The retreat for the leadership cohort was in some ways so very quick and in other ways felt like an extended time. It’s hard to believe that we spent all day Monday, all day Tuesday, and half a day Wednesday together — went so quickly, but now that I am home it feels like it was ages ago!
I think part of it was because there were so many things that were packed in the schedule that it felt like we covered a lot. In other ways, we intentionally created space in the schedule for people to talk, and I really enjoyed many quality conversations with people.
One of the exercises we did was to chart out our life map — a visual representation of the ups and downs in our life circumstances, spiritual journey, and leadership journey. I did mine on Illustrator because I needed to write up directions and send them to everyone. Mine kind of looked like this.
Yes, my life sure has had ups and downs, but I’m sure that is normal for a lot of people!
I wish I had had the opportunity to go and sit at everyone’s tables and listen to their discussions. I was so impressed at how much effort people put into their maps — some hand drawn, others done on the computer. The guy next to me had his chart done in Excel, with callouts at each peak and valley, and everything was color coded. I was so impressed. It must have taken forever.
This was my favorite, though. The person who did this is obviously very artistic and we had a fun time relating to each other’s love of collecting paper. I confessed, “I have a closet full of paper,” and she said she did too! So nice to meet a kindred spirit.
We learned about things like leadership history and values and other leadership topics. The fall theme is “Life of the Leader,” so it talks a lot about understanding who God made us as people and how to be self-aware and authentic leaders.
The last morning, Wednesday, we as facilitators got to be the ones being presented to. All the participants worked in teams to present two different leadership approaches. They had to do a five-minute skit and then teach us about the leadership theory. It was so awesome to see the creativity and thought that went into people’s presentations! We had such a large group that we had to split up into 3 rooms, so I’m really bummed I didn’t get to see the others, but the ones in our room went so well it was hard to get people to stop talking.
After that, it was off to the airport and then I took the plan from Kansas City to Seattle and then from Seattle to back home.
On the way home, I finished the book Strengthening the Soul of Leadership, by Ruth Haley Barton.
This was a totally awesome book. Being a highly productive person, reflection and self-awareness are not really my strengths. This book talked a lot about how building the inner life of our soul relates to being a leader in ministry and spoke to a lot of stuff I feel like God is working in me. I give it 5 stars!
When I got home, it was so great to see my family. During this trip was the first time we had used FaceTime on our iPads and it was awesome. It helped me to feel more connected with my family. Technology can be such a blessing!