In late June members of the Leadership New Zealand (LNZ) 2013 programme met on Waiheke Island for its two day retreat. This was something we had been looking forward to for a long time and for me, it felt like a homecoming of sorts, back on our ‘island’, tucked safely away in the Onetangi Community Hall, with some of the most talented people I know. Our focus was to re-connect, learn and sharpen up our future activity as the 2013 cohort.
As we sat in a circle and checked in as a group and with each other, I was reminded of how well we know each other and the safety we feel in recounting just what has been going on for each of us. Although some of our cohort could not make it, we all remarked it felt ‘full’ and they were there with us in same shape or form. The power of speaking from the heart, mind, in the moment and with respect and honesty characterised the two days together.
It was a great reminder and reinforcement of our learning from 2013, with a couple of aha moments, usually followed with an exclamation of ‘oh I really get that now!’
We went to that special place and opened up about what had been happening in our lives and where we are on our leadership journey at the moment including talking about what does the world need from leadership. One of the things that excites me is the conversations we had about how we as a group initiate a project combining our collective talents and passion.
Many of us have also been working to revitalise the LNZ alumni group. We have had a couple of initial meetings with previous cohorts around the regions to share and get to know each other. We want to continue having these and are excited about how we can best take this forward.
One of things I’m proud of is, just how we as a group have continued to work across and with each other weaving LNZ and each other into the fabric of our business as usual work activity. This has also given me the ability to work with some of my cohort whanau in an essence of a mutual showcasing and connectivity of skill and talent, in a way that benefits others.
When I think about those two days a few things jump to mind - sitting and being fed and nourished, maintaining that sense of enquiry and authenticity, a greater understanding of developing my practice, feeling inspired and rejuvenated, and being surrounded by special people, and feeling ‘lighter’ after conversations with our people doused with smiles and laughter.
It takes some exceptional people to pull together an experience like that so a very warm thank you to Judy, Annette, Louise and Sina.
Another dear friend summed up our experience last year – I appreciate how privileged we were to get to spend many weekends sequestered away in some lovely part of New Zealand exploring leadership. I can't imagine ever getting that kind of time for 'me' for a long time.
For me, that’s why this two day retreat in 2014 was an absolute jewel.
Leadership NZ Alumnus 2013