Executive Retreat

11.10.08 | 4 Comments

Resort at Cavallo Point, Sausalito California

My general rule is not to write about work-related activities in this venue, but I thought I’d share a little of what I’ve been up to over the past few days. A couple of weeks ago I got a cryptic email from the Chairman of the Board inviting me to spend a few days at a local resort to explore leadership topics, I was one of 12 people around the company to receive such an invitation.

Last Monday there was an hour long pre-meeting to assign a little homework and do expectation setting. Generally, I’m allergic to these sorts of activities and I was concerned that the investment in time, particularly when there is so much happening in the workplace, was a bad idea.

However, I’m delighted to share that not only was it a good idea, I learned a ton about myself and the others who participated in the course. It was an experience that definitely changed my perspective on a number of fronts and one that I would recommend to any who have a chance to participate in such a session. Generally speaking (which I realize is all I’m doing) it was a journey of discovery of self, and how to use that in the corporate setting to develop and motivate people.

There was some expectation on my part that we’d do corny exercises and talking about useless business concepts, but it was really quite different than that. It was the hero’s journey as described by Joseph Campbell and we managed to not talk much about the challenges of work (planning, macro environment, focal reviews, market dynamics, etc.) Counter-intuitive to be sure, but something I believe will yield dividends when this team encounters its next “leadership moment.”

If you’re ever visiting the Bay Area and have a little scratch to invest in relaxation, I highly recommend Cavallo Point, a resort setup in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin. It’s the former Fort Baker location and it’s posh. In case you’re wondering why I wasn’t writing, it’s because I was fully occupied – so there’s the explanation for our readership, all three of you.