YPO Education Programs
Jim Warner and the OnCourse Associates have led hundreds of events for YPO forums, chapters, regional conferences, and universities. Events include: 45-minute keynote addresses, half-day topical workshops, full-day forum trainings, multi-day experiential retreats.
For most events, the primary goals are:
- Stretch the participants outside of their comfort zones
- Provide immediate and enduring take-home value from either the education sessions or member interactions
- Inspire participants to change their lives
Event Champions often lament that little intimacy exists within their chapter or region outside of forums. They also struggle to integrate newer members and spouses into the flow of the chapter or regional experience. To address these intimacy and integration issues, the OnCourse team works closely with the YPO Event Team to understand the demographics of the audience, and then co-create memorable experiences for the mix of attendees (YPO, Gold, spouses, young adults). OnCourse events engage attendees in a blend of teaching, small-group discussions and sharing, physical challenges, and uproarious socializing. The experiences range from emotionally gut-wrenching to hilariously gut-busting.
Example event topics include:
- When Having It All Isn’t Enough
- How Do I Feel Good Again? Recapturing Lost Energy and Passion
- Courageous Connections / Authentic Relationships
- How to Face and Navigate Difficult Times with Courage and Clarity
- Exploring Life’s Second Half: Leaving a Legacy and Finishing Well
- Authentic Leadership
- Navigating Transitions
- Empowering the Rising Generation
- Advanced Forum Training: Authentic Relationships
- Advanced Forum Moderator Training
When Having It All Isn’t Enough
Duration: 60-90 minutes
We have our names on the door, the vacation home, and the envy of our peers. Our net worth may be well into the millions. Our spouse is visible and vibrant, and our do-it-all kids are headed for big things. Outwardly, we seem to have it all, but behind the scenes …
We spin in an endless cycle of obligations, lacking life purpose or peace. We feel driven to amass more wealth … because there is never enough. Our spouse and kids resent us for putting career ahead of family. We long for a spiritual connection, but don’t know where or how to begin. We have few friends or mentors who will tell us the truth. Our lives may look good on the outside, but inside we’re beginning to sense: I’m stuck … This isn’t working.
Jim outlines the “stages of stuckness” and presents the common symptoms, patterns and stories of leaders and spouses who are navigating challenging life transitions. He then paints the path out of the stuckness, built upon a commitment of realizing core-level life transformation.
How Do I Feel Good Again? Recapturing Lost Energy and Passion
Duration: 60-90 minutes
“Everyone views me as successful, but my passion for life is quite low. I feel slow and sluggish. I’m going through the motions in my work and in my relationships. I don’t seem to have any energy. If I’m so successful (powerful, wealthy, significant, in control), why do I feel so empty? How do I feel good again?”
Conventional routes to success often leave high-achieving people drained, disillusioned, and cut off from loved ones – even if they achieve their “goals” – because the conventional road bypasses the inner journey. True, sustainable aliveness, grounded in an inner peace, can only be achieved by self-exploration, a commitment to total truth, and the intention to reestablish the precious flow of life through us.
This session presents the common ways energy, passion, and joy get drained out of our lives, how to get them back, and how to amplify the flow of life into us, through us, and out to others.
Duration: Full Day
The morning session will focus on how to lead with clarity and courage, especially during times of crisis. Jim will share the stories and concepts that form the foundation of his recent book on life transition Facing Pain—Embracing Love: The Map to Authentic Living.
After this entertaining and eye-opening plenary session, members will self-select into forum-like groups for experiential, high-impact sharing about their lives. To deepen connectivity within the chapter, members will form groups with other members whom they do not know well.
The afternoon session is a blend of life-sharing, experiential exercises, culminating in small-group discussions on the major issues we face as leaders today. These issues include (1) connection with our sense of calling or destiny, (2) connection with the key people in our lives, and (3) connection with ourselves.
The day will offer varying tones, from serious self-discovery and group-level authenticity, to playfulness and creativity. Look for a high level of participation and interaction rather than passive “learning from an expert.” Prepare to be stretched.
