EO Forums and YPO Forums Underway


Our 2019 YPO Forums and EO Forums are underway with an upcoming adventure this month in the application of Wilderness Survival Skills to Business and Life. This week our team is in training in Ecuador for an upcoming EO Forum hosted in Niagara Falls, Ontario in February. “Burr Cold” you might say, but not for these adventurous entrepreneurs and forum members who will apply lessons in survival to their business and personal lives. On the EO Forum agenda, leadership survival skills, a bit of axe throwing and culinary and cigar appreciation experiences.

Why is Awareness the #1 Skill for today’s EO and YPO leaders?  According to research noted by Tasha Eurich, self-aware leaders are more confident, more creative, less likely to lie, cheat and steal and have more profitable companies.  Sounds like a good idea, yet only an estimated 10 – 15% of us are truly self-aware.  Self-awareness simply defined, is how we see ourselves and how we fit into the world around us.  In wilderness training, the first step to surviving is knowing self, environment and resources, yet many of us walk through life peeled to our technology devices completely unaware of what is right beneath our eyes and/or what is changing.

Awareness is the foundation of leadership (Knowing our strengths as well as weaknesses and blind spots; knowing our customers’ experiences and yes, perhaps most importantly the status and changes that happen in our business and personal relationships.)

EO and YPO Daily Reflection for Increased Self-Awareness

 Liked Best/Next Time Thinking:  Re-run your day, the week or even that meeting and presentation.

  1. What did you  (LB) Like Best? What went well?
  2. What would you do differently (NT) Next Time?

In our next YPO and EO Forum post, a focus on Survival Skill #2 Adaptability

From Go Wild! Survival Skills for Business and Life

The 5 Keys to Survival:

  • Awareness
  • Adaptability
  • Skill
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Positive Mental Attitude

What’s on your “Stop Doing List” in 2018?

This way That way

A wise executive once told me to replace my annual “To Do List” with a “Stop Doing List”.  While I haven’t been able to bring myself to totally give up those New Year’s  resolutions they now include 10 Things I need to stop doing in the New Year.  I can hear my fellow overachievers and pleasers wincing at the idea of a “Year of No” but just imagine your  liberation at declining that meeting or party invitation that you really don’t want to accept as  you hear yourself saying “I’d love to… but this is my year of No to concentrate on (my family, work/life balance, my health, etc…).

In YPO Forums at the top of  Zip-line canopy platforms in the rainforest, we ask YPO Forum  Members to share with their tribe,  what they are getting rid of that is no longer working for them.   Sharing your NO more list with your peer support is key.

So get ready to get rid of what’s no longer working for you in 2018 and in the interest of peer support, I’ll boldly proclaim my personal year of NO:

No to:

  1. Toxic people and environments
  2. Overcommitment
  3. Saying yes when I want to say no
  4. Processed and unhealthy foods
  5. Meetings without purpose or action
  6. Not standing up to disrespect when I see it
  7. Letting technology rule my daily life
  8. Watching too much news
  9. Not watching out for my body’s signs of stress
  10. Too much work and too little play.

What’s on your Stop Doing List for 2018?

Rosemary Rein is a social entrepreneur and the Author of “Go Wild! Survival Skills for Business and Life”.  She is the founder of YPO Retreats












YPO, WYPO and EO–Letting Go in 2018

26166049_2134420153241087_6505525388695676522_n (1)

Letting Go & Saying No: Burning of the Old Year and What’s No Longer Working December 31st, Cuenca Ecuador

I rather like the Ecuadorian Tradition of “Letting Go and saying No” on New Year’s Eve in Ecuador.   Last night, Cuenca streets were filled with dolls like the one above burned at midnight in a symbolic goodbye to all that we wish to leave behind in the New Year.

We are programmed to create lists of resolutions at New Years.  This is particularly true of high achievement CEO’s and Executives who if nothing else are “goal oriented”.

As we embark on a year of hosting YPO/WPO Forum Retreats, we are mindful that in today’s complex business ecosystem, an important ingredient of success can be found in the white spaces “being more by doing less”.

A  YPO Forum member recently shared with me that 2018 was to be “Her Year of No” as she sought to reclaim moments and in so doing hoped to reclaim her life.  Dinner Invitation?  “I’d love to but this is my year of No so I can concentrate on what’s most important …my family”.  Hard to argue with such an affirmative No and a powerful because.

YPO Retreats hosts YPO, WPO and EO Forums around the world focused on lifelong learning and leadership.  Visit YPO Retreats





YPO Retreats 2018 Destinations

Jake Bauer

A few years ago I wrote an article for CEO Refresher on the Jack Bauer Guide to Leadership.

That’s why I’m excited that YPO Retreats which I founded more than 8 years ago is now hosting a retreat sure to fire up adrenalin and provide YPO Forum members with “Some Special Skills”.  From threat elimination,  to hand to hand combat to McGuyver survival skills, extreme stunt driving, perfect pokers skills and even Bond martini mixology,  you’ll learn spy skills from expert operatives in this YPO Adventure, run by our partners at the MI6 Training Academy

Reach out to us at Forum Destinations

Warning:  Forum members will be forever changed from this once in a lifetime experience in spycraft.

