by Minnie Baragwanath, Chief Executive at Be. Institute
A couple of weeks ago now I was fortunate enough to attend the 2016 alumni retreat in Wellington. Welcomed by Christian Penny (2009) and the fabulous Toi Whakaari (NZ Drama School), it was an exceptional weekend.
I arrived feeling exhausted and rather anxious. This was only the third time I had left Auckland in the last 15 months after a year of treatment for cancer and surgical complications. However, my dear friend, Leadership NZ Trustee and fellow 2007 Alumni Tara Pradhan, managed somehow to convince me that this was an essential experience to be a part of and she was so right.
I had somehow forgotten what it felt like to be truly a part of a loving supportive community of leadership and to connect with alumni from both my year and all other years many of who I had never previously met, but with whom I felt a total sense of belonging.
Somehow through the magic of the new 20 second hug regime that all Leadership NZ staff now employ when they greet you, through to the alchemy of Louise Marra’s workshop on "being' in your leadership and operating from a place of love, through to the laughter, discussion and tears, I felt like a song that had finally remembered its tune and melody again. I felt as though I deeply resonated with everyone in the room and that together we created a degree of resonance that really is making our world a better place and one where authenticity is at the heart of all we do and are!
I came away feeling like one of the most privileged people on the planet to have access to such an incredible group of people who are so committed to our collective leadership and wellbeing. Thank you, everyone who has ever been and who will ever be a part of this great initiative.