How Connection, Collaboration, and Play can Transform Leadership - Sage B. Hobbs

A few weeks ago I flew to Las Vegas for a business retreat with other women business owners.   

For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t the one in front of the room leading. I was there to learn, grow, and hone my own leadership skills.

And what transpired over the three days was truly inspiring and energizing. (And no, it had nothing to do with the “normal” ideas of a weekend in Vegas!)

When our coach, who facilitated the event, asked us to create a theatrical performance based on a classic “fairy tale,” but to adjust it so that it depicted a core struggle and transformation… I literally groaned out loud.  

Improv?! Perform in front of others?! “You have an hour to figure it out. Oh, and make sure it has an element of surprise, dancing, singing, humor, and a big-profound-“a-ha”-insight woven into it.” Um, really??

The four women in my group came to the activity with varying degrees of excitement and apprehension (as is typical in group dynamics). We knew each other to an extent, but this was definitely a stretch in vulnerability and collaboration.

And thus we dove into making the tale of Rapunzel one of soul-searching, courage, trusting yourself, defying patriarchal societal messaging, and finding more freedom and joy.

Our skit won’t be live on Broadway anytime soon, but the process of making and sharing it elicited extraordinary learning and laughter.

Throughout the business retreat, we had many opportunities to connect with other powerful and passionate women —  leaders who are making a difference in mental health, creative expression, humanizing corporate culture, children’s health, and more. 

The exercises, discussion topics, and reflective questions were not always easy or fun… but I was (yet again) reminded of the incredible value of bringing people together in meaningful ways. Asking them to stretch outside of their comfort zones, listen to varying points of view, and create new possibilities is what will change the world.

I walked away from the weekend, having been reminded of some key lessons I myself often discuss with clients. How important it is to:

  • Be vulnerable enough to build real relationships
  • Use our voices to share our expertise and personal stories 
  • Practice teamwork and collaboration
  • Tap into our creativity and self-expression
  • Dismantle our attachment to perfection and constant comparison
  • Celebrate each other!

Whatever you’re up to in your work or life right now, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on these lessons.

  • Are you connecting with people who inspire you?
  • Are you still learning and stepping outside of your comfort zone?
  • How are you celebrating others and remembering to bring fun into your work (and life)?

As always, thanks for being a part of this conversation.

It’s going to take all of us (read “The Chisel or the Blow Torch” for more of my thoughts on this) to impact the big, messy, and worthy issues of our time.

Let’s keep connecting, communicating, and creating together.


P.S.  If you (or your organization) are interested, here are 3 ways that I can help. Please email me with any inquiries. 

  • “Communication for Connection: The Untaught Piece to Success” Keynote speaking on campuses, conferences, and companies.
  • Leadership coaching that supports you in leveraging your strengths and building your capacity. 
  • Team training and development that builds trust and connection, leveraging Emotional Intelligence.