Rosemary Rein is the Founder of YPO Retreats and Author of “Go Wild! Survival Skills for Business and Life” which details the 5 skills needed in wilderness survival that apply to business and life.  Rosemary resides in San Francisco, California and Cuenca, Ecuador



2017 Reflections – YPO & EO 10/10 & 10 List


Santa’s list may be tucked away for another year, but get ready!  2018 is here and time to make your  10, 10 & 10 lists.

10 Things you want to be

10 Things you want to do

10 Things you want to have

in the coming New Year/

In an article in Fast Company the origin of lists is explored with Ben Franklin referenced as the “Godfather of list making”.   Ben famously detailed a thirteen-week plan to practice important virtues such as cleanliness, temperance, etc. Each day meticulously tracking his list progress.

Another entrepreneurial list maker?  Charles Schwab, who called in efficiency expert, Ivy Lee to help Bethlehem Steel. Lee agreed to help the company for a fee determined by Schwab who would pay Lee only what his advice was worth. As the story goes, Lee’s advice to each member of the company’s leadership team was to write a to-do list at the end of each day which consisted of the six most important tasks to be done the following day.  What was that advice worth? Schwab, so impressed with the results sent Lee a check for $25,000.

Lists are a tool to manifest, prioritize and reinforce your aspirations.  Important note: Don’t bury the list.  Like our friends at Schwab keep it fresh and in front of you as a visual reminder of what success looks like.

Contact YPO Retreats to plan your next learning adventure at our exotic destinations around the world and check out our new adventures for YPO and EO Forums in 2018.



Living and Working Together: 5 Tips for Couples Who Do It!

R & B

So Here’s the disclaimer:  We purchased a Bed and Breakfast Inn Together before Marrying over 24 years ago,  but it hasn’t always been harmonious.  In fact, when we first met, we owned competing Inns in the same Town, Cape May, New Jersey.  Barry would say his inn was better.  I would dispute otherwise.  Over the years, we have owned and operated hotels, restaurants and retail businesses together and have lived to see another day,  in fact, many of them (24 Years Together).  In this article, here are our top 5 tips for couples who work and live together.

  1. State of the Union Marriage Retreat.  Each year on our calendar we schedule an annual, State of our Marriage Retreat.  Objective:  To create an independent and then joint 10, 10 and 10 lists.  (10 things we want to be, have and do).  It’s our way of honouring our individual preferences and supporting joint aspirations and dreams. For example: there’s no way I’m playing bridge and no way Barry will attend every Creativity Retreat. We have also used these retreats to tackle business and life challenges using (Creative Problem Solving) and plan life transitions and next chapters.
  2. Divide and Conquer: It became clear when we purchased our first inn together that we had different ways of doing things.  Our answer was “Divide and Conquer”.  I was in charge for weekend breakfast and Barry was in charge during the weekday.   Regardless of your desire to do everything together, our theory is there has to be one person on point with independent responsibility or you trip over each other.
  3. Have a Code Word: Staff and clients pick up on conflict.  Have a polite code-word that you can use when others are around (staff or employees) to indicate a need for a side conversation when you disagree.  I heard today of one couple,  who simply apply the salutation Mrs. or Mr. where there might be some disagreement on stated protocol.  Barry and I use “Mr. Bucky”. Our beloved, 4 legged friend as a sign for a needed sidebar.
  4. You are each other’s most important customer. This is the tough one Consider each other as your most important customer or executive. If truly you consider your partnership/marriage a priority, treating each other with TISP (Trusted, Important, Special and Pleased) will serve you and your business well.
  5. Remember your Because:  Literally, the very reasons you decided to both work and live together can get lost in the sauce of day to day business and life challenges. Remember your Because of both living and working together.

Rosemary Rein, is an Author and YPO/ Meeting and Leadership/Innovation Facilitator based out of San Francisco, California and Cuenca, Ecuador.  YPO Retreats and Rosemary Rein




5 Ways to be an Undercover Boss without the Reality Show


5 Leadership Touch Points to Stay In Touch!

I always have tissues when I watch an episode of  “Undercover Boss ” where there is  a top executive going undercover,  to experience what  life is really like for their employees and customers.  During the series, there is usually a “Moment of Truth” where the Boss experiences some good, bad or ugly first hand and makes a decision to make it right or reward an exceptional employee.  There’s also occasionally a bad apple that tells the story of a bad management or customer experience.

