Recently, Mick Daly, Eagle Chamber of Commerce President, sat down with Angelo Fernandez, the program manager and facilitator for the Community Leadership Academy.  Here’s our conversation:

Angelo, how would you define Leadership?

For me, it’s leading when the situation calls for it, following when your team is leading the charge, and getting out of the way when your team has more expertise and experience than you.

How do you learn Leadership, develop it, teach it? It’s not easy … right?!

I believe leadership is best learned through shared experience. I try to share my own successes and failures to help participants feel more comfortable and understand that everyone always has more to learn.

The Vail Centre (under your leadership) has successfully tackled the challenge of developing leaders. Tell us about that.

The Vail Centre uses a values-based leadership model that starts from the inside first. I believe that you cannot be an authentic leader unless you know where it starts for yourself.

Describe the experience and results of your CLA, thus far.

The feedback we have received from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. I have had many conversations with participants that describe the experience as life changing. It has been transformational to many people.

Now, we are bringing CLA to Eagle & Gypsum, and to the business community (called Leadership Foundations for Small Businesses) … what will that look like?

I believe that the experience will be similar to past cohorts. One thing that has become apparent with each cohort is that the leadership challenges that leaders face are the same, regardless of industry or profession. We have been working with professionals from government, not-for-profit, small business and corporations.

How do you anticipate CLA working for business leaders and what adjustments will be necessary? Different from government organizations and non-profits?

The core curriculum will be the same. Where this session will differ is in the direction of the group discussion. That comes down to the way I facilitate the session.

We already have 9 people registered … Why do you think Andy Jessen, owner of Bonfire Brewing, is sending 2 of his key employees? What’s in it for Bonfire?

I think that strong leaders already understand the need for this type of experience for their staff. When businesses focus on leadership development, they see an increase in productivity, engagement, and revenue. Businesses that focus on leadership tend to outperform their competition by 6 times.

Why do you think Vicki Flynn & Brett Donelson from the Cycle Effect have also registered?

Both Brett and Vicki has participated in past VC events. In addition to understanding the importance of leadership, they have also heard the positive feedback on CLA.

I registered too! After 23 years with IBM including 14 in management, 27 years running my own small business out of my home (where I lead thousands of people around the world), and 5 years with the Eagle Chamber of Commerce, I know that my leadership is nothing more nor less than my influence. I want to sleep well at night knowing that my influence has been positive; that I’ve made a difference. CLA will take my leadership to the next level.

What’s your longer-term vision for Leadership Development in the valley?

I believe that if the leaders in the valley have a shared foundation and common vocabulary, that all ships will rise with the tide and make a stronger community.

I agree!

CLA is filling up fast; we will close registrations at 20 people. We will meet monthly on the third Wednesday each month (September thru March) from 10-2 in the Eagle town hall; lunch provided.

Eagle Chamber and Gypsum Chamber members qualify for a 50% discount (paying $625 for the 7-month program) – use scholarship code eagle50 when you do:  www.vailcentre.org/cla-100-registration