Last month, a team of Keogh consultants and a group of brave leaders set out on a journey of a lifetime to challenge their physical boundaries and test their resilience, persistence, team building and problem-solving skills.
The group took on a near 100km trek through the picturesque Lamington National Park spanning seven days to put their physical intelligence (PQ) to the ultimate endurance test.
The task was the third component of the four-month Extend Experiential Leadership Adventure centred on Keogh’s Wisdom Wheel development model encompassing PQ, emotional intelligence (EQ), spiritual intelligence (SIQ) and technical leadership skills (TQ).
The driving force behind the Extend adventure, Keogh Consulting Senior Consultant Lorena Clayton, joined by leadership and adventure facilitator Wayne Enright and Keogh consultants Ian Geddes and Ned Carrick, said the program pushed participants to explore how they turn up as the best version of themselves.
“You really can’t show up as a good leader, as the best version of yourself, if you’re turning up tired, rundown, burned out, self-medicating or not sleeping,” Lorena explained.
Some days were long and tough, with leaders returning in darkness with only headtorches lighting the way, and other moments over the week were focused on mindfulness and the connection to nature.
However, Lorena says trekking was only part of the challenge.
There were intellectual challenges, grounding nature activities, a chance to review 360-degree feedback, and some nights telling stories around the campfire.
The week was focused on building teamwork, creative thinking, problem solving, gratitude, and courageously showing vulnerability as a leader.
“There were some fun leadership challenges and physical problem-solving and a treasure hunt that went through the jungle, as well as all of the hiking,” Lorena said.
“We also got our leaders doing an art class where they drew their happy place and, interestingly, nobody drew a picture of their desk and their computer,” she added.
David Macartney, an Extend participant from Emmanuel City Mission, said the trek allowed him to push his boundaries and confront his performance as a leader while gaining new perspectives from others in the group.
“I was humbled and encouraged the entire trek as I confronted behaviours I need to improve in order to find the best solutions to problems,” he said.
“It was a beautiful trek and led by very sensible, wise, capable facilitators.
“The high variability of the trek meant it was able to challenge something different in each of the participants,” he added.
Lorena said there were many “lightbulb moments” and some participants said it had been a “life-changing experience”, with shared camaraderie, support and connected conversations.
“We had some big moments where leaders had to step into their own vulnerability,” Lorena explained.
“The big things were people realising that as leaders they’re a lot more successful if they allow themselves to be vulnerable.
“We had some tears, both happy tears when people accomplish things they didn’t expect – some people just couldn’t get over how much they’d achieved physically doing that hard trek.
“For some people it was probably the hardest they’ve pushed themselves.
“There were other leaders realising that they’re so much better as leaders if they don’t try and be indestructible.”
The final workshop in the four-part program is technical intelligence where the group will look at leadership styles and technical skills on how they can empower others.
If you are interested in joining Keogh’s next instalment of the Extend program in 2023, find out more and register here.
Excerpts of this article was picked up by the City Beat section of The Courier Mail in Queensland, and can be read on Page 73 of their 23 September 2022 issue.