Be the one inspiring your team

August 10, 2016 - Vancouver, BC - Photos for JIBC. Photos by Jimmy Jeong

Christine Dunsworth, manager of sales for Whitecaps FC 2, says the leadership training she received at JIBC will help get her team to the next level. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)


Fan. Avid soccer player. Sales professional.

For Christine Dunsworth, it was a natural fit when she was first hired as a group sales representative for Vancouver Whitecaps FC during its inaugural Major League Soccer season. Three-and-a-half years into her tenure, she was promoted to manager of ticketing for a new property, Whitecaps FC 2 of the United Soccer League, which was gearing up for its first season.

That’s when she had her first moment of self-doubt.

“I felt honoured that my directors believed in me enough to give me the responsibility of overseeing all sales for a brand new property, but was terrified because I had never supervised a team and we had so little time to pull it off,” Christine said.

She needn’t have worried. In her first year in the role, she was pleasantly surprised to find she had enough experience and know-how to implement and execute successful programs, resulting in her team creating a solid foundation to build upon.

But Christine still wanted some formal training to support her managerial efforts. That’s where the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) came in.

“As our JIBC instructor says, most people get promoted because they were good in their previous role, not because of their leadership abilities,” she said. “I know my job and what my team has to do to be successful, but I knew that I could use some training to help get our team to the next level.”

So she was delighted when the Whitecaps announced it would provide its managers an opportunity to participate in a customized Leadership Academy through JIBC. Christine applied and was one of those chosen to take part.

At only partway through the four-day corporate training program she already noticed she was able to communicate more effectively with her crew and better focus on the real meaning of leadership.

“I think a lot of people believe that leadership is being a boss. That is, someone who has an air of authority and tells people what to do,” Christine explained. “Good leaders find out what drives an individual and then they tap into that in order to inspire them. That’s the type of leader I want to be and this course is helping me achieve that.”

The training will prove useful when the club again encounters major unforeseen changes, as it has in past years with a new staff structure, new ticketing products and adding a brand new professional team to its portfolio.

“Our instructor taught us that when someone is resisting organizational change, clear communication with that staff member about that resistance is essential.”

The lessons learned have also translated well into other areas of Christine’s life.

“The course taught me that the golden rule – treating others as I would want to be treated – does not necessarily apply in the workplace. Every individual has their own culture, and in order to communicate effectively with colleagues I must treat them as they want to be treated, not as I would want to be treated. This is something I now keep in mind when I disagree with others – ­­in my private life and my work life! It helps to defuse a difficult situation and come to a compromise more quickly.”


For more information on leadership courses and programs, visit JIBC Centre for Leadership.



  • mahmoud
    October 12, 2016 - 4:59 pm | Permalink

    if i have a coach licinse for BC soccer and i want to study who will pay for the course

    • Wanda Chow
      October 13, 2016 - 9:26 am | Permalink

      HI Mahmoud,

      All of the details for our leadership courses can be found here Courses are paid for by individuals or employers, but that is something you would have to determine before registering.

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