There’s always an element of mystery (and a tinge of fear) when it comes to bringing a group of people together to learn. It’s impossible to know what the chemistry of the group will be like. We were particularly nervous when we chose to create a cohort of exclusively women leaders; and a group of strong, successful and intelligent ones to boot.
Pure luck, the blessings of the spirits, good organization… who knows? But what a phenomenal group of human beings came together for the first Cohort of the P2 Leaderlab.
We thought it valuable to capture some of what lingers with us from our time together?
- The edginess. You walk into the room, and there are 10 pairs of eyes looking at you. You don’t know who’s there. You don’t know the dynamics. You don’t know what’s going to happen. But somehow it works. What works?
- The overwhelming power of a cohort. If learning can be captured pictorially, like the spokes in a wheel, emanating from a person, a teacher outward to a class like the spokes from a hub, then a cohort would be a network, with lines in every direction. Everyone is teaching, influencing, sharing, echoing, emphasizing and building off of everyone else, until it’s the densest web. There was so much learning in every direction.
- The realization that your individual challenges and issues are not yours alone. This insight was at the root of the “consciousness raising” groups of the 1960s and 1970s, but it remains a powerful awareness that is too easy to forget when we are caught up in our individual lives. This is particularly true for women. Once you realize you are grappling with collective issues, you are also then made aware of the diverse and myriad ways different people approach them. Just knowing that your challenges are not only personal, but also a collective, frames your struggle in such a way as to instantaneously give you a heritage and a legacy– centuries of ancestors on whose shoulders you stand and future generations who will benefit from your awareness and development.
- Getting away and out of your life. just the space, spaciousness, openness. Getting away from the pressure of the moment, being alone, being able to focus on yourself for more than a minute, more than a 40 minute yoga session or 5 minutes before you crash at the end of the night.
We’re looking forward to our second residency in April to see what comes!
For those interested and curious in joining us next year, we’ve just set the dates for the second cohort beginning in 2016. The 4 residencies will take place February 18th-21st, April 14th-17th, June 9th-12th and September 15th-18th . Stay tuned for more information!