An incubator of women leaders

Discover your Shine: The CLUB Retreat for Bay Area Women Leaders

03/01/2024 1:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

For the past five years, CLUB members escaped to the beaches of Santa Cruz for our annual Shine Retreat! The coastal fog and high winds seemed fitting to refresh our mind, body, and soul.

Our agenda was thoughtfully crafted and structured around four pillars: social, environmental, physical, and developmental. We delved into our leadership vision, discussed opportunities for change, and shared actionable advice to bring our ideas with us home. It was all about setting the stage for a successful year ahead.

Inspiration & Connection

We kicked off on Friday with a light lunch at the Ideal Bar & Grill, went on a self-guided tour of The Sanctuary Exploration Center, and headed to Cowell’s Beach for a beach clean up. It was a good reminder of the impact we have as humans and the role we can have to protect the ocean and sea life. The highlight of the day though was at dinner. Led by the wicked smart Tamar Serna, we enjoyed Table Talks - a series of thought-provoking questions that helped us uncover unique and mutual interests. The intimate setting also made it easy to engage in profound discussions, build stronger connections, and deepen our sense of belonging.

Charting the Path Forward

Saturday dawned with restorative Isha Uppa Yoga exercises and a scenic beach view. We had a great turnout at this early morning stretch. We loosened our muscles and activated our energy ahead of our goal-setting session with Laraine McKinnon.

Laraine helped us define what matters to us at this stage in our lives and careers. As a recovering overachiever, I particularly appreciated how she led us through the process and helped us hone in on our Most Important Goal (MIG). Through a series of exercises, we tied our goal with a bigger why so that we could prioritize actions accordingly.

Makes sense right? If you don’t have clear goals, how can you possibly be sure you’ve made the right choices? Laraine thoughtfully broke us into groups to partner up on specific timelines and action items to hold each other accountable post the retreat.

Playing Big with Empathy and Accountability

This tied well with our authentic leadership session led by Candice Heidebrecht. Candice is a long time CLUB Member and coach who leads our Mentoring Circles. She commanded the space with her bold colors and executive presence. She came uber prepared with a Cultivate Empathy workbook. Returning participants enjoyed looking back at last year’s journal and comparing how they’ve grown.

“When you are playing big, your behavior is confident, you feel motivated, and you tend to be investing in people and projects that energize you” - Candice Heidebrecht

How can you spend more time playing the big version of yourself? Think about how many identities you navigate in your day-to-day and throughout your life. Sometimes, we become different people to adapt and flex in certain situations. Interestingly, being sincere in your motivations helps you adapt to each situation while staying true to yourself. In the same manner, when you set goals, make sure you start by understanding your value system.

Bringing it all together

One of my biggest takeaways is remembering that accomplishing your goals comes with small behavior changes. Makes it super easy to say yes. Once you’re comfortable with the first action item, you can stack another action item and build traction. Also, make it memorable. I loved the idea of translating your goal into one word that can be used as your password. This keeps it top of mind. Lastly, connect with people who keep you inspired and accountable.

The CLUB is a community of women, who have been continuously inspiring each other, sharing challenges, and serving as role models to our accelerate our leadership journeys. If you missed this event, be sure to join us next year, and let's continue to build a world where every woman leader shines in her unique way.

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The CLUB is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and is tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code.

The Women's CLUB of Silicon Valley   P.O. Box 126  Palo Alto, CA 94302  USA

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