Thursday, August 28, 2014

Staff Retreat Benefits Association Executives

As I visit with association executives, I hear many feeling burned out or just plain tired.

This seems to reflect our 24/7 culture and a sense of not controlling our time.

I find my annual “staff retreat” to provide relaxation, think time and often, work away from the hassles of the office.

For example, I just returned from six days on a wilderness fishing lake in far northwest Ontario. This was the 50th consecutive year that parts of our family have “gone north” for summer fishing. It’s a tradition my dad started and he did the trip until he was 89.

In addition to the beauty, fishing and time with family, I was able to get a lot done (until my computer battery expired). [Yes, we are far enough north not to have phone or internet service!]

During the week, I ... 

  • built major sections of my presentation/facilitation at the upcoming Syngenta-sponsored Reinders workshop. The three core “chunks” will be Generational Change, Social Media and Content Management.
  • reflected on an editorial calendar for SCDdaily.
  • visited with my son and nephews about retirement strategies.
  • finished reading Sarah Sladek’s new book titled Knowing Y ... a “must-read” for association executives and association professionals. (Not to mention some nuggets for my Reinders workshop.)
  • tried to catch up on some back reading including information about the Ice Bucket Challenge and “there’s an App for that.”
  • spent many hours in a fishing boat individually with each of the members of the party: brother, son and three nephews. Gave us lots of quality time in the quiet waters of northwest Canada.
  • took time to play bean bag toss with the rest of the crew.
My son -- flanked by two nephews -- show off one day's lunch feast!
I returned refreshed, relaxed and ready for another year of writing, speaking and consulting.

Fishing in the wilderness may not be your thing.

It doesn’t matter. What matters is taking quality time to get away from your daily work so you too can be refreshed and relaxed.

So, tell me, what do you do for your “retreat?”

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