“I have found my tribe.”
This was my favorite response to this year’s CEO Retreat.
It came from one of our top CEOs. He followed with, “It was so refreshing to listen to other people who struggle with the same decisions, questions and frankly, emotions that I typically take on alone.”
After working with the Raffoni team to create a memorable and valuable experience for the several dozen CEOs who joined us for the two-day event, hearing this made me smile.
What caused this CEO and others to have this realization? Here are the highlights of our time together...
Carol Kaufman, Founder of the Institute of Coaching at Harvard University and long-term faculty member at Harvard Medical School, kicked us off with The Truth About Leadership Development. Carol’s roster of senior leaders she coaches continues to impress me, as does her thinking and practical approach that our CEOs respect. As I looked around the table, I saw CEO members making lists of things they want to do better to become better leaders and to create better environments for their teams. They concurred that this topic never gets the attention it deserves. But on this day, it did.
Next, I had the privilege of facilitating a panel with Josh McCall, CEO of Jack Morton and Peter Bransfield, CEO of Rypos. These guys are two of my favorite leaders. I asked them, “Describe your best leaders and how you got and kept them? Tell us about your best leadership teams and how they became so great.”
The pro-activeness of these two leaders in developing their leadership teams is damn impressive. A spark is ignited. “Does an ivy league education matter?” is the question, leading to a series of controversial topics. Good fun.
Year-over-year our CEOs say, “more panels, more swapping of stories!” Where else does this happen?
This lively session was followed by Mark Kasdorf, CEO of Intrepid; Mike Dreese, CEO of Newbury Comics; and Ted Nelson, CEO of Mechanica. Wow. What happens when a leading mobile app development firm CEO, a leading provocative retailer, and one of the best marketing strategist I know talk about what every CEO should know about consumer trends on the internet and content marketing? Great discussion, new ideas, sharing, sharing, and more sharing.
To ground our excitement (chuckle), we welcomed Tom Fay, Regional President of BNY Mellon Wealth Management to give us an inside peek at the economic forecast ahead. We were pleased with the outlook. It is positive.
We allowed plenty of time to network and have real discussion. We went from a community-service-based social… to a pre-party…to a delectable dinner… to organized speed networking… to collaborative group activities…to unstructured breaks.
We did our best to create an environment that brought forth truth, encouraged transparency, promoted collaboration and fostered innovation.
And we even got a little more creative this year. One third of our attendees opted into a collaboration exercise that included abstract painting, accompanied by a jazz quintet. More than half of the attendees showed up at 7AM for a guided meditation led by a Buddhist meditation master. And 100% of our CEOs failed the Marshmallow Challenge (I’m told you can watch on it YouTube).
We circled back to leadership, well-being, and creating environments that stimulate productivity and happiness. Ideas ranged from community service programs, to yoga on-site, to executive health benefits. We discussed many new ideas and ways for CEOs to demonstrate and invest in improving well-being for themselves and their teams.
As I write this and read the evaluations of the day, they unanimously point to one thing – the value of CEOs connecting with other CEOs. Something we focused on going into the retreat and that was validated throughout.
If each CEO member implements one new idea from this enlightening time with their peers, I’m convinced their companies will be better for it.
At Raffoni, we will continue this important work in the CEO Collective over the next 12 months and anticipate the 10th annual retreat next fall. If you missed it this year, make sure to join us in 2015. You’ll be glad you did.
>Learn more about the CEO Retreat
- Feb 20, 2018 Finding the Sweet Spot Between Inspirational and Operational Leadership Feb 20, 2018
- Nov 21, 2017 Smoother Sailing Ahead for CEOs Who Stay at the Helm of these 5 Core Responsibilities Nov 21, 2017
- Oct 3, 2017 Why You Should STOP Thinking about Cascading Goals to Your Organization Oct 3, 2017
- Jun 19, 2017 5 Essential “To Dos” for Every CEO’s Summer Plan Jun 19, 2017
- Jun 5, 2017 Preparation Makes Perfect: 5 Tips for Preparing for Your Strategic Planning Session Jun 5, 2017
- Jun 1, 2017 Strategic Planning: Why Start with A CEO Presentation? Jun 1, 2017
- Apr 25, 2017 5 Signs It's Time to Make a Change to Your Exec Team Apr 25, 2017
- Sep 2, 2016 CEO, Do You Know What Makes You Happy? Sep 2, 2016
- Sep 2, 2016 6 Reasons Why Traveling for Pleasure Will Make You a Better CEO Sep 2, 2016
- Jun 29, 2016 The CEO's Role in Managing Culture: Do What You Believe in Most Jun 29, 2016
- Jun 29, 2016 Top 6 Signs of Burnout for CEOs and the C-Suite Jun 29, 2016
- Apr 21, 2016 CEOs share the top 15 REASONS they make time for a CEO Peer group Apr 21, 2016
- Mar 1, 2016 Are You Tracking Projects or Tracking Results? Tell the Truth. Mar 1, 2016
- Mar 1, 2016 How to Make Sure Q1 Doesn't Get You Down: Focus First on Yourself, then on Your Company Culture Mar 1, 2016
- Dec 22, 2015 9 Steps for an Eye-Opening Assessment of Your Leadership Team, Strategy, and Strategic Planning Process Dec 22, 2015
- Dec 22, 2015 For Mature CEOs Only: Ask Yourself These 12 Probing Questions as You Close Out 2015 Dec 22, 2015
- Nov 10, 2015 2015 CEO Collective Retreat Recap Nov 10, 2015
- Sep 15, 2015 Does Your Leadership Team have High Executive Function? Sep 15, 2015
- Sep 14, 2015 Top 7 CEO Personal Development Goals for the New Year Sep 14, 2015
- Jul 22, 2015 Are You An Engaged CEO Champion? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions Jul 22, 2015
- Jul 22, 2015 5 Mistakes Even the Best CEOs Make Jul 22, 2015
- May 2015
- Mar 24, 2015 How to Improve Your Strategic Scorecard Mar 24, 2015
- Mar 24, 2015 What a Strategic Scorecard Is and Why You Should Care Mar 24, 2015
- Feb 3, 2015 Are You a Graceful CEO? Feb 3, 2015
- Nov 20, 2014 CEOs “Find Their Tribe” at the Raffoni Group’s 9th Annual CEO Collective Retreat Nov 20, 2014