Leadership Vermont

Calling All Leaders! Submit to the Leadership Vermont Quarterly

Common Good Vermont is now accepting submissions for the February edition of the Leadership Vermont Quarterly.  We are looking for resources, trainings, thought pieces, and examples of leadership in Vermont!  Email Shelagh Cooley at [email protected] to make a submission. Deadline: February 13th.

See past issues of the Leadership Vermont Quarterly


Welcome! Leadership Vermont is a state-wide movement led by Common Good Vermont and its partners to promote leadership development opportunities for all Vermonters so they can take charge of their communities and their lives.  Leadership Vermont aims to connect the State’s formal and informal leadership efforts — the “watershed” of leadership– an inclusive, organic and natural structure that we can grow through the strength of our relationships and human networks.

Leadership Vermont is a working partnership of Common Good Vermont, Champlain College Center for Executive & Professional Development, Susan Palmer Consulting, Round Sky Consulting, Marlboro College Graduate School, Karma Choling, Mark Furnari and others intent on bringing leaders together in informal settings (meetings, luncheons) to connect and share ideas for improving leadership capacity in Vermont.

Leadership Vermont is Building a Community of Practice for Vermont’s Well-Being

Vermont’s state motto is Freedom and Unity. We share an ideal: to live in a state where all Vermonter’s enjoy a healthy and productive life, able to contribute to the common good. Leadership Vermont proposes a simple definition of leadership: citizens of all ages are able to be responsible for themselves and navigate the challenges of daily living. We believe that this is a necessary condition for individual well-being and community resiliency.

In Vermont, we are blessed with many, many opportunities to learn and practice leadership development at all stages of human development. But many of these formal and informal initiatives operate in isolation of each other, making it difficult to leverage the collective effort in order to have a greater impact on the well-being of the state.

In June 2013, Leadership Vermont hosted a kick-off event attended by 60 Vermont leaders from several sectors (nonprofit, education, business, philanthropy, state government),  indicated a strong desire to improve our state’s leadership capacity by coordinate these activities by tying together current efforts,  and expanding the reach of leadership training and mentoring for all ages. The result will be: community well-being and resiliency.

In 2014, the collaborators scheduled Leadership Lunches in Burlington, Brattelboro and Barnet Vermont–with more to come.

Several metaphors are in place for thinking about a systems based approach to leadership development in Vermont. The terms pipeline, hub, fabric were used. An important concept, watershed, reflects the shared desire for an inclusive, organic and natural structure that we can grow through the strength of our relationships and human networks.

Because, at its core, leadership development is about trust–relationships between people who inspire each other to reach farther than we would on our own. At all stages of life, our teachers, coaches, mentors, peers, supervisors, political leaders and neighbors have an impact on the work we do and the common dreams we work for.

Read More from the June 2013 Report on Leadership Vermont.

The National Council of Nonprofits describes Leadership Vermont’s as, “a non-traditional, transformative approach by weaving ideas of leadership and citizenship into the fabric of Vermont, so that leadership is not just something that others do, but something that everyone does.”

Here is what the leaders of the movement believe Leadership Vermont is:

“The purpose of Leadership Vermont is to serve all the residents of our unique state by raising awareness that — at the very least — we are the leaders of our own lives.  When we take authentic ownership of who we are and we who we are becoming, we make it easier for everyone around us to also lead a healthier, more creative and meaningful life.”
Susan Palmer, Susan Palmer Consulting LLC

“Leadership Vermont envisions a web of interconnected educational programs, opportunities and support networks to nurture our ability, as citizens, to be self-reflective, collaborative and visionary leaders.”
– Kate Jellema, Marlboro College Graduate School

“One aspect of the work of Leadership Vermont is to celebrate the thousands of Vermonters who lead effectively every day and make their stories and skills known to the rest of us.”
– Mark Furnari, Mark Furnari Consulting

“Leadership Vermont is a collaborative community of people who are connected to leadership practice professionally and personally. This community provides opportunities for stakeholders to support existing leadership development efforts in our state and to nurture emergent initiatives through meaningful dialogue, story-telling, coaching, and mentoring.”
– Melissa Hersh, Champlain College Center for Executive & Professional Development