CorporateCoach eNewsletter

Issue No. 50, 15th March 2004


  1. Editorial: Corporate retreat for one
  2. Coaching notes: Hero's journey

1.     Editorial: Corporate retreat for one

Richard Winfield - editor and principal consultantPractise what you preach. I have just returned from a very enjoyable and highly productive weekend. I have been on a corporate retreat for one!

Normally I facilitate corporate retreats for the management teams of other organisations. I recommend that every team should have an away day or corporate retreat at least once a year, and preferably every six months. Brefi Group has been making great strides in the last six months but is being held up because the CEO is dithering - decision overload. You know the Biblical saying about first removing the mote from your own eye? Well I set off with my flip chart and pens and facilitated a retreat for myself. When the notes are transcribed the rest of the team can expect lots to read and some productive meetings ahead. At last, they will cry!

It is coming up to six months since we moved our head office to Birmingham and I set out to establish my presence there. Time for a review. Any move consumes great energy, and we combined this one with an upgrade of our IT. And once you buy one thing from Mr Gates other things no longer work and more has top be purchased, and installed, and re-learned, and trouble shot, etc.

We have also developed a major piece of software for training needs analysis, diagnostics and surveys. The first edition is now active and the basis for major expansion is in place. Look out for announcements later in the year.

We are currently carrying out a major re-design and upgrading of our web site which, although very successful, has outgrown its original structure.

And readers will know that I personally am in the middle of a major professional development programme with Robert Dilts, ITS, Richard Bandler and Coachville, running through most of this year.

So a review has been most helpful to clarify and energise, and hotels have some excellent deals at weekends. Of course, when I see a flip chart I automatically fall into facilitator mode. The option to get away is open to anyone, though I would normally recommend that you take an external facilitator with you.

My long term development has represented a journey through life and I was most interested that on our study of entrepreneurs a week or so ago, Robert Dilts introduced the concept of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. I thought you would be interested. Notice the role of the guardian – or mentor. Remember that the client is the hero and the coach is the guardian. One of our roles as coaches and consultants is to help clients recognise their own hero's journey and support them on that journey.

In the same week, when looking for books on leadership, I discovered Synchronicity, which describes Joe Jaworski's 'hero's journey'. Synchronicity indeed.


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2.    Coaching notes: Hero's journey

Robert Dilts' notes on the fundamental steps of the hero's journey:

  1. Hearing a calling that relates to our identity, life purpose or mission. We can choose to either accept or try to ignore the calling.
  2. Accepting the calling leads us to confront a boundary or theshold in our existing abilities or map of the world. (Attempting to ignore the calling frequently leads to the formation or intensification of problems or symptoms in our lives.)
  3. Crossing the threshold propels us into some new life "territory" outside of our current comfort zone; a territory that forces us to grow and evolve, and requires us to find support and guidance.
  4. Finding a guardian, mentor or sponsor is something that often comes naturally from having the courage to cross a threshold. Because the territory beyond the threshold is new for us, we cannot necessarily know what type of guardianship we will need ahead of time or who those guardians will be.
  5. Facing the challenge (or "demon") is also a natural result of crossing a threshold. "Demons" are not necessarily evil or bad; they are simply a type of "energy" or "power" that we need to learn to contend with or accept. Often, they are simply a reflection of one of our own inner fears and shadows. Frequently, the demon is an expression of some type of negative sponsorship message, either from oneself in response to an external challenge, or from a significant other.
  6. Transforming the "demon" into a resource or advisor is typically accomplished by either:
    • Developing a special skill or;
    • Discovering a special resource or tool.
  7. Completing the task for which we have been called, and finding the way to fulfil the calling is ultimately achieved by creating a new map of the world that incorporates the growth and discoveries about the journey.
  8. Finding the way home as a transformed person, and sharing with others the knowledge and experience gained as a result of the journey.

While the hero's journey is clearly a metaphor, it captures a good deal of the reality facing clients as they seek to build a path to a successful future and contend with the uncertainties of change. The notion of a "calling", for instance, clearly symbolises the vision and mission that the client, team or organisation is pursuing.

courtesy of Dilts Strategy Group



Calling consultants, coaches, trainers and potential associates

Build a successful consultancy business Brefi Group is to launch a two-day workshop that will combine NLP skills and marketing strategies to help you accelerate the growth of your consulting, training or coaching business. As well as practical help and advice, you will use some of the unique Brefi tools and techniques.

Specifically, you will hear about:-

  • How Brefi Group built a powerful leads generator on the Internet
  • Why you should start building a business profile before giving up the day job
  • A high speed strategy for getting yourself known
  • How a pricing change helped an SME consulting business take off
  • Building a network of networks

If you would like to meet the leading lights in Brefi Group and learn from our experience, then click here to find out more. Should you later be accepted for the full Brefi Associates accreditation programme, this workshop may be counted as a credit.

We intend to restrict numbers for this event, which is priced to be accessible and affordable. For more information and to register an interest, please contact

We aim to make the Brefi Group web site the premier developmental site for teams and individuals in organisations, so do please send us your suggestions and requests for further development. And let us know what you think of this newsletter, and comment on the content.

THIS IS A FREE PUBLICATION! Please SHARE it willingly with a friend or colleague who could benefit from knowing more about corporate coaching.

Copyright 2004 all rights reserved.

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Brefi Group is a change management organisation that provides corporate coaching, consultancy, facilitation and training. Be sure to visit the Brefi Group web site at

We hope you enjoyed this issue of CorporateCoach. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together, then please contact me, Richard Winfield:

Telephone: 08450 678 222, or +44 (0) 121 704 2006 (international)