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CPABC Executive Programs

2023 Dates:

June 5-8, 20-22 CANCELLED
(Online – Special Online Fee Applies)

CPD Hours: 26
Program Fee:
$2,250 (Online Version)


The CEO Program is a practical and provocative advanced program for current and aspiring leaders seeking to excel with confidence in the upper echelons of executive responsibility.

Do you possess the emotional and mental qualities, interpersonal skills, street-smart insights, decision-making savvy and executive presence to lead?

Leading with purpose requires the ability to build and apply one’s strategic intelligence, prick the bubble of ignorance and anticipate career derailers, select talent and develop a cohesive executive team, respond courageously to unexpected high-impact surprises, devise workable strategies that inform and inspire, and foster a culture of resilience that competes for the future.

Special Features

  • Seven sessions of three-hours duration spread over three weeks
  • Two pre-course workbooks and a 100+ page instructional manual
  • Seven relevant case studies to strengthen decision-making skills
  • Organizational and personalized diagnostic tools and templates

Online Version Registration


The Opportunity and Realities of CEOdom

  • The premise, objectives, caveats and roles
  • Critical skills and stylistic nuances of leadership
  • Lesson #1: Avoid the fatal flaws or get the axe
  • How to survive and thrive in the zone of complexity
  • Finding, defining and shaping your leadership identity
  • Leader styles vs. the competencies to deliver on them
  • The difference between 'the good' and 'the best'
  • The C-suite skills that matter more than others today
  • The gritty truths and diseases of being the top dog

The Challenges of Leadership in the C-suite

  • The elusive, fragile, essential imperative of leading
  • Smarts that separate leaders from the pretenders
  • Achieving clarity, focus and results: The CEO Mantra
  • Organizational DNA: Manipulating the critical genes
  • Rethinking strategy: Realities and faulty assumptions
  • If you’re new: What to do from day one to day 100
  • Diagnosing the health and savvy of your enterprise
  • The new post-Covid social contract with employees
  • Assessing the key players on your executive team

The Elements of Extraordinary Leadership

  • The CEO Entrance Exam: Questions you must answer
  • Making good choices: Time, priority and energy audits
  • Self-assessment: Do you have what it will take?
  • Mapping your career advancement in broad strokes
  • Setting your compass: The non-negotiable rules
  • How to get the best advice and build reliable networks
  • Executive presence, self-promotion and brand building
  • Power and politics in the C-Suite: How to play the game
  • Identity: Reconciling the five paradoxes of leadership
  • Sustaining the drive: Fueling motivation and productivity

Overcoming Obstacles to Higher Performance

  • Building a cohesive and focused executive team
  • Measuring high performance at the executive level
  • Inner circles, EAs or a CoS?: How to choose them
  • Vision, purpose, values and rules: Misguided tools
  • Operationalizing a paradigm shift in your culture
  • Leading knowledge workers who are smarter than you
  • Developing a symbiotic relationship with your board
  • What the board needs to know and do about risk
  • The relationship between structure and performance

The CEO as the Chief Decision Maker

  • The three decision domains that make or break you
  • The CEO effect: Why good leaders deserve their pay
  • The bubble of ignorance: What, why and how to escape it
  • The three fatal flaws that undermine decision effectiveness
  • Improving decision outcomes: Eight tools and techniques
  • Overcoming the echo chamber: Changing the D-M culture
  • Finding the best experts: The traps you need to avoid
  • Enriching the decision process: Knowing when you’re right
  • Risk intelligence: Awareness, analysis, tolerance and framing
  • Why successful companies fail: Might yours be next?
  • Nurturing beneficial and credible two-way feedback

 Fostering Innovation and Building Resilience 

  • Leading in a crisis: Dos, don’t’s and prevention tactics
  • From the trenches: Jim’s crisis intervention playbook
  • The lessons of COVID: What have leaders learned?
  • Forecasting high-impact surprises, unknowns and luck
  • The elements and architecture of a smart enterprise
  • Fostering workforce innovation: Problems and solutions
  • Execution: Ingredients, constraints and required skills
  • Making innovation a competency rather than a slogan
  • Why Canadian companies are so poor at innovation
  • Intelligent failure: A paradigm for symbiotic growth
  • Business model transformation: Different approaches
  • Strategies for growing your business in a VUCA world
  • Caveat emptor: Partnerships, strategic alliances and IPOs
  • Due diligence: The upsides and the downsides of scaling

The Ultimate Responsibilities of Leadership

  • Navigating ethical dilemmas: The tricky slippery slope
  • Which CEOs are more likely to commit fraud?
  • Embracing the highest calling of exemplary leadership
  • High potentials: How to identify and develop them
  • How and when to exit the enterprise stage left 
  • Succession planning: How to find your next CEO
  • Overcoming the challenges internal candidates face
  • Acquiring the mindset: Destinations worth considering
  • What you can’t be taught but must learn for yourself
  • Dr. Jim’s Top 10 List: What Smart Leaders need to know
  • Leading with purpose: The six unavoidable questions
  • Going forward: Achieving your destiny as a great CEO

Online Version Registration

DR. JIM MURRAY is CEO of optimal solutions international, a firm dedicated to helping people achieve their full potential. Jim has taught courses for CPABC since 1982.

He is the architect of several advanced residential programs for five provincial CPA bodies, has published four best-selling books, and provided his strategic counsel to well over 600 organizations. He has been nationally honoured by the university community and formally recognized for “excellence in the design and delivery of life-long learning”. His full bio is on