What does the imagery of multiple colors, double-dutch sized ropes, and beach balls bring to mind? Does it remind you of a fun day at the beach? Memories made at a playground? This is what would have come to mind before last week’s Leadership Kenosha Retreat. The descriptors above now activate memories of laughter, camaraderie, team building, and learning with new colleagues.

The retreat constructed our leadership foundation. Through the Real Colors activity, we learned to identify our personality types, how to communicate with those with different attributes, and how our distinctive qualities add value to our teams. FOCUS Training fostered an environment of trust. Group activities comprised of sharing our “inner geek” to find common ground (who knew our trainer was a trekky!), working together to keep a beach ball “live” in the air while using only certain parts of our bodies while laughing at our falls, slides, and bumps. The highlight was what I will call the Mission Impossible ropes activity where we were to pair-up, some blindfolded, and cross through twirling ropes. Thoughts of tripping and becoming tangled were quickly put to rest by participating in the practice session. It is with much happiness that I report we not only survived, but nailed it, through developing a strategy, assigning roles, and trusting our team. The time spent at the retreat was instrumental in creating a connection with each person while discovering new things about ourselves.

I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that the best parts of our retreat were the feelings of warmth, sense of belonging, and adventure as we embark on this journey together. The leadership gem I collected is cultivating a team requires leaning into each other, being strengths focused, and pivoting out of the comfort zone. What can we do individually to stretch out of the comfort zone this month?

—Terra Wendricks

Leadership Kenosha — September 2021