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Session 4 - The Accountability Plan

This leadership development session is designed to explore the importance of building a culture of leadership accountability. In the Sulam Leadership program, we believe that accountability is built on a foundation of shared vision and values, shared assumptions about leadership, and shared understanding of roles and responsibilities.

Lack of accountability can cause significant challenges and/or negative ramifications in a community. We begin the session reviewing a Biblical text  which demonstrates what happens when leaders fail to take responsibility for shaping their leadership community.

We understand that in a volunteer culture, leaders sometimes need to encourage others to meet expectations. We cannot force them to do so, and if we fail to negotiate with our leaders about what is expected at the outset, it is unlikely we will be successful in holding them accountable. We illustrate these issues through a case study where leaders fail to establish a foundation of clear expectations, and we see the consequences.

Despite these challenges though, there is hope, as we strongly believe that a culture of accountability can be achieved. Like much of our Sulam for Current Leaders curriculum, we build on the work of previous sessions.  We create a self-assessment to review how we are meeting (or not meeting) our agreed upon board expectations. This allows us to evaluate where there is work that still needs to be done, and allows us to prioritize our leadership development objectives. Knowing what is expected of us (and each other) allows us to be held accountable and to hold our fellow leaders accountable.

In order to maintain a culture of accountability, it is essential to assess both professional staff and volunteers. A sample  Chair self-assessment challenges leaders to consider how they did in the prior year and what they can learn from the experience.  This assessment will help them to consider new goals and practices for the year ahead.


  • Study and discuss a text on the importance of accountability.
  • Leaders take a personal self-assessment evaluating their own performance vis a vis the board expectations they created.
  • Review and discuss a case study on the impact of unclear expectations.
  • Observe a simulation of a chair self-assessment. 

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