One Kidney Club featured on NBC News

9 News in Denver met up with a group of strangers that were brought together with one commonality.   They all have donated a kidney to help save another human’s life.   This month they welcomed a new member and the CEO of CBST Adventures, Jay Irwin, as Jay just donated his kidney to save his buddy, Bill.  Check out the segment, and let us know what you think.   Jay’s story starts around 54 seconds in.

Why winter is the best time for leadership development – CBST Adventures Denver

Don’t succumb to the winter blues! Or, at least, don’t fall for the notion that winter months are a bad time for outdoor leadership development efforts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Getting key leaders from your company outside and working on leadership skills in a colder, perhaps snowy, environment offers some unique benefits that can truly enhance learnings. Winter is the best time for leadership development for several reasons. Here are just a few.

Winter helps teams form stronger bonds

We all know it. Winter can be just that little bit tougher, colder, or more challenging. At CBST Adventures, we use that to our advantage when we create experiential learning challenges. Team members find that relying on each other becomes more critical, and they pool together, improvise more, and get more creative with scarce resources to solve the challenges presented to them. We have seen some of the best team bonding outcomes from team building programs run in the somewhat more
“extreme” conditions that a winter location offers.

Winter can be used to challenge mindsets, teach resourcefulness and determination

“Picture a backcountry rescue situation in the summer,” says Claudine Norden, Certified Facilitator with CBST Adventures. “One of your leaders is playing the injured person, carried in a litter and attended to by other team members. The sun is lapping everyone’s faces, birds are chirping, and water is readily available from mountain streams. Smiles abound. Days are long, nobody is cold, and there’s plenty of time to complete the ‘rescue’. Now, imagine the same scene in the winter. Darkness will come sooner. It’s cold out, so keeping everyone on the team warm and moving is critical. Tools and materials may freeze if not managed correctly. Water for drinking must be thawed from snow, which requires planning ahead, well in time before it’s needed.”

All of these are factors that Norden would leverage when creating a leadership development program that – depending on the client’s objective – could be specifically designed to teach resiliency, enhance decision making, creativity, or several other leadership qualities. “Winter is great for learning a growth mindset,” she concludes.

Most people have never hiked out from a forest cabin in the backcountry at night, through a white, snowy forest landscape brightly lit by the full moon. Take it from us – it’s a unique and wonderful experience. Certainly something that stays with participants for a long time, and bonds leaders together through the shared memories. Through our unique combination of qualified wilderness guides and certified leadership development facilitators, CBST Adventures can guide groups not only in safely experiencing the beauty and excitement of the wilderness – but also designing the event to maximize leadership development learnings.

And never fear. Being based in a Colorado winter wonderland doesn’t have to mean doing everything outdoors. A program can blend indoor and outdoor activities.
Plush resort accommodation, cutting edge culinary offerings, and comfortable conferencing activities can certainly be part of the mix.

Winter months are the perfect time for a boost

Worn out from budgeting? Under pressure to make year-end figures? Feeling the gloom of hunkering indoors, or the ickiness of recent cold and flu spells? All of these
are great reasons to get your leaders outside in the winter!

Having an outdoors offsite during the colder months of the year is perhaps a little out of the ordinary for some – which is another reason it can provide a virtual
vitamin injection. It’s unexpected, it’s different, it’s fun. The fresh air and outdoor activity can provide a health boost, and the change of pace, in a fun location can be
framed as either a boost or a reward during what can be a tough season.

Winter is a fabulous metaphor

Want to prepare company leadership for tougher times ahead? Or, develop strategies to better tackle adversity? Winter itself makes a great metaphor for a challenging business climate or a tough market. It can easily be woven into activities and discussions over a dynamic couple of days of learning and bonding as a team.

And if you don’t want to stay close to home, CBST Adventures is happy to host you at an off-site location in the mountains of Colorado, some as close as an hour from
Denver. Winter weather here is beautiful, and for the most part, enjoyable rather than harsh.

