Photo: KC Armstrong. Wardrobe styling: Talia Brown/Plutino Group. Makeup and hair: Vanessa Jarman/

We asked the pros from the worlds of business, art, sports and science for their top tips and tactics for team building, decision making, productivity, work-life balance and much, much more.

Here are 26 skills ever leader needs now, with expert advice on how to develop them.

Rally the Troops

Canada women’s national soccer team captain Christine Sinclair on motivating a team to peak performance—even in tough conditions

Standardize Great Service

Oliver & Bonacini president Andrew Oliver reveals the tactics that equip his 1,200 employees to deliver amazing customer experiences

Master Any New Skill

Award-winning psychologist Anders Ericsson, who co-wrote Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise, on what it really takes to learn a new habit or ability

Perform Under Incredible Pressure

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin on thriving under the stress of high-stakes situations with the whole world watching


Kelsey Ramsden, a serial entrepreneur and consultant who runs three businesses in different cities, explains the art of managing a crazy to-do list



Canadian Air Traffic Control Association CEO Peter Duffey on what it takes to maintain a singular focus when distraction is not an option


Make Really Tough Calls

Former Grey Cup head referee Glen Johnson on the right way to make difficult snap decisions in high-pressure situations


Forge a Following

YouTube star and Mind = Blown! Amazing Facts About This Weird, Hilarious, Insane World author Matthew Santoro explains how be built an audience of 5.5 million subscribers—and counting

Cultivate Creativity

Metric frontwoman and Broken Social Scene member Emily Haines on the value of collaboration and the art of telling goods ideas from bad

Replace Yourself

Entrepreneur Corrine Sandler, who chose to leave one company she led to start another, on the process of hiring and grooming her successor

Solve Problems Faster

GV design partner Jake Knapp shares his five-day process for coming up with and testing new ideas and solutions

Become an Early Riser…

Matt Galloway, who sets his alarm for 3 am to host CBC’s Metro Morning on the discipline needed to be up before the sun, and how not to nod off at a dinner party

…Become a Night Owl

Uva Wine and Cocktail Bar manager and Bitter Sling co-owner Lauren Mote on what it takes to stay alert in the wee hours


Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough

Grit author Angela Duckworth on what separates those who move forward from those who dwell on adversity


Command the Room

Veteran comedian Shaun Majumdar on connecting with an audience, winning over a tough crowd, and leaving ’em wanting more


Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi on why he never shies away from conversations with his constituents

Get People to Take You Seriously

Ad agency founder and 20-year-old Christian Lunny on what he’s had to do to quash concerns about his age and experience

Actually Unplug From Your Business

Fusion Learning CEO Kevin Higgins on the best way to take a break from work

Be Cheerful…

Neil Parischa, author of bestsellers The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesome on lifting your mood and being more effective at work

…Be Grumpy

Techify CEO (and dad to two small children) Brendan Howe explains his strategy for leading his team when he’s in a rotten mood

Sleep Like a Boss

Media mogul Arianna Huffington on why shuteye is so important and what you can do to get more of it despite your busy schedule

Keep Your Work Fresh

Author Gordon Korman on the secret to staying stoked four decades and 88 children’s novels (including This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall!) in

Make the Perfect Power Lunch

Nutritionist Theresa Albert shares what goes into a midday meal that will fill you up, keep you going and taste incredible

Hire Your Spouse…

ASTOUND Group CEO Dale Morgan on deciding to hire his then-fiancée (now wife) to head the company’s sales team

…Fire Your Spouse

Molok North America CEO Marja Hills explains what she did after hiring her husband for a job he was ill-suited for


Victor Montagliani on balancing the presidencies of the Canadian Soccer Association and CONCACAF and vice-presidencies of Shaw Sabey & Associates and FIFA

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