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

COMM 483 is modeled after Harvard's first year MBA program and is led by Professor Bob Elton, a previous CEO of BC Hydro and CFO of Vancity. The class develops leaders through the study and discussion of case studies, great leaders, guest speakers, and current global issues in a team oriented and open environment. It covers a wide range of business topics and will be balanced with students from each of Sauder's disciplines. It aims to help prepare students for the challenges of leadership in a changing global and inclusive society. Students in previous years have learned directly from the likes of Tamara Vrooman, Paul Clinton, Madeleine Shaw, and Kirsten Sutton.

The entire learning model is dependent on the collective endeavor of students. Students must commit to the process of individual preparation of all materials, consistent attendance, and full engagement. We are looking for students across all disciplines who are hardworking, expressive, and lifelong learners. Students who believe they offer something 'different' are encouraged to apply. To qualify, you must be in Year 3 or above in Term 2 of the 2019 Winter Session (January to April 2020).

COMM 483 is worth six credits and is taught over six weekends in Term 2 of the 2019 Winter Session (January to April 2020). Over the term, you will be required to analyze approximately 40 cases, write a 10-page self-reflective essay, complete 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 read 6-8 books 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.


To apply for COMM 483, complete the online application form by Monday, April 29, 2019 at 11:59pm (deadline extension). Through the application, you will be required to upload a copy of your resume (document should be in PDF format, titled "Firstname_Lastname_resume").

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Update: A limited number of seats that have opened in the course for 2019W Term 2. If you are interested in taking this course, please send your resume and unofficial transcript to with a short message in your email about why you want to take this course. The deadline is Tuesday, January 7, 2019 at 11:59pm. The course is open to students who entered Year 3 or above in 2019W.

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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