“Thinking about survival stories, or stories of extreme adventure that we read about in books or news articles, almost all of them involve transformative personal
development and behavioral changes for the people involved,” observes Norden. “The way we use winter to transform teams and leaders in Colorado is similar – just
safer and a little less extreme,” she quips.

How to Develop Better Habits: Leadership Training and Committing to Change Pt. 2

Welcome to part two of our building better habits series. If you haven’t checked out part one click here. In part one we covered simple hacks you can do to build on your inner psychology and give the process of change momentum. In part two, we dive deeper into fulfilling our needs for community, fun, and love. 

Be conscious of your most human needs during times of change when our worlds will likely shake so we lose sight of the honest versions of ourselves we sought from the start. 

Surround Yourself With Great People

Ernest Hemmingway first set his bags down in a measly, miserable apartment in Paris in 1921. The apartment had no running water and a ‘mop-bucket’ toilet, but Hemmingway was not in Paris for luxury, he was there for the people. Hemmingway quickly forged friendships with some of the best writers and artists of his generation; F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach, James Joyce, and Pablo Picasso. These relationships were undoubtedly necessary for the resulting development that Hemmingway experienced as a writer. By 1929, Hemmingway had launched himself from an unknown writer into the stratosphere of literary figures, securing his influence over future generations, and achieving international recognition and fame with the publishing of A Farewell to Arms. The impact of his circle of friends during his Paris years is immeasurable, but we can imagine how his trajectory would’ve been different had he never crossed paths with some of the greatest literary minds of the 1920s.


Make It Fun

“Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else”

– Richard Branson

According to Glassers’ needs, fun is one of our five basic requirements as humans. We need it to get through our day-to-day; We need it to survive. Poor habits are fun. That’s why they stick so well and when ridding your routine of bad patterns, you are inadvertently removing one of your primary sources of fun. If fun is not consciously replenished in healthy ways, you will subconsciously fall back into old patterns to find it. So when you are shedding old behaviors and embracing new ways of being, be sure that you make fun a primary ingredient. 

Support Yourself

“If you wish to improve, be content to be seen as ignorant or clueless about some things.”

– Epictetus 

The main opponent you’ll face on your journey to self-improvement is yourself. The inner part of you, the piece that remains connected to the ‘old you’ is called your shadow self. Your shadow self is consistent, ever-present, tenacious, it knows all your weaknesses and it comes to crush any attempt you make to change.  You must protect and nurture your effort to grow as you would for a dear friend or child. If your child wants to eat healthier you wouldn’t keep junk food around the house. If they need to run you’d run with them. You’d be there every step of the way, you wouldn’t put them down for coming up short or missing a day. You wouldn’t judge them for being ignorant or clueless. You’d support them even if their growth appeared static. Be that for yourself.  Make the effort to change, care about the outcome, and support yourself. You’re the only one who could truly stop you.

This is part two of our three-part series on how to develop better habits. If you are interested in jumpstarting your team’s growth, check out the leadership training events we host around Denver. Leadership training is great for you any team that wants to take on more responsibility at work and home.  It’s also a great way to show yourself and your employees that you are invested in them. Check out all of our programs here. Click here to speak with a specialist today.

How to Develop Better Habits: Leadership Training and Committing to Change Pt. 1

We see it all the time at our leadership training events in Denver; our participants are hard-working, intelligent, and they have a strong desire to improve. Yet, they struggle to get new habits to stick. They want to blame themselves. These teams come to us thinking if they worked harder or were more intelligent they’d fix the problem. But they are not the problem. The reason they struggle –the reason we all struggle with developing better habits– is because of the approach. We tackle a new habit thinking that we are the problem, but the problem is actually the thing we are trying to accomplish. We all ask, “How can I get this new habit to stick?” Implementing a new practice is a system and the devil is in the details. You are fully capable of becoming the person you want to be if you are willing to take a good hard look in the mirror. Here are some recommendations for getting new habits to stick:

Jumpstart the Process

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

– Mark Twain

Renowned author J.K Rowling has always prided herself on her ability to write anywhere, anytime. She told Oprah in 2010, “For years and years and years I would just go to a café and sit in a different kind of noise and work.” But when it came time to start on her most anticipated novel, the final book in the Harry Potter series, the noise hit her like a wall. All the pressure that swarmed around her during this process was overwhelming, so after trying and trying she decided to make a grand effort of commitment by ‘moving in’ to the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh where she stayed until she had completed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was not just the quiet that had helped her, it was the effort itself. She had proven to herself that she was willing to uproot her life if necessary to finish the novel. She jump-started the process. 

