August 2011

President's notes

Building a community with leadership expertise

By Chuck Edwards

Now that we are finally well into summer and vacation time, our nearly universal shortage of skilled, dedicated people is all the more apparent. As one innovative way to help address this issue, CIM is rolling out its new Leadership Development Program to ensure that our industry is defined by leadership excellence in addition to technical excellence.

In my experience, it is always a good idea to ask the opinion of CIM members before launching a new program. So, to begin, a survey was distributed to the CIM membership in October 2010. The survey sought members’ opinions in three areas:

• What is currently happening with leadership development in members’ own organizations?

• What skill sets are important for leaders?

• What degree of interest is there in various CIM leadership initiatives?

The results lend significant support to the design and delivery of a CIM Leadership Development Program. While some members had experience with such programs in their own organizations, few saw these as helping them lead more effectively. Accountability emerged as the most critical skill set, and almost three-quarters of the respondents expressed a strong interest in participating in such programs offered by CIM.

A comprehensive leadership development program for members from different organizations – involving a series of workshops and on-the-job assignments, assessments and support – generated the most interest. Therefore, the CIM program will operate in just this fashion.

Unlike other programs, CIM’s will allow participants to develop their leadership within the context of the mining, minerals and materials industry, as well as develop a network of deep and sustainable relationships with both industry peers and senior industry executives.

Details of the program and registration documents can be found on the CIM website under membership services ( We are currently accepting applications for sessions commencing in the fall.

I believe this is a critical initiative for our industry and will enable us to truly cement our position as global industry leaders. Through this program, CIM has an opportunity to help individual members and member organizations become more successful through the development of leaders. I look forward to working with our first cohort this fall.

Chuck Edwards, CIM President

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