COMM 483 - Leadership and General Management (formerly COMM 486R)

COMM 483 is modelled after Harvard's first year MBA program and is led by Professor Bob Elton and Adel Gamar. Bob is a previous CEO of BC Hydro and CFO of Vancity and of Eldorado Gold, and serves on Corporate Boards. Adel is CEO of a boutique firm specializing in adaptive leadership, organizational strategy and change management. In addition to advising senior leaders of Fortune 500 companies and public sector agencies worldwide, he is a former policy fellow at Harvard Law School and taught adaptive leadership at Harvard.

The class develops leaders through the study and discussion of business cases, great leaders, guest speakers, and current global issues in a team oriented and open environment. Students can expect to learn about finance, social entrepreneurship, accounting, marketing, OBHR, leadership and a range of other disciplines. Learning is accomplished through case studies, a learning format that puts you in the position of a decision-maker as you apply the necessary analysis to come to a set of recommendations.

The class was not offered in 2020W because of COVID-19. For 2021W we are planning for face-to-face delivery. We will also make contingency plans to cover further pandemic disruption.

Students in 2019W learned directly from guest speakers including Irfhan Rawji, founder and CEO of Mobsquad; Tamara Vrooman, then CEO of Vancity Credit Union; Paul Clinton, founder of Everything Wine and former CEO of Diageo North America; and Suzanne Siemens and Madeleine Shaw, Co-Founders of Aisle (previously Lunapads).

The true value of the course comes from the students who take part in it. We are looking for UBC Sauder's most imaginative, ambitious, hardworking people who will be in their third year or above in Term 2 of the 2021 Winter Session (January to April 2022). Students who believe they offer something 'different' are encouraged to apply. The class covers a wide range of business topics and will be balanced with students from each of Sauder's disciplines. There is one off-campus class retreat and an active social aspect to the course.

COMM 483 is worth six credits and is taught over six weekends in Term 2. Over the term, you will be required to analyze approximately 35 cases, write a 10-page self-reflective essay, complete 4-5 group assignments, stay up-to-date with current events, and actively participate in the class discussions. The summer before, you will also be required to complete various readings on leadership. There is one off-campus class retreat and an active social aspect to the course. The course has a heavy course load, something that is required to offer the opportunity to learn from the best of the Harvard Business School MBA program. We encourage you to seek out students who have taken COMM 483 before to ask them about the course.

Learning objectives

The objectives of this course are:

  • to integrate and apply knowledge gained from previous business courses to business cases.
  • to learn how to quickly absorb and analyze information to make business decisions.
  • to improve verbal communication and presentation ability.
  • to become self-aware of and develop one’s leadership ability and style.
  • to improve one’s ability to work with, motivate and lead people.
  • to actively learn from the experience of other classmates and community leaders.

Information session

Date: Tuesday, May 4
Time: 6:00pm PT
Location: Zoom (register to attend)

Application information

To apply for the 2021 Winter Session cohort, complete the online application by 11:59pm PT May 26, 2021 (deadline extended). Interviews will be held on May 29-30 and June 5-6.

Apply now  

About the professor

Professor Bob Elton is the former CEO of BC Hydro, and former CFO of Vancity. His current roles include director of Ritchie Brothers, and of Corix Group of Companies. His other past experiences include being a director at various companies, Partner at PWC, and Chair of the Minerva Foundation for BC Women. He has won several awards as a diversity champion. 

Note: COMM 483 was formerly numbered COMM 486R. The two courses are equivalent. You may only receive credit for one, not both. Three of the six credits for COMM 483/486R can be applied to the Year 4 capstone requirement (one of COMM 486M, COMM 491, COMM 492, COMM 497, COMM 498).

Course credits:

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