Meet Ward Clapham

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

Longer Bio

For 30 years, Ward 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, Ward 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, Ward’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. 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. Ward’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.

One of his successful Richmond initiatives is the topic of his first book, Breaking With the Law: The Story of Positive Tickets. It has also been featured in numerous newspaper articles, a FranklinCovey feature film, and in Reader’s Digest magazine. His second book, Lead BIG: Discovering the Upside of Unconventional Leadership defines and describes the paradigm shift needed to move away from the command and control style of managing people toward a more proactive, unleashing of talent. His own inspiring stories and results coupled with scientific research, anecdotes, quotes, and historical accounts lead to powerful break-with insights in each chapter applicable for leaders in all areas of the public and private sectors.

Lead Big will inspire leaders to think again about the effectiveness of their current methods and established rules of engagement. Explore how Ward and his team adjusted to keep the organization proactive, flexible, and innovative within a constantly changing landscape. Learn how he rooted advanced leadership principles into previously rigid police cultures, and how those principles are now being adapted throughout the world. Discover how he was able to successfully "break with the law" within a command-and-control structure. Lead BIG: Discovering the Upside of Unconventional Leadership is an inspiring journey of discovery with one of Canada's top cops as he relates tales of confronting and combating the status quo to generate positive change.

Ward has also been featured in several books including Dr. Stephen R. Covey's book, The 3rd Alternative, Michael Abrashoff's book, Get Your Ship Together, Stephen M.R. Covey's book, Smart Trust, and Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner's 5th edition of The Leadership Challenge.