Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders

What is Cornerstones 2.0?

During the 2011 Acacia Leadership Academy, a new version of the Cornerstones Program was discussed with the attendees – and we’re calling it Cornerstones 2.0.

Now – you may be reading this thinking, “I don’t even know what Cornerstones 1.0 is!”  That’s one of the reasons for a new iteration of the program guidelines & resources.  Another reasons that we need Cornerstones 2.0 is the resounding feedback received from undergraduate & alumni members alike, that the program is “too rigid, too extensive, not realistic.”

For the sake of clarity, Cornerstones 2.0 is a new perspective on our program, and is a step away from having a “rigid & overly-extensive checklist of required activities”, and a step toward “working with overall developmental principles to define personally-meaningful goals for each individual, as well as an action plan to achieve those goals.

The original curriculum of activities presented in the first version of Cornerstones is still relevant.  Chapters & individual members should NOT just toss those aside – they remain as good examples of activities that may lead you further down your own path of development.  However, those good examples are only recommended to you if they are congruent with your own personal values & goals.

So, in terms of Cornerstones 2.0, the most important activity is the completion of the Personal Development Plan template (available for download here) for each individual pledge and/or member.  By working through this template, our members will engage in the following activities:

  • Clarify Your Values,
  • Write a Mission Statement (or Life Purpose Statement),
  • Create a Vision of Success,
  • Identify Personal Strengths,
  • Set Personal Goals, &
  • Define Action Plans.

Here’s a screencast demo of how to use the new website at myACACIA to track your Cornerstones developmental progress: view video on YouTube.

Potential Questions: 

Is this simplified framework going to answer all possible questions or concerns regarding Cornerstones?

NO – since we are working on one of the most difficult & complex fields of human endeavor – human motivation – this new framework will not be the end-all, be-all for your chapter.  However, it will make the program more accessible, more simple to get started, and hopefully more manageable amidst all of the other competing interests in your life.

Is this more-focused framework going to get the members of my chapter to participate?

MAYBE – again, this new framework is focused on the member defining relevant, current goals that are personally meaningful to him.  If a member of your chapter doesn’t have any goals, or objectives, or “things he wants to do, be, or have in his life” – then you should probably be seriously considering why your chapter recruited, pledged & initiated him.

Is the Personal Development Plan template all that I need to do to be “participating in Cornerstones”?  YES & NO –

YES – in that if you complete this document, you will be fully prepared to embark on a journey to achieve your goals, and all you really need to do is re-visit & re-write your Values, Mission, Goals, etc. whenever any of that changes for you.

NO – in that you still have to take action to achieve your goals, reflect upon your progress, & re-set goals when their are either achieved or become boring to you.

Final Word: 

You don’t need to “know everything about Cornerstones” in order to take action.  You just need to identify what is most important to you, make a plan to achieve it, take action, and demonstrate results (whether positive or negative).  If you’re not sure about what is most important to you, write something down anyway.  As your mind goes about your days, those areas will come into better focus.  A quote by a past U.S. President is appropriate to cite here:

“There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”   – President John. F. Kennedy