Transforming a Transformer

A few weeks ago, I let people know that I would be out of touch for a week, during which I would be participating in a personal development retreat. Last week, I send a brief notice to announce my return, and promised to let everyone know how the retreat had gone. Here is my brief report:

Over the course of my life, I have participated in every imaginable type of personal and professional development course. I have meditated on retreats in the mountains of Taiwan and the holy city of Kyoto in Japan. I was deeply involved in personal development groups in Copenhagen and participated in the Bureau Veritas University in Paris. I have worked with Dan Siegel and Jack Kornfield and attended Mindful Leadership retreats.

Starting more than 20 years ago, I was involved in Vistage Chair training, first as a participant, then as a facilitator. I worked with Morrie Schechtman on 5th Wave Leadership and spent two very intense years becoming certified in Imago couples’ therapy. In short, I have dedicated a significant portion of my life attempting to discover just exactly who I am, or, at least, who I am becoming.

I heard of this program from an acquaintance, and later learned that a long-term friend had participated. His recommendation convinced me to carve out the 5 days necessary. I am so grateful that I did.

It is appropriately titled the Personalized Leadership Development Program at The Leadership Trust®. Without revealing any of the secret magic of this program, I will give you an idea of the components:

Feedback:

  • Initial impression of participants
  • 360° review delivered in a unique format
  • Peer group review

Psychology:

  • Explanation of cause and effect
  • Experiential exercises
  • Profound personality development insights
  • Peer group feedback

Leadership:

  • How we show up to others as leaders
  • Identifying communication challenges
  • What specific corrections we can undertake to
    increase effectiveness

Commitments:

  • Regarding work
  • Regarding our non-work life
  • Follow-up with accountability support

Respect:

  • Appreciation for each other
  • Accountability – peer to peer
  • Honesty

None of this could have transpired, of course, without excellent facilitation. Dr Holly Latty-Mann, a double-PhD psychologist and President of The Leadership Trust®, quickly established an atmosphere of trust and safety.
That allowed all of us to share openly, and to hear the feedback as it was delivered both from the facilitator and our peers.

Interestingly, only one person per company is permitted in each session. This protects the integrity and openness of the responses. It absolutely deepens the experience, and the transformative nature of the program.

I have subsequently learned that this retreat has been delivered to over 65,000 leaders over the past 45 years. An astounding 98% of those participants have rated this as the best leadership program they have experienced.

It is one of the better-kept secret weapons of some incredibly successful companies. In fact, aside from myself and one other, all the other participants in my cohort had been sent to this program as a regular facet of their company’s leadership development initiative.

I would be happy to talk with any of you who are interested in learning more about the Personalized Leadership Development Program® or The Leadership Trust®. You can reach me at dbelden@iexecuvision.com. I look forward to talking with you about this unique and very special program.

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