Leadership Retreat: Making High Performance Sustainable

Leadership Retreat: Making High Performance Sustainable

Events and Seminars


Useful Links

Leadership Retreat:
Making High Performance Sustainable

With Professor Derek Mowbray and Shakya Kumara

We’re living in an ever more globalised, competitive, disrupted, complex world. That puts ever more pressure on organisations and their leaders. Under these conditions, how can performance be developed in a way that is sustainable for both leaders and staff?

One key ingredient is reflection and retreat – stepping back from the maelstrom, refreshing ourselves, gaining perspective and developing insight.

Perspectives and insights come from personal reflection, interaction with peers and expert input. On this retreat, Professor Derek Mowbray will be sharing insights from his Adaptive Leadership model, and Shakya Kumara will help you draw from the Mindfulness approach to sustainable peak performance.

This Leadership Retreat is aimed at senior leaders. It is especially suitable for those leaders responsible for setting direction and creating culture. It will suit courageous leaders looking for fresh insights and challenging new approaches to meet the extreme demands all leaders are facing in today’s world.

The Retreat Experience

A retreat is a unique experience with unique benefits. A good retreat is spacious and refreshing, while also being purposeful, productive and potentially transformational.

New perspectives and insights also come from workshop-style conversations, facilitated to draw on personal experience, the experience of others, and input from the retreat leaders. These are highly constructive conversations – they are not about probing into difficulties or weaknesses, nor abstract philosophising. The emphasis is on generating practical possibilities for progress.

As well as expert facilitation, retreat leaders Professor Derek Mowbray and Shakya Kumara bring expertise in achieving high performance with high sustainability, particularly in terms of Adaptive Leadership and Mindful Leadership.

Adaptive Leadership

Adaptive Leadership offers an opportunity to achieve peak organisational and individual performance. It is best applied to organisations with jobs requiring people to use their judgment in the course of their daily work.

Adaptive Leadership is a process that enhances staff engagement, trust, commitment and kinship. These factors are evidenced as having the greatest impact on preventing psychological distress and provoking psychological wellbeing. This translates into increased performance from individuals and teams, and lower costs of absenteeism and psychological presenteeism.

The aim is to get the best possible performance from teams, to do justice to the investment in their intelligence, curiosity, skills, knowledge and experience. It is also the aim to get the best possible performance from leaders, to do justice to the investment in their intelligence, curiosity, skills, knowledge and experience.

The basic principle of Adaptive Leadership is sharing responsibility for the future success of the organisation. When individuals have the sensation of being responsible and ‘owning’ part of the organisation, they can operate from healthy self-interest, knowing that it is tied with the interests of others and the organisation as a whole. Individuals and teams can then address every issue relating to the success of the organisation; individuals offer unsolicited ideas and everyone learns from each other. At their own level and within their own area, everyone can step forward and take appropriate levels of leadership.

Leaders retain strategic authority, of course, but base their authority on reflecting the responsibility of the workforce. They become agents for the workforce, at the same time as providing overall direction.

Mindful Leadership

Mindfulness boosts human capacity. Leaders at Apple, Intel, Bupa, Bain, Procter & Gamble and many other leading organisations use it to maintain peak performance under pressure. Published evidence shows benefit in terms of:

  • Increased mental agility, and ability to sustain clear focus on what matters most
  • More creative problem solving, better decision making and increased emotional intelligence
  • Tangible increase in resilience and reduction in stress, measured in terms of reduced blood pressure, increased immune function and more rapid recovery from the fight-flight response.
  • Leadership that’s more authentic and resonant, leading to increases in staff productivity, increases in employee engagement with organisational values, and reductions in absence.

Mindfulness is often misunderstood as “zoning out,” but it is in fact it is all about “zoning in” – skilfully guiding the mind into a calm yet highly focused and purposeful state. Organisations such as the US Marines use it to increase mental fitness for combat, increasing ability to remain calm under pressure and maintain optimal functioning even under extreme threat.

This retreat includes 2 hours of training in Brief Mindfulness – an approach especially designed by Shakya Kumara for busy corporate leaders and senior professionals. In 30 seconds it can create a calm and purposeful focus. In 4 minutes it can bring significant progress with the most challenging issues facing a corporate leader. (For those who wish, a complimentary 3 week lightweight eLearning course is also available, to help take mindfulness skills from the retreat into everyday work and life.)

As well as this introduction to personal mindfulness practice, much of the retreat facilitation is in the Mindful Mode leadership style, helping to create an experience that is spacious and enjoyable as well as purposeful and productive.

Post-retreat coaching

After the retreat, each participant will be offered a session of 1-1 executive coaching by telephone. This helps ensure the retreat makes a real difference in real life, embedding the experience and learnings from the retreat.

Retreat outcomes

The aim is to return to leadership refreshed in body and mind, equipped with more perspective and fresh approaches to share with colleagues and to put into immediate practice.

The retreat concludes with action planning, so all participants can take away practical steps of their own devising for immediate implementation.

The result is leadership that better stimulates high performance and wellbeing, for attendees, their immediate team and their whole organisations.

Who should attend?

This Leadership Retreat is designed for senior leaders. It is especially suitable for those leaders responsible for setting direction and creating culture of the organisation.

It will suit courageous leaders looking for fresh insights and challenging new approaches to meet the extreme demands that all leaders are facing in today’s world.


Professor Derek Mowbray

Derek Mowbray is a Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Scientist, with a doctorate in the psychology of leadership. Derek is a member of the Specialist Group of Coaching Psychologists, British Psychological Society.

Derek’s approach is to use positive psychology to help organisations create and sustain ‘the workplace as a fabulous and high performing place to work’. His work approaches and interventions are well recognised and adopted throughout the UK and internationally.

Derek draws on his personal experiences as a chief executive of several organisations in the public and private sectors in his earlier working life, along with his academic and research experience in organisations, leadership and stress, together with his own continuing experience as a small business entrepreneur.

He is the originator of Psychological Responsibility, which places on the individual a responsibility for feeling psychologically well, as well as a responsibility to do no psychological harm to others. He is also an advocate of ‘sharing responsibility for the future success of the organisation’ as a principle underpinning organisational success and high achievement. His work and approach is easy to understand - common sense but not common practice.

Shakya Kumara MA (Cantab)

Shakya Kumara is leadership trainer and coach, with clients including Bupa, Sheffield University, the NHS, Mott MacDonald, the National Australia Bank and others around the UK and northern Europe.

Shakya is the founder of “Brief Mindfulness,” drawing on his 20 years of experience of Mindfulness in the workplace. He is an accredited Mindfulness trainer, has trained at both Bangor and Oxford Universities, and was involved in the consultation for the Mindful Nation report produced by the UK Parliament.

Shakya offers a range of services for Leaders and Senior Professionals, designed to tackle their most pressing problems in ways that boost effectiveness in sustainable ways. As well as Brief Mindfulness, he has developed Mindful Mode Leadership (boosting employee engagement and performance, while saving leadership time), “iFLOW” Time Management and the “MAGIC” model of Negotiation.

In-house programmes

This retreat can be provided as an in-house event for your senior leadership team.

For further information, please request more details here or call Barbara Leigh on 01242 241882.


Copyright © 2009-2018MAS(UK) Ltd

Built by MAS Digital Services