The 1st ever SYL Building Personal Success Retreat was held August 23rd & 24th, 2016 at Shekinah Retreat Center.  44 young leaders from across the system participated in the day and a half event.

Jamal Tekleweld, from the Saskatchewan Cooperative Association, started Day 1 with a high energy presentation.  He focused on the 7 Cooperative Principles, and helped the attendees to re-connect to their cooperative roots

“Jamal breathed life and excitement into it and I learned a lot about Co-operatives”

Tara McKeown, from Conexus CU, lead a conversation around ‘Navigating Your Career’.  She spoke very openly about her personal career path and provided the group with valuable advice.  Some of her talk covered things like keeping your nose clean, respecting the relationship of power and respecting the power of relationships.  She challenged the group to define what success would mean to each individual. 

“Very powerful and inspiring!!!  This was one of the best presentations I have been to.”

Neil Cooper of Conexus CU presented the third session titled “Career & Succession Planning” that he adapted to include “Personal Development & Living Your Passions”.  Neil also shared his personal journey with the group and discussed a variety of topics including mentorship, and seeking real-time feedback.  He also encouraged the young leaders to step out of their comfort zones.

“Very informational, and I appreciated the advice on mentors and really challenging myself to identify my core values”

On Day 2, Janet Lee from The Story Co. facilitated the Personal Branding Workshop.  Attendees worked their way through the “My Big Brave Personal Brand” workbook in order to define a tagline.  A single statement that would encompass the highest and most unique value each individual has to offer.

“I have developed a much deeper awareness of myself and the skills and traits I have to focus on to put my best self out there”

A variety of activities accompanied the workbook.  Each attendee completed a Fascinate Assessment prior to attending, and received a report which outlined their ‘Fascination Advantages’ and personalized ‘Archetype’.  Solutions to system challenges were discussed in breakout sessions, and an activity took place where each attendee received one word descriptions of how they are seen by their peers.  The self-evaluation accompanied by the activities and peer involvement lead each attendee to discovering the value they have to offer their organization and other aspects of their life.

Our Retreat attendees had plenty to say. Prior to the Retreat, we took quotes from each attendee’s retreat application and created posters that were hung all around the Retreat centre.

After the Retreat finished, we surveyed our attendee’s to find out how they were feeling about what they learned. Here are some quotes from them.

“Learning leadership skills and how to market myself to the world will make such a positive impact on my path to success.” 

“I feel so privileged to have attended this retreat. I know I have learned more than I can express in a report, and some of it will stay indirectly with me for the future.”

“I found the retreat energizing and inspiring. I found it awesome how the whole group of young people really delivered on being open, receptive and engaging.

“It was refreshing to be disconnected from the outside world (there was no cell/internet at the centre) but fully connecting with my group of peers.”

“By building and loving our own personal brand we are able to grow as individuals as well as effectively communicate and encourage others to use their personal strengths to succeed.”

“Leaders have the ability to not only recognize their ‘blind spots’, but also actively work to improve on and ask for others evaluation of their performance in those areas”.

“Young people today are tomorrow’s leaders and by building the leaders internally, you are setting up for a bright future.”  

“Strengths matter less.  Differences matter more.”

Thank you so much to each SYL’er who attended the retreat.  Your willingness to participate and engage in the process was more than words can express.  And thank you to the Credit Unions and affiliated sponsors for your contributions to make this retreat a success!  We are looking forward to hosting another retreat in 2017.

Your SYL Committe

Sponsor Credit Unions for 2016