Key Vermont Leadership Questions

I. As a leader, how do you plan to inspire, earn, and maintain trust?

II. Are the innate characteristics of leadership power, authority, self- assurance, and clarity or humility, curiosity, ambivalence, and honesty?

a. Where is leadership on the spectrum of autocracy, team leadership, and democratic stasis?
b. How do you derive consensus from your team?
c. Do you listen to, acknowledge, and record dissent?
d. How do you move from consensus to action?

III. The Vermont motto is “Freedom and Unity.” Does it articulate a choice or a statement of equilibrium?

IV. Is net worth the benchmark for our well-being or is individual, family and community security, stability, and happiness the benchmark?

a. If the latter, are our tri-sector (business, nonprofit, and government) policies rightly focused today?
b. What are the most important components of social well-being? Affordable housing and nutrition, access to physical and mental health care, educational excellence and equity, universal connectivity, restorative justice, democratic governance free of monied interests?
c. If net worth is our benchmark, at what point does the accretion of wealth go from being an appropriate and responsible contribution to family security and well-being to a social and economic negative?
d. Do we have enough clean water, soil, air, strategic metals, et al, to accommodate massive wealth if community well-being is our goal?

V. As a leader, how do you reconcile the various centripetal and centrifugal forces on the orbits in your life (self, family, friends, colleagues, state, national, global)? Which do you consider yourself a citizen of … Vermont, America, and or the world?

a. Do Vermont’s physical boundaries have any practical social or economic meaning beyond statute?
b. How do they affect your sense of the art of the possible. By way of example, if your community and state welcome new Americans and the federal government opposes immigration, how do you lead?
c. We have a tendency to obsess about our deficiencies rather than accept current conditions and explore and build on evident and emerging opportunities. How will you manage forward instead of reactively?
d. Is Vermont’s current architecture of tri-sector governance appropriate to the rapid acceleration of discovery and change? How can we lead for the present and future – that is, move from reactive to proactive?

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