Lead From The Right is a two day retreat where people from all walks of business take time to reflect. It’s an opportunity for people to discuss what’s going on for them. People come for many reasons, and often come away with a renewed perspective on their lives.
I signed up for Lead From the Right for a couple of reasons: I wanted some guidance on the next stage of my career and I wanted to reflect on my recent trip around the world. I had worked in Insurance Sales and Technology Sales for the past 4 years and was feeling the need of a change. I also wanted to learn how Ian Kingston (my Dad) facilitates growth in people’s lives through workshops like this – I got a lot more than I bargained for.
Who should go?
Ian runs these courses a couple of times a year. It’s a chance for his clients, friends, colleagues and people he knows from business and life, to take a step back from their daily routine. It’s a chance to look at their lives from a different perspective. People come for many different reasons. Some are driving for a promotion in work, wondering how they can get there. Some are having trouble relating to their children and aren’t sure where to turn. Some own or work for successful businesses and are looking to get more out of life. It varies massively. The ages of everyone varied too. This course was no different; starting from me, in my mid-twenties, to John, in his early sixties. However, all of us had something in common; we all were looking to reflect, improve or develop an aspect of our lives.
There is generally no structured agenda laid out by Ian. This is a clear change of pace for most people. A lot come from businesses where each meeting is planned and structured. Most days are highly organised and there is a goal to be achieved or a result to be strived for. Lead From The Right is different. What needs to come up for the participants, will come up. Ian creates a space where each person can discuss whatever they feel is important to them right now. This means that everyone has the opportunity to get what they want out of the few days.
Ian welcomed us all to the room on the first morning, where the chairs were laid out in a circle. There was a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, we were all chatting, getting to know each other. We were given the task of learning about the person next to us, and to tell the group what we learned. This fairly standard activity fostered an insightful conversation that went on for hours. Before we knew it, it was lunch-time. It absolutely flew.
This is how the two days progressed: A lot of insightful and personal group discussions. Occurring in a mix of our comfy armchairs in the beautiful hotel at MacReddin Village, or out for a walk in the stunning Wicklow countryside. We even got out for a mountain-bike early on the second morning.
What did we talk about?
The conversation flowed naturally between the 12 of us. As we got more comfortable, we began to open up about what was going on in our lives: a difficulty in a relationship, balancing work and our home lives, or a the news of a sick loved-one.
Between sessions or meals, I’d send a message to a friend or call my girlfriend, but honestly, for the rest of the time, I was captivated by the conversations. It’s incredible how open and honest each of us were being. I learnt so much about business, work, life and relationships.
What did I learn?
Personally, I was able to discuss aspects of my life that I was thinking about;
- What would be the next move in my career?
- Was I being the best boyfriend, brother and son that I could be?
- What do I value and how do I encourage more of that into my life?
- How do I be the best, most authentic version of myself?
I learnt so much about the different stages of life; what’s it like to succeed and fail in business, what’s it like to work through a relationship. I saw others’ body language change and eyes light up as they learnt something new or received a new insight on something that they were dealing with. I saw many “pennies drop” throughout the two days. What was interesting, is that the wisdom wasn’t coming from Ian, our facilitator, but from the others in the group. When somebody opened up about their life, he was heard, listened to, and understood. The group then gave their perspective, a discussion ensued, and we all learned something.
I joke that I almost felt sorry for my girlfriend after the two days, because she greeted a new man when I got home. Well, not exactly a new man, but a man with a renewed sense of purpose, insight and knowledge of what I want from my life. It took a few days for her to get used to it, and a few days for me to come back to reality. But honestly, I feel like we are stronger now; I discuss more about how I feel. I’m more aware of what I want, and how I want to be. I listen more.
I’m not perfect, but I’m more aware of what the best version of me looks like. And by “best”, I don’t mean most successful. I mean the most authentic, healthy and loving version of me that I can become. Since coming back from Lead from the Right, I have begun taking a few minutes to myself every morning to meditate. It’s not easy and I’ve forgotten a few times, but it definitely makes me more conscious of my day. I feel more confident in where I am in my career and excited about what’s to come. While it took a few days to digest everything that learned (and more will probably come) I feel like I’m approaching life from a new perspective. I’d recommend the course to anyone, just be ready to share and be ready for some real honesty J