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Ward Clapham

Former RCMP Chief and Leadership Expert

Ward Clapham

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Challenging the way work is traditionally done, Ward Clapham inspires leaders to rethink the way they manage people and unleash hidden talent.

For 30 years, Clapham worked and served in one of the most stressful and demanding public arenas—law enforcement. When he took command of the third largest Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Detachment in Canada, located in Richmond, B.C., the organization ran like most bureaucracies—heavy command-and-control management and strict adherence to the status quo. As with previous leadership assignments, Clapham didn’t believe in staying in the box. He and his teams took calculated chances, made mistakes, and forged new paths where others feared to tread. Though difficult at times, Clapham’s unshakable vision created new paradigms of leadership within the traditional environment of policing, not to mention that crime and community problems were significantly decreased.

Clapham has spoken to thousands of people on his unique experiences and how issues of leadership that affect the RCMP are very similar to those that challenge leaders in the “real world.” His non-traditional way of thinking and problem solving has made him a sought-after speaker and consultant. Public and private organizations face similar challenges: how to successfully break with ineffective paradigms, practices and principles that tether people and organizations to the status quo. Clapham’s inspiring stories define and describe the paradigm shift needed to move away from the command-and-control style of managing people toward a more proactive, unleashing of talent. He challenges leaders to think again about the effectiveness of their current methods and established rules of engagement.

Clapham’s leadership approach has been featured in several books, including:

  • The 3rd Alternative - Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems Dr. Stephen R. Covey
  • Smart Trust - Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World Stephen M.R. Covey
  • Every Officer is a Leader - Coaching Leadership, Learning, and Performance in Justice, Public Safety, and Security Organizations Dr. Terry Anderson, Ken Gisborne, and Patrick N. Holiday
  • Get Your Ship Together—How Great Leaders Inspire Ownership from the Keel Up Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

FranklinCovey Co. (founded by Dr. Stephen R. Covey) also completed a documentary film on the success of Richmond B.C.’s proactive policing.

Clapham has recently written and published two books in his Breaking With the Law series:

  • Breaking With the Law: The Story of Positive Tickets (www.positivetickets.com).
  • Lead Big: Discovering the Upside of Unconventional Leadership (www.LeadBig.net).

Accomplishments

  • Head of Public Service of Canada Award for Valuing and Supporting People—Leadership;
  • Canadian Order of Merit of the Police Forces for conspicuous merit and exceptional service
  • Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem for community service
  • Queens Golden Jubilee Award for community policing
  • Rotary International Centennial Service Award for professional excellence.

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