Written by Darrin Brinsden, Leadership | Facilitation | Consultancy, New-Clarity
It’s funny where we choose to write our reflections. This year's 2014 alumni retreat theme mirrored the Leadership NZ theme of Mindfulness and comes to you from the noisiest cafe in Auckland. A self-sabotage? Perhaps. More an opportunity to be calm surrounded by other peoples busy-ness.
Waiheke Island called ten 2014 alumni over to her stunning shores this year for our annual retreat. Each of us was welcomed into her beautiful home by our host Louise, and by Annette. As we gathered we remembered how important it is to take this time out of our busy lives and reconnect with each other. Formalities were few and the connections heartfelt.
Being St Patrick’s Day we were encouraged to wear green to mark the occasion. The choice of most was to wear something that connects us as a group, our pounamu taonga carved from the same stone and presented at our graduation ceremony in 2014.
The two days flew by with a full programme that ranged from quiet time to full group sharing with a rowdy dinner and breakfast at Charley Farley’s.
The most powerful learning was the offering of stories in a pecha kucha round where we shared and celebrated the essence of our own learnings over the past year.
When you encounter a group of people who you feel comfortable enough with to stretch your edges, do it. Each of us shared and learnt from each others sharing. Some needing to slow down, others needing to speed up, and some with the balance just right.
We came as individuals, shared a common journey and left as a group. Calm, refreshed, strengthened and ready to take on what the world has to offer again.
Sitting in this cafe six weeks on from the retreat it all seems a world away. Though, the learnings and practices live on.
My strongest learning from my Leadership NZ journey is that you can’t lead if you don’t live. Many exciting and challenging opportunities have presented themselves over the last few years. In the early days they were met with a lot of no thank you responses. I realised over time that I was running scared from the big challenges, fast. Now I am moving with these challenges and starting to live again by walking through some of these opening doors of opportunity.