This is one reason our leadership training events are so successful. Simply by showing up to the event in Denver, you are making 100% more progress than someone who doesn’t. You are demonstrating to yourself that you are willing to invest the time and effort in your own growth. All subsequent lessons are amplified by this show of commitment and your success rate is astronomically higher because of it. A jumpstart provides a well of motivation to draw on when things get tough. And trust me, things will get tough.


Add new habits to old habits

At the start of 2019, I set the goal of reading a book a week knowing full well that I had no time in my schedule to accommodate this. Conventional wisdom teaches us that we must get rid of an old habit to make room for a new one, so I planned to replace my nightly Netflix ritual with quiet reading. I did so not realizing I had just doubled the difficulty level of getting my new habit to stick. I still had to adjust to the discomfort of reading for hours and now I had to fight the urge to turn to Netflix, a routine that I was comfortable with and had come to rely on. I didn’t even view my television watching as a problem. I enjoyed it and didn’t want to get rid of it, yet I thought I had to. Safe to say the habit didn’t stick. 

So I tried the opposite. Instead of looking at my schedule to get rid of something, I looked for places in which I could add reading. Although my schedule was packed I realized that I could listen to audiobooks on my morning runs and since I had already developed this habit into a pattern, the only thing I had to do was press play on my book when I started. My new habit had the power of benefitting from an old one and I was able to turn a supposed weakness (my current habits) into a strength.


Make It A Pattern

Josh Waitzkin is a world-class performer of many different disciplines. He was an eight-time National Chess Champion in his youth before moving on to martial arts where he holds several World Titles in Thai Chi Push Hands. Josh now spends his time teaching the world’s top performers how to perform at their peak, consistently. Here’s what Josh has to say about the importance of patterns: 

“To have success in crunch time, you need to integrate certain healthy patterns into your day-to-day life so that they are completely natural to you when the pressure is on. The real power of incremental growth comes to bear when we truly are like water, steadily carving stone. We just keep on flowing when everything is on the line.”

This is part one of our three-part series on how to develop better habits. If you are interested in jumpstarting your growth into a better life, check out the leadership training events we host around Denver. Leadership training is great for anyone who wants to take on more responsibility at work or at home.  It’s also a great way to show yourself and others that you are ready to make a change in your life. Click here to speak with a specialist today.

The art of striving – and how a team building event can help rediscover it

The best of the best in any field all have one thing in common: focus. While we worry about results, the distinguished focus on their effort. At our team-building events in Denver, we facilitate the art of striving and shifting the focus from results to efforts. In the office, we can’t appreciate the growth that comes from making every effort. We’re blinded by the results, whether good or bad. It is only in hindsight that we are able to see the steps that create success. When we look back we recognize the long days, the team-building events we attended, and the keynote speeches we watched; we see and appreciate our efforts. When we strive, we push our limits higher. We become capable of more. 

Ultramarathon runner and former Navy Seal David Goggins learned this at the crux of his life. Goggins was on a series of quits. He had quit USAF Pararescue (PJ) school in the middle of training, he quit eating healthy, he quit working out, and in a few short months he had ballooned up to 300 pounds. He was depressed with his low-paying job and lonely life. His dreams of becoming a Navy Seal seemed impossible. Goggins decided one day to turn it all around. That day he set out on a 5-mile run. He got a quarter mile in and turned around. He walked home, sat on his couch and cried himself to sleep. It would not be that easy. So Goggins got rid of any expectations of results and focused on what he could control, his discipline to strive. Goggins went on to graduate Army Ranger School as a “Top Honor Man” and is the only man in history to complete Navy SEAL training, Army Ranger School, and USAF Tactical Air Control School. Then he became a competitive ultra-distance athlete, with 10 first place trophies and 21 podium finishes, and he beat the World Pull-Up Record with a total of 4,030 pull-ups in 17 hours. We can admire his results, but he knows it’s his mastery of the art of striving that got him these outcomes. 

