Director of Programs

Cultivating Leadership Presence Retreat- One Leader’s Perspective

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What are the benefits of participating in one of the Institute’s five day retreats? What can I expect? What will I take away? These are some of the many questions we receive from leaders around the world before they take the next step and register for a retreat.  This month we thought we’d ask one of our previous participants to weigh in on the experience.

We met Collyn Iblings at the 1440 Retreat Center in California. Collyn participated in our five day Cultivating Leadership Presence through Mindfulness Retreat (and we’re proud to say has joined us for other offerings since that first experience!). We asked her a few questions about the experience:

  1. Why did you feel this retreat would help with some of the biggest challenges of living the life of a leader?
    I have been in manager roles for a number of years and had an interest in moving away from “managing” and towards “leading.”. I felt that the curriculum, message and method would give me the practices and applications necessary to cultivate my development as a leader in our organization.
  2. Did the five-day curriculum allow you enough time to get comfortable with the practice and understand how to apply it in real life?
    The space allowed me to dive deeper into the emotions that had a strangle hold on me – fear, lack of self-worth, anger, hurt, resentment. Instead, and with the support and encouragement of the retreat instructors and the participants, I learned the courage to begin addressing them.
  3. What did you learn about yourself and how would you apply that in your work?
    Prior to the retreat, managing people was all about my ego and fear of losing something, anything, everything.  After the retreat, leading is about finding compassion for myself and others and supporting others to help accomplish personal, professional and corporate goals.
  4. How has your mindful leadership practice influenced your approach to your work? Your life?
    Mindful leadership training has supported my leadership and my life, offering me tools and practices that strengthen my trust in myself and others, and enhance my ability to live and lead in a way that is true to my authentic self.
  5. Would you consider this retreat again?  What would you most look forward to?
    Yes. I have already taken other Institute offerings and am looking forward to another CLP in the future.
  6. What surprised you?
    So many things! But here’s two things- one about myself and one bigger picture. For myself, I had lost sight of the healing properties of nature and how much I enjoy the elements – fire, water, trees, earth…But the diverse community of leaders at the retreat also reminded me that leaders across the world are very different, and yet we share many things between us.

Freedom of Choice: A Leader’s Perspective

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There is so much about summer to be grateful for. Fresh vegetables from the farm, blooms in the garden and lazy afternoons spent with family and friends. The season feels ripe with opportunity to reflect on who we are as individuals, as community members and as citizens of the world. A quick google search of national holidays illuminates an interesting parallel. In the first two weeks of July alone, several countries around the world will celebrate their independence- Burundi, Cape Verde, the Bahamas, Canada and the United States. Regardless of where you sit, these holidays present a reminder of our struggles, achievements and continued progress in assuring one of our core rights as human beings- the freedom to choose.

Freedom of choice can be as simple as hopping in your car and going wherever you want, when you want to. Or complex- how do you deal with a shortfall in revenue, a marriage that isn’t working or the deepening sense that work, life and the world are out of sync? My experience has taught me that leaders feel these imbalances deeply and their ability- or freedom- to choose is critical to their own wellbeing and to those around them- at home, at work and in their community. How do we choose? Who will be impacted by our decision? Who will celebrate this choice? Who may be hurt by a new direction we may choose to take? Read More

Time and Tides

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In the quiet following the holiday hoopla, it is tempting to make a mental list of what we feel we should have accomplished in the previous year and a fresh list of what we will (or won’t) do in the next. I admit to falling prey to the seasonal wish list, taking what I can do and turning it into a must do and then finding myself challenged to check it off the list of what I- leader, mother, friend and human- need to get done.

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