Pinnacle Leadership Challenge Levels and FAQs

Benefits of Joining the Challenge

  • Free Clifton Strengths assessment and 2 reports that list and describe your top five talent themes (of 34 themes)
  • Learn from experienced professionals through workshops structured specifically around developing your unique leadership skills
  • Increase your employability and build your resume
  • Build confidence and your unique leadership skill set
  • Certificate of completition at each level and personalized reference letter (upon completion of level 3 only)

Program Model

Application Period: The application period is open throughout September. The deadline for 2020-21 applications is Wednesday September 30th, 2020 at 4:00 pm. Pinnacle has 3 levels of completion where MRU students can request a certificate of completion to add to their CV or resume:

Level one: ‘You as a Leader’: Get to know your own leadership talents; what’s the best of how you perform on a team. To complete this level, participants must:

  1. Apply to complete the Pinnacle Challenge before September 30th. Tell us what leadership means to you in a paragraph or two.
  2. Complete the Clifton Strengths Assessment (Free of charge) and send the results to the program lead
  3. Regsiter for and attend the ‘Talents, Teams, and Strengths’ workshop in October (once registration opens)
  4. Complete a google form requesting a certificate of completion for level one by October 31st and end the challenge OR proceed to level two.

Level two: ‘Pinnacle Pillars’: Find out more about the Pinnacle Leadership’s 3 pillars that are central to leadership by either taking 2 additional workshops or 2 video clusters + discussion group sessions, or a combination of workshops and videos with discussion group vrtual meet ups by November 30th. Level one completion is a pre-requisite to level 2. 

In order to complete this level, participants must submit a Google form requesting a certificate of completion by November 30th.

The 3 pillars of the Pinnacle Leadership Challenge are: 

Self-Awareness. Knowledge of one’s strengths, weaknesses, and having a better sense of self are all very important in understanding what kind of leader you are. Self-care also factors into being a great leader.

  • Building Relationships. Developing strong relationships and building teams to act towards achieving a common outcome are the essence of what leadership is all about. Leading and motivating people to work together is an essential skill of leadership.
  • Communication. Communication is essential when leading teams. Sharing your message, having that message be received, active listening and managing conflict are all a part of effective communication.

Level three: ‘Leadership made real’: The practical component of this program, which takes place in the Winter semester starting in January, is a further development of the leadership skills identified by participants when applying to the challenge. Practical application can be fulfilled in three different ways:

  1. By volunteering in a leadership role (you identify and select the opportunity),
  2. By participating in leadership simulation sessions in February, or
  3. By participating in one-on-one leadership coaching/mentorship

Levels one and two are prerequisites to level 3. A minimum of 10 hours of practical application must be completed by March 31.

Self-Reflection and Journaling: Self-reflection and journaling assignments are voluntary AND encouraged to further develop your leadership thinking. Journalling will be structured around either prompted questions or around questions that participants might want to ask themselves in regards to their learning. These assignments will take place throughout the entirety of the program.


Am I eligible to take part in the Pinnacle Leadership Challenge?
Any full or part-time Mount Royal University student is encouraged to register for the challenge.
How do I apply?

The online application can be found here. The application deadline is Wednesday September 30th, 2020 at 4:00 pm.

How long does the program take to complete? 

Pinnacle runs from October to March, with a total time investment of roughly 20 hours (depending on which options you choose). Most of the work involved is flexible in working with your schedule.

What are the program expectations?

In order to complete the challenge you must complete the following components by the end of March:

  • Gallup’s Clifton Strengths assessment profile (2 full reports, individualized to you)
  • Attend a minimum of three leadership workshops in the fall semester. All participants MUST attend a session of “Talents, Teams, and Strengths: Unpacking your Gallup’s Clifton Strengths for Students”.
  • Complete 10 hours of leadership practice (practical component) in the winter semester
  • Self-reflection exercises throughout the challenge

What is the practical component?

Practical application can be fulfilled in three different ways, but ten hours of practical application must be completed by the end of March to complete the challenge. You can choose to volunteer in a leadership role, participate in leadership simulation sessions, or have a one-on-one leadership coaching session.

  • Volunteering in a leadership role: Practice application of the leadership skills you developed in the first semester. Roles be must approved through the Student Development Programmer to make sure that it is suitable for practical experience. Roles must have a leadership component in order to be approved.
  • Leadership simulation sessions: Groups will participate in guided leadership tasks that are focused on different leadership competencies. Leaders will rotate for each activity to give each participate a chance to lead. Each session will be three hours (with half hour break), and participants will be expected to complete all four sessions. Schedule for leadership simulation sessions will be decided upon via Doodlepoll in November.
  • One-on-one leadership coaching: Choose to have a mentor coach you in further honing your leadership skills. This is a great option for those who would like to develop skills in a specific field or area of study. One-on-one leadership coaching is in partnership with the Harry G. Schaefer Mentorship Program at Mount Royal University. MRU students must register in this mentorship opportunity in the Fall 2020 semester. This program is available to students in their 3rd and 4th year from all disciplines. The program aims to be a transformative experience for participants — students and mentors alike. Students and mentors who are matched will be required to complete a two hour orientation in the fall. Mentoring pairs meet from January-June for approximately 2 hours per month.

What is Gallup’s Clifton Strengths for Students?

Each participant will complete the Clifton Strengths for Students assessment at no cost to the student (normally a $27 /student). This assessment is based on more than 50 years of research in a variety of team settings (business, familial, non-profit, and more). To date, Clifton Strengths has helped more than 22 million people around the world discover their talents and build strength on teams with teammates, managers, and leaders. You will receive two specialized reports (Signature Theme Report & Strengths Insight Report) which not only lists your top five talent themes, but also provides both a generalized and customized descriptor of each talent.

The Pinnacle Leadership Challenge will begin with you completing Gallup’s Clifton Strengths assessment profile. You will be then connected with the SAMRU in-house Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, who will supply you with an access code to get you started, including detailed instructions and deadlines for completing the assessment. In order to complete and move through the Pinnacle program, Gallup’s Clifton Strengths assessment must be completed prior to participating in the Leadership Workshops. See the Student Services Manager for further Pinnacle program details.

What kind of workshops will I need to attend?

Workshop sessions will be focused on one of the three key areas of leadership: self-awareness, building relationships and communication. Examples of some sessions include: strengths, talents, self-care, team building, conflict resolution, and effective listening. View the in-progress workshop schedule here.

Can I attend a workshop if I’m not a Challenge participant?

Yes! All Mount Royal students are eligible to attend our workshops. The only exception to this is the Strengths Application workshops (Talents, Teams, and Strengths’), which are restricted to Challenge participants only. To register for any other workshop, just click here and fill out the form. If you’re interested in more than one workshop, consider enrolling in the Pinnacle Leadership Challenge to receive the full benefits of this program by September 30th.