So how can we cultivate this focus in the workplace, where it is always a race? CBST Adventures' team-building events in Denver create the space to achieve this. We remove all the stress of the office and allow teams and individuals to focus on efforts. During these team-building events, many teams achieve hindsight on past projects for the first time. They draw parallels to the efforts that were blocked from sight by the numbers. For the first time, they are able to see what truly went right or wrong. By removing the risk of failure, we remove the impediments to seeing clearly. Let us at CBST Adventures facilitate this experience for you. At our team-building events, teams learn that they are capable of more and they practice how to get there together.

Community Matters

A Harvard Business School study of more than 50,000 employees found the true cost of having a toxic employee among your team. We’ve all had the experience of tolerating a toxic employee at one
point or another and wondered “How do they have a job?”. While their negative impact may be noticeable to those around them, an employer looking at the numbers may have a tough time finding
this bad apple’s true cost.

Well, now we have the numbers.

The aforementioned study proves that having one toxic employee on your team is much worse than having a superstar performer on your team. A ‘superstar’ team member, someone who ranks in the top 1% for performance, brings in $5,300 in cost savings while avoiding a toxic hire brings in $12,300 in cost savings.

Just look at the ripple effect one bad employee can have on coworkers:

  • Over 80% lost time worrying about this employee
  • Over 70% said they were now less committed to the company due to the toxic behavior
  • Over 65% said their performance suffered
  • Over 60% wasted time avoiding the offender

We have all have experienced this on a personal level, perhaps having to cut out friends or partners for the negative influence they’ve had on us. Studies have proved that if you have a friend that
smokes you are 61% more likely to begin smoking. We understand that who we surround ourselves with effects who we are.

Community matters.

And yet, employers continue to focus on hiring the best performers over avoiding negative hires. The best thing to do if this mistake has been made is to nip it in the bud before it wrecks more havoc.
When was the last time you took a step back to examine your work community?

What is the ROI on a Leadership Development Event?

Dependable leaders are invaluable to a company’s success. A steadfast leader attracts the best employees, retains them, and builds on their strengths. They make a company, a team, and themselves stronger with the growth they create. The resulting prosperity can be instantaneous. Established leaders have teams and team members that will follow them on any venture to any company. Emerging leaders need room to accelerate but the result is the same; a tenfold return on investment.

This is well-known and well documented, which makes it difficult for small companies to find vital leaders. They’re a scarce resource. The titans of industry scoop them up at every chance. Bigger Companies have more money and more resources to offer, forcing smaller companies to settle for mid-tier talent at great risk to their bottom line. When a small company adds personnel to their team, they always run the risk of it not being a good match. The risk multiplies when hiring for a leadership role which affects the roles of all those around and below it.

We, at CBST adventures, see it all the time at our events. When we remove the normality of the office and throw a team into a unique challenge, it’s painfully obvious how each link contributes to the strength of the chain. Great leaders shine and elevate their team. Weak leaders have nothing to hide behind and are forced to address their flaws. The most impactful thing we get to see is the emergence of new leaders, who finally have the chance to showcase their abilities in a risk-free environment.

Leadership development events are designed to foster the growth of these leaders. Leaders that you already have on your team. Leaders that you know are a good fit, who have the trust of everyone else, and who understand how the company works. Still, we are tasked with answering the impossible question (impossible because of the meteor sized positive impact that it leaves): ‘What is the ROI of a leadership development event?’

