“These women have become dear friends which I never expected and am so very grateful to have this as the ongoing outcome of what was truly a fabulous experience. The memories will live on, but more importantly the friends I made are now a critical piece of the fabric of my life.”
– MaryAnn Guerra, CEO – BioAccel
Marhaba! Which is the traditional Moroccan greeting meaning a warm "hello and welcome!"
This Wisdom Quest is a 10 Day, 9 Night adventure with an exciting itinerary that includes the Moroccan cities of Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakech. In addition to exploring the sights, we'll be journeying through our curriculum of "Lead with Conversations." This Wisdom Quest is to help you successfully navigate your relationships, both personal and professional, in an environment that is new, exciting and designed to be a bit out of your comfort zone!
From the time you arrive at the Casablanca Airport, where special arrangements have been made for you to pass through immigration formalities and clear customs, you will experience transformative travel. Once "officially" in the country, we will meet our guides and be escorted via deluxe vehicle and professional driver to our hotel to start the Wisdom Quest Adventure in Morocco.
A year ago, and my trusted friend and business partner, Deborah Bateman, said to me, “You need to write a book."
Hmmm… The truth is, I didn't yet have a book because I didn't know what book to write.
Do I write a book about my early work in war-torn and post-conflict countries, leading with my opening workshop joke: "We know the methodologies are effective because I am still alive?"
What about the tales of a high probability of getting shot being a requirement for my job, and the fact I'm still here is a testament to the techniques?
Or, do I write a book on my life experiences from leaving home at 13 years old to eventually becoming a single, globetrotting parent and how the plethora of conversations broke or built me at different stages along the way?
Because let’s be clear, it IS our conversations, whether with ourselves or with others, that create meaning for our experiences and often determine our trajectory.
I finally realized, any book I write needs to include all of the above! I am who I am, and know what I know, because of my history of conversations and you are who you are based on yours.
Whether we are talking about self-worth, leadership or the interconnection between the two, dig deep and how we show up in our relationships (at work or home) is based on the meaning we allowed prior conversations to have on our beliefs and resulting behaviors.
This especially came to life for me when, at 48 years old, I met Tim. Prior to Tim, I had been in long-term relationships but never lived with a man.
Was I in for a shock! Maybe you can relate. It was hard enough that my bedroom and bathroom, always my carefully orchestrated sanctuary, hasn’t looked or smelled the same since. But while we shared many similar values, we also had some significant differences in politics, money, sex, and parenting.
It wasn’t long into our living together that our relationship felt like it was in a constant state of peril because of conversations that quickly went awry.
Often, we would assign intention and meaning to what the other said:
“He said that to hurt me otherwise he wouldn’t have said anything at all.”
“Obviously, she doesn’t care about this relationship or she wouldn’t have said.... or did...”
“If he really valued or appreciate me, then he would.....”
Or we would have harmful internal conversations with ourselves:
“I’m a failure at relationships”
“I am going to be rejected”
“I’m not good enough”
As anyone in a long-term relationship knows, there is nothing is easy about living with another adult human in an intimate relationship. We didn’t have to agree on everything, but we had to find a way to communicate our differences in a way that still honored and respected each other. We realized that while love brought us together, our conversations - and the projections that came with them - were at risk of destroying us.
This is also true in our organizations. Intimate relationships risk ending when couples fail to navigate the difficult conversations, organizations lose talent, high potential leaders, production and profit.
Conversations are hard. Staying in conversation instead of confrontation is even harder.
Recognizing these truths, Deborah gently suggested that while I am in the throes of writing, we should also offer a Wisdom Quest. What better place to dive deep into meaningful, challenging conversations than with a group of women leaders in an exotic locale where everything is different than our norm.
During our retreat, I will share the lessons I have learned, often painfully, that served as the testing ground for each of the program tools. You will receive instruction and support for how to apply them in your life.
Currently, this program and tools are being used successfully by thousands of people around the world. Many of my clients live and work in highly sensitive, complex environments (remember that part about the probability of being shot?) and I will share some of their stories.
It is our intention that by the end of our Wisdom Quest you will feel you have new tools to stay in conversation instead of confrontation and the confidence to handle even the most emotionally-charged situation.