Founder Mary Stelletello on Leadership in Action

What does a Leadership Action Plan look like?

Vista Leadership Academy empowers participants to take action towards achieving goals. But what does a “leadership action plan” even mean? The process can start small but finish big. One example I can relay stems from the popular culture idea of a “bucket list,” or a collection of our personal experiences we would like to have before we die.

Last summer, I crossed off an item on my bucket list: to run a half-marathon across the Golden Gate Bridge. I started small. Before I even registered, I began with a step-by-step action plan. Shortly after the new year, I considered my goal and reached out to my support network of resources. I have run recreationally most of my life but never more than 8 miles. A relative shared a training program to break down my preparation into 12 weeks of small steps. As the Midwestern winter started to thaw, my leadership action plan was taking shape.

What’s an accountability framework anyway?

Research shows that people are more likely to honor their commitments when they share them with others. This is one of the fundamental tenants of coaching. Once I registered for the half-marathon in the Spring, I announced it to my friends, family, and colleagues.  I used social media and face-to-face conversation as a reinforcement that I was going to follow-through.

Leadership coaches ask the very simple questions to clarify commitments:

• What will you do? Describe your goal.
• When will you do it? When is the target date for reaching your goal.
• How will I know? Report back on your achievement.

Sharing news about my half-marathon plans was part of my personal leadership action plan. With friends and family to witness my journey, I had the accountability framework in place to stay the course. I had the support of all my virtual buddies as well as my local training fan club.  I created this accountability framework with my community to help support me to get across that finish line.

The Academy’s Leadership in Action Principle

The Academy program begins with self-discovery, reflection, and skill-building. After the immersive leadership retreat in Oaxaca, Mexico, you will gain new knowledge and insights to inform your next step. With a renewed sense of purpose, you will create your personalized leadership action plan. We will start small and work together to outline step-by-step objectives towards achieving your goals.

Then, we turn to your support community and share your plan.  You will team up with Academy peers to create an accountability framework and gain the support you need to move your plan into action. Whether you are running your first half-marathon or starting a new business, together we will get you across the finish line. Learn more about the Academy’s program and apply today.

Image source: Marathon runners on the Golden Gate Bridge, David Yu (flickr CC 2.0) via axs.


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