However CEO’s and Senior Leaders  need not wear a  disguise to listen to the  heartbeat of staff and customers. Here’s 5 CEO touch points that will keep you out of  your Ivory Tower and into the head and heart of your  customers and employees:

  1.  Greet all New Hires:  Recently I observed a CEO who  despite a frantic schedule, makes time to speak at every class of new leaders regarding the company’s guiding principles. Another CEO insisting on leading the 2-day class of high potential leaders.  First impressions are important and when they come from the top, even more so.
  2.  5 Calls/5 Emails: Ideally you might  be able to actually provide customer support by taking and handling  5 calls, handling 5 email or social media inquiries.  But if not, at least take time to monitor this touch-point.  You would be surprised at the problems and solutions you would otherwise not discover. The creators of Air B & B and Uber actually stand behind their product by providing rides and hosting.
  3.  Host Town Halls/Lunches: Transparency and willingness of the CEO to have a conversation with staff and answer questions is important to staying in touch.   Select a format that works best for you and your organization via either a quarterly town hall or lunches with random employees once a month.   Provide a means for employees and customers to write you with questions and recommendations.
  4.  Walk with not past your staff:  I once worked in a Global Headquarters, where a CEO walked right past organization staff without a  smile or greeting as though they were invisible.  If your organization is  at all about service and accessibility, make sure you don’t carry an  “Emperor without Clothes” demeanor.
  5.  Celebrate:  At all levels of management as in life, we tend to focus on the next goal or challenge vs celebration of what has been accomplished. Don’t miss an opportunity to celebrate achievements and what’s right vs what’s wrong with this picture.

About the Author: This article may be reprinted with attribution.

Rosemary Rein is an Author and Keynote Speaker and Facilitator on Leadership and Innovation.  Rosemary hosts Leadership and Executive Team Retreats near her home in Napa Valley, California and at exotic retreat destinations around the world.





Nod to Napa Valley for Executive Retreat

We are thrilled to have our major hub for Executive Retreats located in beautiful Napa Valley, California.

Here are 10 reasons why Napa makes an ideal destination for YPO, EO and Senior Team Retreats:

  1. Silicon Valley Innovation.  Napa Valley makes for an exciting day and overnight executive retreat destination from San Francisco Bay and the mecca of innovation.
  2. Private and Boutique Hotels offers a range of options to custom design the meeting and lodging accommodation.
  3. Up, Up and Away
  4. Foodies Delight
  5. The Fruit of the Gods 
  6. The Nature of Inspiration 



What’s Next? Navigating Tsunamis of Business and Life

What's next

In working with CEO’s and Executive Leaders, a question that often comes up is “What’s Next?”

Transition and new chapters  can kind of creep up on you “we know the kids will be gone in 2 years” or they can fall from the sky without warning,  “We’re right-sizing and your job has been eliminated”

So how to navigate the Tsunamis of Business and Life?  

Here are  5 tips from my audio book published by Career Track/Park University,  Go Wild! Survival Skills for Business and Life that may help :

  1. Awareness:  What are 5 things you want to be, have and do in the next 1 – 5 years? You will need a total of 15 index cards (5 for each of these 3 questions) for this reflection.  My husband and I  have  a state of the marriage retreat each year  where we complete this 5, 5 and 5 card sort separately and then over a glass of wine, share our common goals and differences.  Note: There is no way he will be attending every  creativity retreat and for sure I won’t be playing bridge, but we are aware of our own and each other’s aspirations. Be aware of your own dreams and aspirations and those most important to you.
  2. Adaptability: Curb your  enthusiasm!   Transitions are about change and that includes comfort with the ambiguity  of not knowing.  Caution for planners and over- achieving leaders:  Use the power of the pause. How often have you made a choice because something came up verses planning and waiting for the right opportunity?
  3. Skill:  The Power of Creative Problem Solving  What I love about CPS  (Creative Problem Solving) is the separation of divergent and convergent thinking.  Before settling in on a specific job, career or life choice begin by asking yourself an expansive question:  “In what ways might I… (filling in your aspirations).  Here’s an example:  “In what ways might I make the most, work the least and spend maximum time with my family?”  The only  rule in divergent thinking  is that rule of initially deferring judgement on any idea as you seek to generate the longest list possible including wild ideas!  Don’t worry:  Step 2 convergent thinking allows time for  review and ranking of  those expansive ideas,  based on criteria that  you define that will help  you make those right business and life choices.
  4. Conservation of Energy:  Consider  A  “Year of NO”  A top executive known for doing it all  told me their greatest breakthrough was designating a “Year of No” so they could focus on what was most important.  Getting to that next chapter may mean eliminating activities which are creating noise and obstacles to your personal  pivot point.  If you are selling your business or retiring, consider a hiatus where every day you have leisure time to really think about that next chapter. If you don’t have that luxury, consider eliminating those activities that fall outside of your big picture.
  5. Positive Mental Attitude:  Change is Hard: Embrace the head and heart of being an explorer not an expert You are free to be a student of life again and write your next chapter.

Rosemary Rein is the Author of  “Go Wild Survival Skills for Business and Life” and a Keynote Speaker/Author based in Silicon Valley, California  rosemary rein . 

Visit Inspired Leadership Retreats