It’s a one-week trip to Israel with 50 other people who applied, and I got accepted this year.
Even though the trip is to Israel, it’s not just limited to Jewish people.
50% of the attendees weren’t Jewish.
The 50 attendees included:
People who sold multiple successful businesses
A vice president at Nike
An entrepreneur who met the Pope
One of the biggest things we talked about was how to be a better leader.
Today I’m sharing 16 of the leadership activities I learned:
Goat workshop. This is hard to do unless you have goat or sheep but the very first thing we did is try to lead goats from one place to another. Like a Shepherd. I won’t spoil it but we assume most leadership is from the front, you may need to challenge your assumptions.
Nights out. This was the most powerful activity we did. They dropped us off in the middle of the desert and gave us two rules:
You must talk to yourself outloud for 10 minutes
You can’t stop talking
Go find a park, yard or anywhere quiet to do this. I was shocked how talking to myself outloud gave me so much clarity.
“You can talk to me about…” This was the first thing we did when we arrived. You introduced yourself and then said, you can talk to me about: X and Y. I said magic and bicycles. It was a great thing to share so people could easily approach you about a topic.
Artifacts. This was very powerful and intimate. You had to bring an artifact or picture of an artifact that represented a major point in your life. I brought my dad’s Shabbat candle holders and a picture of my bikes. Then you shared the stories behind them.
Hippy breathing. We did this on the top of Massadah. Stephanie (who literally is the nicest person I’ve ever met) led this, and you’d do 3 breaths from the stomach, heart, and mouth… Do it rapidly for about 1-minute. You get light headed and pretty euphoric.
Birthdays. Have everyone guess the likelihood anyone else in the group has the same birthday as themselves. Then ask what’s the minimum amount of people you need to have 2 people with same birthday. Then go around and have everyone say their birthday. (It’s 23 people btw.)
Do a leadership dilemma challenge. Each person gets 15 minutes to share their challenge and get feedback about it.
Introduction - 4 min - about situation as questions
Clarifying - 4 min - ask questions to really understand
Duck tape - 4 min - main person is silent
Integration and dialog - 3 min - closure
Build a raft together. Do some type of group activity where you have to self-organize. We were in groups of 8, given a guide book, and told we had 30 minutes to build a raft with 4 barrels, rope, and some logs. I’ve never been a part of the group where I don’t take over as leader so to be with a bunch of other Type A people and figure out how to work together was interesting. Biggest takeaway was do more planning ahead and then debrief after the experience.
Eye staring. This is advanced and quite uncomfortable. With someone else stare in their eyes for 30 seconds. You connect and learn a tremendous about another person even when you don’t say a word.
Push ups or calisthenics. Every Monday at 10am at Sumo we do calisthenics. I learned it from a friend who worked in Japan. It’s great way to unite the team and start Monday with a little blood flow. As well we do a single clap at the end where we have to be in unison before the meeting can adjourn. As well, during calisthenics we do a pushup and then hold it. Hold it longer than you think. Most people can do more than they can imagine.
What kind of leader are you? On the beach they used a bible reference of Moses, Joshua, Miriam, and Sara. I don’t know shit about the Bible but the idea was each of us has a leadership style:
Moses - Visionary. They have ideas about where to go.
Joshua - Operations. They make sure shit happens.
Miriam - Cheerleader. They are supportive and help everyone stay positive.
Sara - Spokesperson. They let everyone internally and externally know what’s happening.
Compliment and hug. Get in small teams and have each person compliment the others and then hug them. Awkward yes, powerful, hell yes.
Sad time you were grateful later. Share with another person about a time that was sad, but later turned out to be a situation that you were grateful.
Favorite memory with your family. Mine was at 6 years old when I was eating strawberries and whipped cream at a buffet in San Francisco. Yours?
Bless one person in this group. Go around and bless something positive for another person on your team.
Perceptions. We did this at the end of the trip where you went around in small groups and asked what you thought of the person before and now. Super interesting. Major takeaway is to be the person people perceive you as when they first meet you.
You never know what you’re going to get out of different experiences. I’m very grateful to go on the trip and hope you got something out of my notes.
“Reflect every morning what a great life looks like then ask yourself what is holding you back from greatness.”