Enter Annette Alvarez-Peters. Annette only completed a few semesters of community college before going to work for Costco. She started in the accounting department. She worked as a receptionist, administrative assistant, and clerk. Costco allowed her to freely switch up roles to help her find the best fit. She moved from accounting to merchandising to telecommunications. After years at Costco, learning and understanding how everything worked, Annette landed the role of buying all beer, liquor, and wine for Costco. ALL of Costco. As an ode to how powerful that is Annette ranked fourth on the Decanter Power List of the most influential people in the International wine industry. Her choices in this role affects which grapes are planted in Italy and what wine is served at your local restaurant.

Costco invests in their employees as leaders. In an industry known for razor-thin margins, Costco takes better care of their employees than any competitor.  According to the research done by Todd Rose in his book “The End of Average”:

  • In 2014, the typical Costco employee earned just over $20 per hour and health care, compared to the retail industry average of $12.20 per hour and no healthcare.
  • Costco pays their employees 75% more than Walmart in wages on top of their employee benefits!
  • More than 70% of Costco’s managers started out pushing carts or working behind a register.
  • Costco has consistently delivered more profitable returns for investors than Walmart,

“…Costco employees rarely leave the company. One study factored in the hidden cost of employee turnover that comes with hiring and training new employees and found that with these costs considered Costco actually spends less per employee than Walmart while paying them 75% more!”

Instead of investing in PR print ups, Costco invests in its employees and as a result, their values are shared and spread by newspapers, magazine articles, and to every friend and family member of a Costco employee.

Leadership development events show that you are invested in your employees. Office spaces are riddled with restrictions. Tangible restrictions like the separation between floors or offices and intangible restrictions like hierarchy and natural divisions. You can provide your team with the opportunity to shed their preconceptions, help them overcome fears, and allow them to think big by removing employees from the office. It is time to dispel the marketing myth that you control your brand message.

Your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what others say it is. Your employees are your brand ambassadors. The happier your employees, the happier your customers.

If you’re ready to make lasting changes for your team let us help. Our client-specific leadership development programs in Denver inspire leaders to change the trajectory of their lives and equip them to transform the organizations they lead, through sharpened strategic focus, increased employee engagement, better decision-making, and clear communication. Our clients’ results speak for themselves: higher employee retention, stronger growth in sales and profitability, greater agility to address changing conditions and quicker paths to success for strategic initiatives.

“We went from negative growth and cost-cutting to growing, gaining share and investing! We’re now producing over 1/3 of the company’s profit. It was truly transformational.”

― Rob Reilly, GM, GE Healthcare Service

6 Strategies To Build A Cohesive Team

“Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they’ll find a way to screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a good team, and they’ll find a way to make it better.”

– Daniel Coyle, The Culture Code

At every company, in every industry, a cohesive team goes a long way in being effective and competitive in your market. Using Daniel Coyle’s New York Time’s Best Seller, The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, we will break down 6 keys to establishing a cohesive team.

1. Establish a Clear Mission…

“The goal needs to be right to get the team right, get them moving in the right direction, and get them to see where they are making mistakes and where they are succeeding.”

― Daniel Coyle

There are leaders that see this think “We’ve already done this. We have a mission statement on a document somewhere.” If this is you, you may want to rethink your position.

Purpose is dug out in the trenches. It’s developed over time by those doing the work. Your mission statement only has meaning if it’s a part of your company’s everyday business. If you don’t establish a mission deep within your team, how do you expect your company to adhere to it? Or emphasize it to your customers? How will they respond in tough situations if the mission isn’t clear? Ask yourself these questions and take action. Don’t let your team become reactive.

2. Focus on interactions…

“It’s more important to invest in good people than in good ideas.”

― Daniel Coyle

When we enter the hiring process, our view narrows and becomes more linear. We know what skills we need, so we focus on finding those skills and implementing them into our arsenal. But we are not managing skills, we manage people.

As a leader, your mission is to ensure that your team is aligned in vision and wants to be a part of your culture. If you hire based on skills only, the chances that you’ll have the right person in the right chair is minimal. Without the right people, how successful can your team really be?

