Plenty’s Lantern lights the way for leaders
HeartSpace, Park City — Plenty Consulting welcomed seventeen conscious leaders from Utah, Michigan, New Jersey, Washington, Georgia, Virginia, and Minnesota to its Lantern Leadership Retreat for a weekend of connection to self, soul, and purpose, in October 2021. Created and led by Jennifer Mulholland and Jeff Shuck, Plenty’s Principals, and supported by Sierra Hase, Manager of Experience, the retreat is something quite remarkable if you’re into conscious leadership, personal and professional growth, and self-actualization. Here’s a brief tour through the days of this unique leadership program that has graduated close to two hundred people from around the world.
In its seventh year of programming, Lantern has attracted CEOs, COO’s, executives, entrepreneurs, and leaders from the for-profit and non-profit sectors ready to align their work with purpose. After four days of personal exploration, connection, and mindfulness training, these leaders come together as strangers and leave as trusted confidants.
On the evening of day one, Lantern kicked off at HeartSpace, Plenty’s private retreat center, with an intention setting and an overview of the Four Lights of Conscious Leadership, which created the safe and connective vibe for the following days. The evening curriculum helped slow down these busy leaders and welcomed them into the contemplative and healing space that Plenty provides.
Day two of the retreat was all about finding one’s passion – what people genuinely care about. We use nature as one of the tools for instruction and a guided meditation that harnesses the heart’s “give a sh!t” compartment. Then, each participant was asked to go outside and find a symbol in nature that represented what brings them joy. When each person brought their symbols back, participants were taught how to deeply listen.
“Listen for where the other is coming from – not necessarily their words. What is their intent? What do you hear them wanting to express as they share what matters to them most?” “What do you feel from them?”
Each podmate (a Plenty term describing the small group of people who sit on the comfy couches next to them) tracks what they hear on sticky notes. Words are charted and reflected back to the person sharing. It’s a powerful exercise – one that surfaces the passions and core values someone has in their heart and teaches others how to listen with reflection rather than response (an automatic behavior most executives and people run on). After reflection, each participant sorts through the 120 or so sticky notes they received back from their peers. They are then prompted by the facilitators and creators of the curriculum, Jennifer and Jeff, about what matters most.
“Pick no more than five – the number of fingers on your hand. This is about as many as you will be able to remember. These words articulate your values – what you deeply care about. If there is a word that speaks to you that’s not present, add it. These are yours to claim.”
The afternoon was spent experiencing the journey towards one’s highest Possibility, a visionary point in Plenty’s leadership model. The group ventured outside on a guided, silent hike through the forest, contemplating what could be offered for their work and lives.
Jennifer and Jeff led the group to a special meadow that overlooks the grandeur and majesty of our mountain town – the perfect symbol for what could be possible when you lift yourself high above the trees. As if it were planned, they were greeted by a beautiful sight – one of our local moose families. It was an exquisite sight to see, especially for all those from out of town. After some high mountain processing, the group returned to HeartSpace to ground their highest Possibility into form – with a drawing on a canvas. Combining their passions, purpose, and Possibility into art and expression would serve as the blueprint for each leader to return to on their leadership path.
The day concluded with a beautifully catered candlelight dinner from Deelicious at HeartSpace.
Day three of the retreat focused on the power of presence – what it literally means to be present; where do you show up? Presence also reflects the impression we make on others when we interact with them. How do people think and feel about us when they share time and space with our body and being? This is one of the most important practices conscious leaders can do, and it is so needed in the world. With the busyness of life, the hustle and bustle of work, the marathon of meetings, and the habit of jumping from Zoom to Zoom, leaders are often forced to multi-task to handle the ongoing interruptions every day. Unfortunately, not many leaders have mastered the art of presence – the practice of bringing one’s full attention and intention into the present moment.
On this beautiful sunny day, the Plenty team took the participants to the McPolin Barn to read and process their Lantern Leadership Assessments, a tangible tool that shows how they see themselves versus how others see them. The assessment requires feedback from 10-12 observers in the lives of Lantern attendees for a review of the impact and leadership qualities the person has on others they lead and interact with. Over 6,000 people have taken Plenty’s leadership assessment, and the data provides a statistically relevant view from conscious leaders all over the world. After some private reflection, people paired up to walk and talk around the McPolin Farm.
Building on the feedback from the leadership assessment, Jennifer and Jeff took the participants through an unforgettable exercise to help each leader bring attunement and awareness to one’s quality of presence. The day concluded with an intimate coaching circle where any question and any topic could be explored with the facilitator’s guidance and support.
The last day consists of exploring people and the quality of their relationships (both personally and professionally). Who expands me? Who contracts me? How do I close the distance and create common ground with those I am in conflict with? These were just some of the areas of inquiry that the leaders explored to elevate their self-awareness and role in the lives of others. The last curriculum piece explored the leader’s positioning: What makes me unique? What am I good at? What is my superpower? It’s refreshing and deeply soul-nourishing to answer these questions in a safe space.
“I have never experienced a leadership retreat with so much heart, with an eye to integrating the skills with the self. I will forever treasure the insight gained at the hands of such superb and authentic facilitators. Can’t wait to come back for more.” – Keri Jones Fonnesbeck, Sr. Director YWCA
The retreat capped off with a heartfelt and emotional closing ceremony where each participant revisits their intention from night one. Genuinely feeling the experience come to light and, most importantly, feeling the inner light turned on.
“A very powerful and rewarding week of self-care, reflection, and personal growth. As humans, we are so focused on doing more, working more, and giving more without stopping to take time for our well-being. Lantern provided the opportunity to rest, relax, and put “me” at the center of every choice I make.” – Sam Wisel, Sr. Development Officer, Habitat For Humanity National
Lantern is about self-development, with the help of Jennifer Mulholland and Jeff Shuck, creators and Principals at Plenty Consulting. It’s not a typical leadership program where you learn data and the newest management trends; it’s about looking and developing inward to become your most authentic self and the best leader you can be for yourself, your team, your company, and all your relations.
Come see for yourself and illuminate your own light at Lantern in 2022.
- March 29-April 1, 2022
- June 14-17, 2022
- October 18-21, 2022
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