The CEO Program: Acquiring the Edge & Leading with Purpose – 2021 Webinar Series

The CEO Program: Acquiring the Edge & Leading with Purpose – 2021 Webinar Series

This proven, mini “executive MBA” program has been offered to hundreds of senior members of the accounting profession across the country for well over a decade. It is designed for both current and aspiring leaders seeking to excel with confidence in the upper echelons of executive responsibility. The testimonials from prior attendees (below) are all you need to read to understand the benefits of “going back to school” to contend with the increasingly unpredictable demands of an ambiguous, volatile, disruptive, complex business environment.

Because of COVID, this one-of-a-kind learning experience is now available online. But it remains as interactive, highly pertinent, real and challenging as the in-class presentation. It answers the critical question: Do you possess the emotional and mental qualities, interpersonal skills, street-smart insights, decision-making savvy and executive presence to lead?

Do you know what it really takes? Can you handle the dynamic, fluid forces that will impact your business: changing stakeholder expectations, decaying business models, archaic management practices, bad strategies, the ever-daunting but unanticipated risks and “black swan” events largely beyond your control? Leaders who can do this are in demand and they know it.

Leading with purpose requires the ability to build one’s strategic intelligence, prick the bubble of ignorance, recognize career derailers, select the right talent, develop a cohesive executive team, respond courageously to high-impact surprises, devise strategies that both inform and inspire, foster an adaptive culture of resilience and create a business model that competes for the future. Leadership today means dealing effectively with ethical dilemmas, knowing how to lead those who are brighter than you, designing a smart and healthy organization, and deciding when “the game” must be retooled.

This practical, intensive, provocative, advanced executive program is the creation of Dr. Jim Murray who has successfully led large and small organizations in both the public and private sectors. He has a remarkable track record over the course of five decades of exemplary performance of helping senior executives in more than 600 organizations achieve their underappreciated potential. His life’s quest is to liberate genius and change lives. This program has a limited enrollment and a history of selling out early – don’t miss your opportunity.

The revamped online program below consists of seven three-hour sessions over three weeks. It includes two pre-course workbooks and two manuals of supplemental notes, instructive cases to hone decision-making skills, numerous diagnostic instruments, shared executive experiences and performance coaching if desired. The learning experience is realistic, reflective of the latest research and personally challenging. The depth, breadth and sharing of participant experiences is one of the primary benefits. A current, top-line outline of the sessions and topics to be addressed in 2021 follows below the testimonials from prior attendees.


The best promotion is knowing what those who’ve attended this unique executive development program have to say about their experience. Here (with titles noted) is their first-hand account:

  • Unlike any other leadership program I’ve ever taken. The knowledge, insights and tips I gained over three days is far superior to the six months of executive coaching I’ve received. I was engaged 100% of the time – not many speakers can do that. This course has changed my life. – CEO
  • My biggest (and my favourite) take-aways were what I learned about myself. – CEO
  • You challenged my paradigms and gave me more food for thought on my road to becoming the best leader I can be. Thank you for sharing your lifetime of work and wisdom! – CFO
  • Forced me to reconsider what a leader is and should be. The volume of material is overwhelming. – Vice President
  • Made me ask “the why?” of leadership and gave me an environment to be vulnerable. Thank you for pushing me. – President
  • The brilliant personalized and practical views of Jim Murray, sprinkled with numerous real life examples, made it both measurable and convincing. – CFO
  • This was my second advanced program from you and I again walked away with this “Yes, I can” feeling. You helped me to dissolve the clouds of self-doubt. – COO
  • Solid, practical insights that opened my eyes to the skills I need to acquire – such as the need to rethink the values of my senior management team. – Director 
  • You forced me to re-evaluate my goals and aspirations. But you also gave me a guide and a starting point. Exceeded my expectations. – General Manager
  • Helped me understand what I need to work on to ensure I am a strong leader for the rest of my life. I brought up my “big issue” and the feedback was invaluable. – Acting CEO
  • The moral compass exercise gave me a needed “smack on the side of the head” and helped me confirm it’s time to formalize my role or move on. Sure made me think. Overall, great! – CFO
  • Gave me the tools I need for self-promotion, executive alignment, risk management and diagnosing organizational health to name just a few.  V.P., Finance
  • I was reminded to humble myself to think more about how people will repeat what I say or do. I am now more aware of what types of things can derail me. – Controller
  • I came wanting to know how to select my successor. I now know what to do. – CEO
  • Made me reflect about myself as a person and a leader. I’ve heard this before but never in a more meaningful manner. You held my interest for the full three days. – President
  • Gave me a better idea as to whether and why I want to pursue CEOdom. – Director
  • The course lit a fire for me – let me see how I stack up against my peers.  – CFO
  • The way you present the material makes me think. Thank you for inspiring me. – COO
  • Overwhelming!! The best insights I have received as to what I don’t know and how I need to change my way of thinking, doing and acting if I want to succeed. – District Manager
  • I came here looking for a ‘kick in the ass.’ Now I have the tools to give myself one. This “mini-MBA” has the street smarts that just can’t be taught in a regular school. – Partner
  • Your “agent provocateur” style is the right dosage for the hardwired brains of accountants. – CFO
  • You are a fantastic story teller – so many experiences we can learn from. – Executive VP
  • The interaction and debate was great. And it was a safe place to learn. – CFO
  • The challenges you framed, your stories and the thought-provoking exchanges helped me confirm my commitment to becoming CEO. – VP
  • Enabled me to meet a new group of professionals from whom I can learn and network. – CEO
  • I’ve had my eyes opened to the realities and possibilities of the CEO position. You raised my awareness of what I now need to do. – COO
  • Your eloquence, experience and insights showed me a living example of how to challenge the status quo as well as myself. – Controller
  • Thank you for shining the light into the dark corners, and around some blind ones, on the role of the CEO. You helped me see the path forward more clearly. – CFO
  • Your experience and directness has ignited a passion in me to utilize the tools and grow strategically. You’ve encouraged me to take more risks and reach. – Ass’t VP Finance
  • A remarkable and amazing four days! I really enjoyed it. – VP, Finance


