Most of what I’ve learned over the past month has been through what I’ve done. It’s been full to the brim of hosting experiences for leaders.
Vision Refreshes: I host leaders in Colorado for a three day experience of analyzing their past, dreaming about what could be and activating ahead. I host these in beautiful places (usually the mountains here in Colorado) with plenty of space, relaxation, high altitude views, fun and great food. I hosted a leader from Florida, then a leader from Colorado and this week I’m hosting three power couples from across the country in the mountains. This is deep and fruitful work, and leaders leave with a plan to take massive next steps based on what they’ve uncovered. I treasure these opportunities!
Stay Forth Experiences: I also get the honor of co-hosting replenishing experiences through Stay Forth. We hosted our largest experience to date with 24 business, non-profit, church and online leaders. There’s something special about getting leaders in the room, cutting the posturing and inviting them to be cared for. We laughed HARD and we cried. We encouraged and we prayed. We ate and we napped. It was special
What’s so powerful about these experiences?
I’ve been on plenty of retreats and conferences in my day, and most of them left me wanting. Over the past four years we’ve been intentional to curate intentional experiences that change leaders. We continually watch these elements rise to the top and create a beautiful disorientation during our experiences.
Space: We leave plenty of space for sleeping in, napping, hikes, laughing on the couch and long meals. It’s disorienting for busy leaders to slow down.
Dependence: We give them just enough information to feel safe, and not enough to over-control. As leaders we’re using to controlling our environment, so it’s disorienting to not have control… but they love it!
Receiving: Leaders are used to giving, serving, leading, investing and not very good at receiving. We disorient them by taking care of every detail so they can just receive what they need.
Abundance: It’s easy to live in scarcity and over-responsibility as a leader. We eat amazing food and gift them with an experience that’s better than they had imagined… and that’s disorienting.
A “Taste and See” environment: In a culture of information overload we invite leaders to “taste and see the Lord is good”. These beautiful moments of rest, replenishment, great coffee, laughs, gifts and glimpses of creation are reminders of a good Father who deeply loves us.
Hosting experiences that disorient leaders has become one of the greatest gifts of my life and ministry. This would’ve never happened without the partnership of the Stay Forth team, especially Michael Larson, our Director of Experiences. Instead of throwing rocks at the conference model I’m so glad we were crazy enough to begin telling a different story through experiences.
Thanks for how you serve others. Don’t forget to receive.
Taste and See the Lord is good,
Alan is a mountain guide for the leadership journey. He loves outdoor adventures, but the greatest adventure of his being a father and husband. Alan is crazy about helping hungry leaders conquer overwhelm and navigate with courage. He serves leaders and organizations around the country through coaching, speaking, consulting, designing experiences, hosting mastermind groups, writing his own books and ghostwriting for others. He co-hosts Right Side up Leadership Podcast and regularly writes for Outreach and Field Notes .