3. Keep communication open…

“I screwed that up are the most important words any leader can say.”

― Daniel Coyle

We perform our best once we have a sense of belonging and safety. It is the leader’s job to establish this safety by breaking the ice for everyone else. Along with listening to their employees, a great leader demonstrates the importance of transparency. Owning your imperfections, admitting your mistakes, and showing a little vulnerability in your interactions lays the foundation of safety. Lead the way to open communication lines in your team.

4. Break up silos…

The best way to keep lines of communication open between departments is to break up the silo mentality in your office. The best way to do this is to create an unofficial environment outside the office where your team can connect in a different way.

We’ve all been to the company happy hour or a bowling night with our team. Yet, in most cases, these types of environments do not cater to true communication building. They’re missing the key component of a challenge.

“Overcoming challenges together boosts employees’ engagement, inspires and motivates the team to continue working towards common goals.”

When leaders choose to take their teams out of the office and into the outdoors, they’re connecting their team in a way that uncovers everyone’s individual abilities and work styles. A day spent hiking in the woods, mountain biking, or even having a business meeting lakeside disarms employees by putting them in an unfamiliar environment. Furthermore, if you add activities like rock climbing or kayaking, your team will put into situations where they have to rely on one another. This type of challenge is a quick and impactful way to establish new relationships and break up silos and cliques.

5. Celebrate success…

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.”

-Pat Riley

Your journey in business will be riddled with failures and mistakes. Don’t worry about trying to remember these moments, they’ll be hard for you to forget. What’s harder to focus on are the little victories that come with them. Remember, reward your team for victories no matter how small. These gestures need not be big, but wins need to be recognized. A simple thank you can go a long way.

“…thank-yous aren’t only expressions of gratitude; they’re crucial belonging cues that generate a contagious sense of safety, connection, and motivation.”

6. Take care of each other…

“Belonging cues are behaviors that create a safe connection in groups. They include, among others, proximity, eye contact, energy, mimicry, turn taking, attention, body language, vocal pitch, consistency of emphasis, and whether everyone talks to everyone else in the group.”

― Daniel Coyle

Creating a safe environment isn’t something that can be picked up from an article or a book. It isn’t the job of your HR department. It is the iterative practice of the leader. It requires your time, patience, and focus to instill it in your team. Hire the right employees. Be transparent. Listen to your team. Challenge your team outside of work. By following these principals, you’ll build more meaningful relationships with your employees and in turn, a more successful future.

3 Most Effective Ways Leaders Prepare Their Teams For Hardship

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”– Henry Ford

When we are in dire straits, we tend to think of the quick fix or band-aid for the situation. While applying the band-aid can “stop the bleeding”, does that remedy the situation? In today’s fast-paced/fix it now society, that band-aid may be enough for some. It’s been proven in a few situations that, yes, a band-aid can add relief, but behind that sheer piece of bandage, the cut still remains. The question is…is that enough? Can you or your company survive with that sore?

The difference between a leader and a great leader is the answer to the question – No. We know that a festering sore can destroy a company, an organization, and especially a small business. Great leaders rarely allow a sore to develop, let alone grow into a deadly infection that can take out their business. Now the question is, what is a true remedy? Here are some examples of how top leaders prepare their teams to deal with these sores:

1. Proper Perspective

“Leaders must always operate with the understanding that they are part of something greater than themselves and their own personal interests.”
― Jocko Willink, Extreme Ownership

The opportunity to work with a school and young children does not happen every day, so we were very excited to get a call from an inner-city school based in Chicago. In our pre-event calls, we found out this particular school suffered through the deaths of two young students. The school was also working their way through administration changes and communication struggles. For their event, we chose a specific type of programming where they had to find their identity while on an Amazing Race throughout Denver. Along the way, they were presented with different challenges that allowed them to be individuals, but also focused on them being a team with a uniting vision. During their event, we passed out cameras to the teams so that they could capture a few select moments as they discovered the city and we were presented with this photo a day after the event had finished. The team that took this photo was the last team to finish, but in our eyes, won the challenge.

