gold medalist in swimming and Debbie Muir, who has coached medal-winning athletes in synchronized swimming. Their Great Traits leadership program, which begins in January, aims to drive high-performance traits in the corporate world.

Mark Tewksbury and Deb Muir

“It’s really about what we call applied leadership. It’s a 12-week program where we relentlessly have you do the activities and the homework in your workplace,” Tewksbury told Calgary’s Business. “So it’s not based on case studies or ideas. There’s not a ton of reading.

“We distilled our experience from high performance sport into this 24-trait program. Basically it’s very comprehensive because the first focus is on you as an individual leader and that’s the idea of fundamentals of achievement to support that. Then it’s group and team leadership which is the heart of the program. That’s where six weeks is spent. And then there’s a couple of weeks of future impact — that legacy idea.”

The course costs $3,500 for a non-profit, $4,000 for an individual and $4,750 for corporate. A grant could cover up to 66 per cent of the cost. 

The program’s Teacher-In-Residence is Lorraine Segato, lead singer of the 1980s band Parachute Club.  

“A Corporate Champion is someone who has mastered leadership from three different points of view; individual, team, and future-impact. Intersecting these three unique sets of abilities, Corporate Champions build high-performing teams, create winning cultures and set their organizations up for future success,” said Tewksbury.

“High-Performance is the ongoing, life-long commitment to excellence. Performing at a high level is about being competitive, chasing the win, and being able to perform under pressure. High performers are results driven and use feedback to improve and succeed.”

He said pilot programs were held in Toronto and Calgary this year. Classes are for 20 people at a time. Full scale programs will be held in January, March and September.

The participant profile is for high potential people, new leaders and future leaders that an organization wants to develop and retain for the future.

Tewksbury said the program is also targeted to seasoned leaders who want to broaden and strengthen their leadership skills.

Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.

© Calgary’s Business

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reporter in Calgary.

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