How to Face and Navigate Difficult Times with Courage and Clarity
Duration: 60-90 minutes
The majority of YPOers and WPOers we’ve spoken with and coached since September 2008 are carrying a blend of anxiety, embarrassment, resentment, and paralysis related to the world economic crisis and its impact on their businesses, families, and personal lives.
One WPOer describes his blur of emotions as “an annoying, low-grade hum that’s always present in my head.” These unexpressed emotions drain energy, distort thinking, and blunt the innovation and decisiveness required to lead during troubled times.
These are not “head” issues. They are issues of the heart, psyche, and spirit. And from our experience at forum retreats and chapter events since September 2008, most YPOers and WPOers are either inexperienced or clueless on how to navigate their emotional paralysis, and lead with courage and clarity. They are scared and lost. Most have never been here before. They need help and don’t know where to start. This session offers specific, immediately usable tools for stilling the inner turbulence and reclaiming lost energy. In addition, the session will address:
This session offers specific, immediately usable tools for stilling the inner turbulence and reclaiming lost energy. In addition, the session will address:
- How to go into and through your own fears to a place of clarity
- How to acknowledge, grieve, accept, and move on from the losses (financial, dreams, relationships) you have incurred or will incur as part of the worldwide economic uncertainty
- How to face and release the relentless inner voices saying “I should have known,” or “Why didn’t I …” that drain energy, inhibit relationships, and reduce productivity
- How to be present for, listen to, and support others (family members, work associates, forum mates) who are struggling with their own emotional turmoil
- How to enlist support for yourself (guides, coaches, advisors, mentors)
- How to lead with integrity, calmness, and courage, when all around you are scared, blaming, or numb
- How to forgive yourself and others, learn from and release the past, and focus with confidence on your go-forward plan
Exploring Life’s Second Half
Duration: Full Day
In the more than 200 YPO and WPO forum retreats Jim has led, the following themes
- What do these terms mean: purpose, mission, vision, fulfillment, calling, genius?
- How do I make a difference in the world, outside of the business arena?
- How do I move from disillusionment to destiny; from achievement to stewardship; from success to significance?
- What legacies, beyond wealth, do I want to leave my children and my grandchildren?
- I know what it’s like to be “in the zone.” How do I get this feeling back?
- What is blocking me from stepping into my destiny, and how do I get through these blocks?
- When all is said and done, what is my life for?
You have always been an achiever. Your philosophy of “short-term pain for long-term gain” has paid off. Your accomplishments have met or exceeded those you contemplated some 20-odd years ago when you launched your work life. It’s been a great ride and you feel you’ve had an impact. You’re pleased with most of the elements in your life, and you appreciate your tremendous good fortune.
But you still have energy. Regardless of chronological age, you’re young. Your peak is still in front of you. The relentless, burning “need to achieve” has you searching for ways to have an even greater impact. With your life at its midpoint, it’s a natural time to think about the past and plan the future. You may or may not be at a key “transition point,” such as a career change, the end of your marriage, or your youngest child leaving home, but you can’t stop wondering if “more of the same” will continue to deliver contentment and fulfillment in your life. By any measure you’ve been successful. But in your heart, mind, and soul, you ponder a greater calling, a sense of destiny beyond your current success.
We’ll explore these issues and yearnings in a confidential, one-day forum-like experience with your YPO peers. We’ll share, explore, discuss, and learn about the opportunities and issues surrounding Life’s Second Half.
Authentic Leadership Workshop
Duration: Full Day
This customized training is open to YPOers and WPOers who wish to enhance their skills in building small-group interaction and authenticity. “Small groups” includes your forum, your executive team, and your immediate family
This workshop blends forum best practices with Jim’s extensive work with YPOer executive teams. The workshop is 40% teaching and 60% experiential. You’ll have the opportunity to practice on “live” issues in your business or personal life.
