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Senior Correspondent


Wikipedia — Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperatures, slower breathing, and/or lower metabolic rate.

Jeanne — Hibernation is a state of coziness that includes a comfy chair, fleece comforter, a cat or two, a good book, plenty of hot tea and animal crackers.

About this time every year, as all the holiday excitement dies down and winter begins to set in, I find myself wishing I were a big old bear. Bears apparently know how to hibernate for the winter. They take long, leisurely naps and prepare themselves for spring thaw.

So, I wasn't born a bear, but have been wondering if we humans might not take a lesson or two from bears, other hibernators and nature in general.

As we go about working with leaders and managers from all kinds of organizations, we observe a challenging condition that most leaders experience, year round. Folks are busier than ever, with demands coming at them 24/7, often from all over the globe. Thanks to the wonders of high-tech, the demands of leaner organizations, and an anemic economy that continues to add to the confusion, many managers are always in motion, overwhelmed, overstimulated and under-inspired.

When this condition persists, it can cause severe loss of memory and loss of sight. It can cause us to forget such things as why we ever chose the line of work we are in, or what kind of work brings us the greatest joy. It can cause us to lose sight of the bigger picture, or forget where we are headed. Optimal performance can be jeopardized, and our immune systems can even become weakened.

As business coaches, we often call Time Out! when we observe these lackluster leadership symptoms. Unlike sports, it's much more difficult to call Time Out! in our businesses or organizations. But, a Time Out! is exactly what is needed. To regain our perspective and inspiration, it may be time for a retreat.

Retreating can come in many forms, but we believe that short intentional periods of rest and renewal are essential for optimal performance. Retreats are meant to renew us and help us regain our mojo.

The Quality Coach!® team will be taking a little retreat this week.  We are looking forward to spending time together collaborating and re-energizing ourselves for the coming year.  

And, we are equally excited to be offering a series of leadership retreats in 2012 for our clients, designed to help leaders relax, refresh, renew, reflect and recharge. We believe that when leaders are taking the time to reconnect with their inspiration, huge benefits will flow downhill in their respective organizations. Human energy is indeed a renewable resource. Nature makes sure plants and animals are retreating and renewing. Nature gives them winter for that purpose. Renewal doesn't come naturally to us humans. We have to choose and consciously make time in our white water existences in order to make it happen.

Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processing of growth, renewal and transformation in our lives. Unknown

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