Canadian Forces Executive Development– the Strategic Leaders Program

by Brigadier-General Charles Lemieux,
Special Advisor to the Chief of the Defence Staff on Professional Development

The Innovation Salon - February 24th, 2003

In a global environment where change is the only constant, successful organizations ensure their leaders are adaptable, innovative and knowledgeable. The breadth and depth of our commitments, the complexity of demands placed upon us, and the enormous consequences of failure make this especially true for the Canadian Forces (CF).

To identify competencies that reflect the CF vision, values, mission and strategic imperatives, we consulted several communities for insights, expertise and advice. Four strategic objectives guided the competency development. They identify the key attributes we believe our leaders should embody. We expect them to be:

  • leaders of change;
  • credible and inspirational commanders;
  • intellectual leaders in the security and defence community; and,
  • stewards of military professionalism in Canada.

As a consequence, we believe our professional development system needs to be augmented to:

  • align with the identified leadership competencies;
  • accommodate different learning styles and individual needs;
  • provide alternate and less intrusive forms of delivery;
  • respond to changing requirements and conditions; and,
  • exploit existing informal learning processes.

In brief the Canadian Forces Strategic Leaders Program identifies competencies required by successful CF strategic leaders; links competencies to existing mechanisms – i.e. career management, succession planning, developmental opportunities, performance agreements and performance evaluations; accommodates disparate learning styles; provides individualized and flexible professional development; acknowledges, integrates and exploits what we are doing right; provides a framework for future professional development; and, fosters a “life-long-learning” culture. The program does not introduce new, time-consuming processes, does not take the learner out of the work environment, and does not cost much in terms of resources or effort.


Notes about the speaker:

Brigadier-General Charles Lemieux was assigned to the Office of the Special Advisor to the Chief of the Defence Staff for Professional Development in January 2000. His principal focus was leading the CF leadership renewal initiatives with the aim of defining the leadership attributes required to meet the anticipated challenges of the future and to develop the strategy to kick start implementation with activities that would have the most impact early in the process. The first significant activity was the redesign of the CF professional development governance structure with the creation of the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA) in April 2002. The responsibilities of the Office of the Special Advisor are to be absorbed by the CDA by the end of March 2003, at which time the Office will close. Brigadier-General Lemieux brings to the Office more than 35 years of experience in a wide range of assignments in international and domestic operations; training; strategic and operational level planning; defence policy; public affairs; and human resources.



Cost: $10 registration fee, $25 for dinner, plus taxes and tip. Persons cancelling less than 24 hours before the meeting will be charged the registration fee.

Registration: For more information and RSVP by Thursday, February 20th to: Diane Shane, Industry Canada, or 946-6515

Location: The Courtyard Restaurant, 21 George, 241-1516 is in the Byward Market, in the first block East of Sussex, North of The Bay and Chapters, in a courtyard on the North side of George.



Updated 13/02/03

Last updated: November 2009