They talked about how they wanted to connect not only with each other, but with the community.

Being teachers from an inner-city school in Chicago, they understood the hard times that families and children can experience nowadays. As they took their time throughout the course, they stopped and talked with some of the homeless population, gaining a little perspective on the grit that some deal with in this area of the country. It was a truly touching moment when we saw this photo and connected it to their description of their experience.

Not only did their experience in Denver improve their morale, but also gave them a greater perspective on how each of them view the world around them. For us here at CBST Adventures, in short, it was a very emotional and enriching debriefs of our summer season.

2. Transparent Communication

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”
-Dalai Lama

The definition of perseverance is continued effort and determination despite the level of difficulty. We tend to see a form of this in our daily lives, but it wasn’t until we met a financial software group that we were really shown the true definition of the word. They were just starting a very large culture change and wanted to create stronger bonds within their executive board and leaders.

On an overcast and breezy day, we took this group out to a rock face known as “The Point”. This area is well-known to climbers in the area due to its varying levels of difficulty. After a somewhat difficult hike in, some members of the group needed a breather. As we were sitting and catching our breath, we found out that one specific person had a tremendous fear of heights. Others in the group agreed with her sentiment; many of them were afraid of the challenge that laid ahead.

As the morning programming continued, Debbie watched her team overcome their fears and face the climb.

Their vulnerability and honesty of her team allowed her to be more vulnerable as well. She opened up with her coworkers for the first time about the loss of her two parents in the span of a year.

During this confession, she realized how much she could lean on her team and rely on their support. After a few moments, she decided to make her way down to the climbing spot. With her team assisting, we brought her down to the rock face, in her harness and helmet. Moments later, she began her climb. As she took to the rock face, tears streaming down her face, she let us know that she was climbing for her parents. Her courage, emotional drive and success on the rock was contagious. What followed was an honest and open discussion that the team had been putting off having for some time. They all knew that they need to make difficult changes if the company was going to continue to grow and they finally felt ready to face these challenges together.

3. Elimination of Barriers

“It’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate.”
― Jocko Willink, Extreme Ownership

One of our biggest events of the year took place over three separate weekends in May. Our client, a worldwide leader in the regulation industry, selects their top 75 global leaders and sends them all over the world to experience a leadership development program like no other. These groups have no idea of what lies ahead of them.

Two guests had disabilities that severely hindered their ability on the river. We were a little concerned with these two guests as there was a decent amount of hiking involved in this trip, as well as getting in and out of boats on a fast moving river. Yet, as the trip moved on, we started to notice the camaraderie among the team. Every step along the way, the team took care of their team members. They assisted them in and out of the boats, helped them set up their camp, and made sure – at all times – that they were in good spirits.

By eliminating the physical distance between their leaders, our client provided their team with a new understanding for each other, one that would be impossible to reach through screen.

At the end of the trip, we presented the group with an exercise to say one word about their experience. As their eyes welled up with tears, the two words that they mentioned were achievement and determination. Our client saw a transformation in its employees; they now had deeper motivation towards their work. They now understood who they were working with and knew that doing a great job benefited everyone they worked with.

These three stories are just an example of how a CBST Adventures event could change and empower your team to mix the ingredients of a remedy for any issue that your team may have. Invest in our Experiential Leadership Development programming, see the transformation occur right before your eyes, and then watch your ROI soar as your team strives for greatness…as one.


Over the past year, CBST Adventures has assisted some of the world’s most successful companies and organizations prevent or start the healing process of a sore that has taken away one’s profitability and ROI. From rock climbing in the Rocky Mountains to kayaking at Jordanelle Reservoir in Utah to building prosthetic hands in Denver or even just some classic team building activities in Lake Geneva or Breckenridge; CBST Adventures has the expertise and staff to improve your ROI, introduce a new culture, or take your leaders to a new elite level in productivity.
Have more questions? We’d be happy to answer them. CLICK HERE for Contact.

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