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Senior Correspondent

Retreat, Renew, Reflect and Recharge

Retreat, Renew, Reflect and Recharge


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


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.

Around 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 know how to hibernate for the winter. They take long, leisurely naps and wait for spring thaw.

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

Working with leaders and managers from all kinds of organizations, we observe a challenging condition that most in leadership experience year round.  Folks are busier than ever, with demands coming at them 24-7, sometimes from all over the globe. Thanks to the wonders of new technologies, the demands of leaner organizations, and an anemic economy that continues to add to the confusion, many managers are in constant motion, overwhelmed, overstimulated and under-inspired.

If this condition persists, it can cause severe loss of memory and even 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. Optimal performance can be jeopardized, and our immune systems can even become weakened.

As business coaches, we often call for a 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 that is exactly what is needed.  To regain a healthy perspective and to be inspired, it may be time for a retreat.

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

When leaders take 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 retreat and renew. Nature gives them winter for that purpose. Renewal doesn't come naturally to us humans. We have to consciously make time in our whitewater existences to make it happen.

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