Three Elements that Will Transform Your Next Leadership Retreat

AdVance Leadership » Three Elements that Will Transform Your Next Leadership Retreat

Welcome to Friday 411, issue #053. In 4 minutes, with 1 insight and 1 action, you’ll learn three critical elements necessary for a transformational leadership retreat.


1 Insight

If you’re hosting a leadership development workshop or retreat for your team, the goal is transformation. Achieving transformation requires three elements.

One of the biggest obstacles we face in providing consulting services is other consultants. Not competition from other consultants, but companies’ poor past experiences with utilizing consultants. Too many leadership trainings are disorganized and don’t address the challenges that leaders face. Participants walk away with not only the bad taste of an unprofessional experience but also no promise of results. The only transformation these consultants achieve is convincing the organization that hiring outside training is a waste of time and money.

After leading a recent two-day workshop, we received this encouraging feedback:

I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for presenting the two-day leadership sessions. Your expertise, guidance, and passion for leadership truly shone through, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn from you.

Your ability to inspire and motivate us to become better leaders was remarkable. The practical insights, real-life examples, and interactive discussions made the sessions engaging and enlightening. I gained valuable knowledge and skills that I can apply not only in my professional life but also in my personal endeavors.

I greatly appreciate the time and effort you put into designing the curriculum and delivering the material in such a clear and concise manner. Your teaching style allowed me to grasp complex concepts easily.

Moreover, your willingness to address our questions, provide feedback, and encourage open dialogue created a supportive learning environment. Your genuine interest in our growth and development as leaders was evident throughout the two days.

Part of what helps AdVance Leadership achieve exceptional results is our Formula for Transformation. We believe it is one of the core essentials that makes us unique. If you decide to lead your own leadership retreat, you can use this formula to reach transformation.

The Formula is: Content + Commitment + Community = Transformation.


The goal of any leadership development experience – whether it’s a two-day retreat or a multi-month program – should be transformation of leaders. Transformation occurs when participants are inspired, informed, and confidently equipped for action. Additionally, they should walk away with:

  • new thought patterns that help them lead more effectively;
  • new tools that make leadership simpler; and
  • new behaviors and habits that improve the way they lead others.

Transformation is the goal. Transformation requires three elements.

Element 1: Content

All leadership development companies present content. But most leadership content gives information without application. In other words, the content might affect the participants’ minds, but not their hearts, habits, and abilities.


Good content should address the challenges that your company’s leaders are facing. It should be research-based and actionable, communicated clearly, and easily implementable.

We use a proprietary assessment to evaluate the specific growth areas that your company’s leaders are facing. Our “Unleashed Leadership” framework is the basis for all of our content. It focuses on 7 traits that solve 95% of leadership challenges: character, competence, capacity, clarity, community, culture, and consistency.

Each of these traits has 5 Best Practices (a total of 35 Best Practices). Each Best Practice includes at least one actionable tool.

Element 2: Commitment

In order for Transformation to take place, participants must make two commitments:

  1.  Commitment to Become a Better Leader

Leaders must commit to becoming better leaders. They must accept the challenge of upgrading their abilities before they can change.

  1.  Commitment to Develop Specific New Traits

The first commitment focuses on the will to be better, while the second commitment focuses on the skills. Each leader must commit to upgrade their abilities as a leader.

In our workshops, every participant pledges to upgrade their leadership in at least one of the 7 traits mentioned above. They identify a specific trait to upgrade  and develop a plan based on the insights and tools they gained from our training. Then, they partner with other people to hold each other accountable. These accountability groups lead us to the third ingredient.

Element 3: Community

Leadership is not a lone-wolf endeavor. Good leaders flourish when they are surrounded by other good leaders who spur each other on toward excellence. Leaders need peers who:

  • challenge them,
  • help them aim for bigger goals, and
  • provide accountability.

In our experience, most leadership development workshops completely miss this element. They provide (sometimes good) content and might expect commitments. But they consistently overlook the power of relationships. Building relationships among leaders combats the loneliness often found at the top and fosters a supportive environment for growth.

At AdVance Leadership, we build community in two ways during our workshops. We already mentioned the first: each participant forms a group of Transformation Partners – a group of participants who share how they intend to grow and  hold each other accountable to that growth.

The second way we build community is through the workshop itself. Our workshops put people in small groups of 4-5 people who spend a full day together. Throughout the training, we create opportunities for discussions based on the content we’re presenting. These discussions build relationships and help participants determine practical solutions to their challenges.

1 Action

As you’re planning your next leadership workshop or retreat:

  • If you’re hiring a leadership consultant or trainer, make sure they utilize the three elements in the Formula for Transformation.
  • If you’re doing the training yourself, ensure that you build Content, Commitment, and Community into your design.


Want to help your company unleash its leaders?

  1. Get your team to subscribe to the Friday411 newsletter.
  2. Get your copy of Gettin' (un)Busy, named by Forbes as “one of the books everyone on your team should read.”
  3. Email Garland to train your company’s leaders. We will equip them with 7 traits that solve 95% of their leadership challenges.
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