You are here

About Todd Leader

Todd Leader is a Registered Social Worker and a Registered Community Psychologist. He has spent his multi-decade career leading service development and organizational transformation in many areas of health and social services, with specialty focus on the experience and impact of addiction and mental health issues. He has also been teaching psychology, social work, addiction and mental health, and health promotion at the university level for more than thirty years. He is a two-time recipient of Excellence in Teaching awards, citing his practical, dynamic, and engaging style which makes learning both enjoyable and effective.

Health services under his leadership have earned two International Best Practice awards, as well as a leadership award for Excellence in Women’s Health. He led the successful transformation of an addiction and mental health system to achieve and sustain the best wait times in Nova Scotia (down from 8 months to 1 month for adults, and from 5 months to 1-7 days for adolescents). Based on this real-life success, Todd authored a book that is a how-to guide and a call-to-action for improving the addiction and mental health system in Canada, beyond the theory, cookie cutter models, and ineffective traditional approaches. It’s Not About Us; The secret to transforming the mental health and addiction system in Canada continues to influence system transformation across the country. His work has always been about real change, not just holding leadership positions while the status quo remains.

Todd was appointed by the Nova Scotia Minister of Health and Wellness to the Ministerial Panel on Innovation in Mental Health and Addictions, has been President of the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia, Vice President of the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers, and President of the Public Health Association of Nova Scotia, among others.

Todd has learned a lot about leading real change, and has taught, coached, and mentored many people to become more effective leaders. He has learned how to address the psychological underpinnings of an effective leadership team in order to achieve collective accomplishments that could not have otherwise been reached. He has learned how to develop inter-agency, inter-organizational, and inter-departmental partnerships that achieve synergy and deep collaboration, not just regular meetings and information-sharing. He has learned how to create psychologically-healthy workplaces, and to effectively manage addiction and mental health issues within a work setting so the well-being of both the employees and the organization are taken into account.

As someone who has lived with depression throughout his career successes, and also survived a temporary but severe medication-induced mental illness, he brings a valuable type of knowledge to his work. By combining his academic, professional (leadership), and personal perspectives, Todd comes to his work with uniquely comprehensive insights that you will likely not find anywhere else. There are certainly those who see the world through a lens of research, leadership and management, or lived experience, but very few who bring an integration of all three.

If you want to move your team to the next level of real achievement as a leaders, to confidently manage mental health in the workplace, to improve the effectiveness of your collaborative partnerships, to transform your services to a new level of client-centeredness that is being demanded by the public, or to inspire and motivate your team of leaders and staff to reach new heights, Todd can help. This is where the theory ends and real transformational leadership begins.

What people are saying about Todd

Todd taught me what it means to be a client-centered leader. He doesn’t just write about client-centered leadership. He demonstrates it daily.

Jason Thomas
Supervisor of child and youth care services

Todd is one of the most humble people I know, and is a leader in every way. Not only does he lead others, he promotes leadership in those who want to become one and in those he sees potential in.

Meghan Symonds
Student at Saint Mary's University

Todd has the benefit of experience on the frontlines in Nova Scotia where he led the change in service delivery to a model that focused on the needs of individual patients and their families over the interests of how providers want to organize services for their own convenience. Easy to say, hard to do.

Dr. Peter Vaughan
CD; Deputy Minister, NS Department of Health and Wellness

Todd Leader's strengths lie in his ability to develop self-agency and spark inspiration in every one of his students he teaches…shifting students thinking to systems-focused, using evidence-based practice, and fostering leadership skills, his students are not only inspired to change the communities they live in, but they have the tools to make an effective impact.

Nicole Hart
Youth Program Development

Todd is compassionate and client focused in such a unique way that embraces the determinants of health both from a micro as well as macro perspective, dissolving barriers that may restrict access. Todd is extremely insightful and knows how to motivate and lead staff, who may be part of his team. Any program interested in having a direct impact on improving the health for those requiring services, I highly recommend Todd Leader.

Gary Goodwin
Nicotine Addiction Treatment Specialist at South Shore Health-Addictions and Mental Health Services

Todd is a strong and influential leader with an exceptional ability to motivate. He is insightful, pragmatic and connected to the needs of the community. Todd is a champion of health promotion and of finding practical, long-term solutions to the challenges in the health care system.

Kate Johnston
Prevention & Health Promotion Specialist at IWK Health Centre

I highly recommend Todd for his dedicated and thorough work, conducted in a detailed and thorough manner. Todd is a committed team player exemplifying visionary thinking with an ability to project into the future.

David Walker
Mayor at Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Todd is a transformative thinker. Todd's philosophy is to build community capacity. His strength is working with community partners to build upon community assets and assist the community to respond to gaps that may exist.

Janet Simm
President and CEO at Northwood Care Inc

Todd is a great leader with a great experience in mental health. Very dedicated to quality improvement and innovation.

Joseph Sadek
Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University

Todd is a true leader by definition. He is intuitive and has a tremendous ability to inspire and motivate people around him to be their best. He values and encourages innovation, progressive and strategic thinking and action. He has been a fearless leader and champion for positive change both within the healthcare system and communities. I am grateful not only to have had Todd as a Director but also as a mentor as I begin my own career path within Healthcare in Nova Scotia.

Erica Brooks
Health Promoter at Nova Scotia Health Authority