The on-line format for this advanced program is different from the in-class presentation. The seven webinars are offered over three weeks: Part 1 consists of four successive days and Part 2 is offered over three successive days. Acknowledging the seniority of the executive audience, a break of one week in between these “semesters” is provided for consolidation and preparation. The program sponsor will grant five hours of mandatory PD hour credits in recognition of preparation time during the pre and in-between sessions (for the exercises, cases and diagnostics in the two workbooks). As well, program participants will be asked to provide executive profiles to assist their networking and small-group discussions. Total CPE time granted is 26 hours. You are welcome to send enquiries about this executive program to the instructor.

The Premise, Opportunity and Realities of CEOdom
❏  Purpose, objectives, caveats, roles and introductions
❏  What makes a leader and what sets them apart from others
❏  Lesson #1: Avoid the fatal flaws or end up getting the axe
❏  The difference between “the good” and “the best” CEOs
❏  Leadership styles and identity: What you need to know
❏  Uncomfortable truths and gritty realities of being the top dog
❏  The most elusive, fragile, essential part of being a great leader
❏  The internal and external forces that will determine your future

The Challenges of Leadership in the C-suite Today
❏  The quintessential “smarts” that separate leaders from pretenders
❏  Achieving organizational clarity and focus: The CEO Mantra
❏  Lead don’t manage: Knowing the difference and why it matters
❏  Systems thinking, operational insight and strategic foresight
❏  Understanding organizational DNA: Manipulating critical genes
❏  Rethinking your strategy: Current reality and faulty assumptions
❏  The first 100 days: If new, what to do from day one forward?
❏  How to diagnose the health and savvy of your enterprise
❏  The best approach to achieving sustainable corporate growth

The Elements of Extraordinary Leadership
❏  The CEO Entrance Exam: 31 questions you need to answer
❏  Making the right choices: Time, priorities and energy audits
❏  Realistic self-assessment: Do you really have what it takes?
❏  The CEO Map: How to navigate your course to the top
❏  Setting your leadership compass: The non-negotiable rules
❏  Connecting: Building networks and getting the best advice
❏  Presence: Power, politics and intelligent self-promotion
❏  What leadership style do you want to project (and why)?
❏  Reconciling the fundamental paradoxes of being the top dog
❏  Sustaining the drive: Fueling your productivity and willpower

Overcoming the Obstacles to Higher Performance
❏  Building a cohesive, effective and focused executive team
❏  How to get the best out of any team but especially yours
❏  Are “inner circles” advisable? How to make them work
❏  What makes a great EA or CoS and what to tell him / her
❏  Vision, values and rules: Misunderstood and misused tools
❏  Leading and keeping knowledge workers smarter than you
❏  Developing a symbiotic relationships with your Board
❏  The relationship between structure and performance

The CEO as the Chief Decision Maker
❏  Why CEOs deserve their pay: Consequences of good judgement
❏  The bubble of ignorance: Why it exists and how to escape it
❏  The key decision domains that will either make or break you
❏  Why bad decisions are inevitable and how to avoid them
❏  The Echo Chamber: Changing the decision-making culture
❏  Tools that enhance organizational performance and accountability
❏  Dealing with experts: Traps to avoid in finding the good ones
❏  Understanding risk: Capability, analysis, tolerance and framing
❏  How to get better: Nurturing useful, honest two-way feedback

Building an Open, Adaptable, Resilient Culture
❏ Architecture of a smart enterprise: What every CEO must know
❏ What ultimately constrains organizational performance today
❏ Forecasting high-impact surprises and leading in a crisis
❏ Fostering innovation by embracing intelligent failure and resilience
❏ Business model transformation: A new and different paradigm
❏ The ingredients, caveats and process for sustainable organic growth
❏ Strategies for growing your business in a hyper-competitive world

The Ultimate Responsibilities of Leadership
❏ Why game changing is the new constant in unpredictable times
❏ Dealing with ethical dilemmas: Navigating the tricky slippery slope
❏ Knowing and embracing the highest calling of leadership today
❏ Succession planning: How to find and evaluate your next CEO
❏ Guidelines for acquiring the mindset and resolve of a great leader
❏ What you can’t be taught but must discover and learn for yourself
❏ What leading with purpose means: The life-altering questions to ask
❏ Going forward: Making a difference and becoming a legendary CEO

* To ensure currency and the latest research are included, the “final” curriculum is outlined in detail in the first Pre-course Workbook sent to the participants.

New Book: The Game of Life available on Amazon