XD Ascent


Are you a director or manager wanting to make a greater impact in your nonprofit organization, and across the sector?

Do you want to learn how to better manage conflict and change?

Are you looking to develop your leadership skills and inspire your staff?

If you answered yes to any of the above, join us for Executive Directions XD Ascent: a leadership development program for mid-senior level professionals wanting to grow their confidence and competence as leaders in the nonprofit sector.

xd ascent executive development.jpg
xd ascent executive development.jpg

XD Ascent provides strategies to lead yourself, your organization, and your impact across the sector.

The small-group cohort experience combines six full-day sessions with additional peer meetings in a six-month program to maximize your learning. Participants will learn about their personal leadership style, build strategic thinking skills, learn more about human resources and financial management, and present their specific issues for consultation within the group.


Through Executive Directions XD Ascent, you will increase your ability to address:

  • tough issues and take calculated risks from a position of greater self-awareness;

  • understand your role as a leader, and a follower;

  • adapt to change and lead others through transitions;

  • engage in the community as an innovator, collaborator, and systems thinker; and

  • gain a basic understanding of your own emotional intelligence.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
— Sean Patrick Flanery

XD Ascent Program Specifics:

Who: This program is for Directors, Managers, and other mid-senior level nonprofit leaders.

When: Applications for XD Ascent 3 are now being accepted. Participants will gather for six full-day sessions over six months, with smaller peer gatherings in between.

Dates for Ascent 3:

December 18, 2018

January 15, 2019

February 19, 2019

March 19, 2019

April 16, 2019

May 21, 2019

Where: Cohort full-day sessions are held in Calgary, Alberta. Peer meetings are booked at the discretion of participants.

Participants outside of Calgary are responsible for their own travel and accommodation.

Cost: $2,400. Participants are encouraged to apply for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant to offset two-thirds of the total program fees.

Grant applications must be submitted and approved prior to program start date and take at least 30 days for processing. Full details on the grant program can be found on the Canada Alberta Job Grant website.

Download the Program Overview

Are you ready to invest in your professional and personal growth?

Schedule a 15-minute conversation with a program facilitator to learn more, or complete the application form.



XD Ascent Facilitators for 2018-19


Leslie Tamagi


Leslie is a consultant who works primarily with executive directors and boards in the nonprofit sector with a focus on sustainability planning, crisis management, strategic and business planning, governance and policy development, risk management, and program development and evaluation. Her approach is informed by 25 years of experience as CEO of diverse nonprofit organizations. She understands firsthand the complex and unprecedented challenges facing boards and senior staff, and is passionate about supporting leaders to be successful.


Dr. John Rook


Dr. Rook is a passionate servant leader who champions the belief that poverty can be solved. He has spent years both at the front lines and in academia to gain an understanding of the issues facing people in poverty. In addition to being a published author, Dr. Rook has served on local, provincial and national boards. He is the Founding Director of the Canadian Poverty Institute at Ambrose University in Calgary and currently is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Managing Director (Calgary) for the Mustard Seed Society.