The workshop will cover the following areas:
- Inspirational leadership: encouraging and directing others to execute on plans and initiatives.
- Team collaboration: sharing challenges, and brainstorming approaches.
- Taking responsibility for your life: noticing when you drift into debilitating drama; tools for shifting back into a mature leadership position; specific tools for shifting out of blaming and complaining, or rescuing and enabling.
- Surfacing and addressing difficult topics and conflicts. This is a foundational skill for all small-group and work-team environments. It is fundamental to authentic relationships. Participants will be coached in how to deal cleanly and directly with any issues that drain energy from the team or mire the organization or individuals in the past. In particular we’ll focus on how to initiate and conduct difficult conversations.
- Making clean agreements and repairing broken agreements.
- Offering and receiving feedback, criticism, advice. The primary take-home skill is the receiving of all forms of feedback with curiosity vs. defensiveness.
- Appreciating and inspiring team members. Most work teams (and forums) do an excellent job of criticizing and challenging, and a poor job of appreciating and celebrating. When a goal is reached, they briefly acknowledge the accomplishment and then they set the bar higher. The result: a demoralized team where “nothing is ever good enough.” Appreciation, gratitude, and fun are a way of life for inspiring leaders.
This full-day training interweaves all elements of Jim’s Authentic Relationships model, tailored specifically to YPOers’ relationships (forum, business, family).
Duration: 2-4 days
Navigating Transitions: Reclaiming Your Life is a multi-day, personal-life audit for individuals and couples who seek transformation and renewal in their vocation, marriage, family, sense of life purpose, friendships, spirituality, and identity. Structured as a blend of experiential, life-sharing, issue-exploring exercises, this retreat gives participants deeper personal awareness and a no-nonsense, personal transition blueprint for transforming their lives from disillusionment to discovery to destiny.
YPO regions, chapters, and forums often contract with OnCourse International to organize and lead customized transition seminars for their groups. While four days is the recommended duration, shorter versions are possible.
- Yearn for a sense of purpose, passion, mission, adventure, fulfillment, meaning, destiny, connection
- Are willing to address and share both life background and difficult life-transition issues
- Are serious about developing a transition blueprint and “game plan” for their lives
- Many (not all) member participants have exited, are about to exit, or are considering an exit from their businesses
- The seminar is a blend of plenary sessions (20%), small-group breakouts (60%), and individual planning time (20%)
- Significant take-home value comes from facilitated small-group interaction; ongoing friendships or accountability relationships often emerge from the small-group dynamics
- Attending spouses and guests are active participants in the entire seminar, addressing their own transition issues and developing their own transition blueprint
Common Issues among Transition Seminar Participants
All participants desire deeper personal awareness and a sense of meaning and passion in their lives. Small-group participants yearn for deeper community. In addition, participants face some combination of the following issues:
- I have no idea what is next in my life; I have only a vague sense of life purpose, mission, destiny, or passion
- My career is my identity
- I always have to be “on”
- My life is being run on a treadmill
- My marriage needs revitalization
- I desire deeper relationships with people who won’t judge me
- I need friends who will be truthful
- I need to make peace with my past
- I would like to explore the spiritual dimension
- I desire greater intimacy with my spouse, family, and friends
- I long to experience grace and joy
Empowering the Rising Generation to Make Their Mark in the World
Duration: Half Day or Full Day
You watch with curiosity—sometimes anguish or confusion—as your young adult child navigates a combination of:
- They are searching for direction in their next stage of life
- They struggle to meet their own and/or parents’ high expectations
- They have lost an identity
- They are looking for new tools to navigate life independently and responsible without help of parents
- They would like to strengthen their relationships with parents, siblings, extended family, work colleagues, sometimes even friends, and learn better ways to communicate with them authentically
- They are uncertain on how to initiate or be in a loving partner relationship … or … to end a dysfunctional relationship
This straight-talking, experiential workshop lays out the costs you and your young adult kids are paying, and what you can do to help them become mature, responsible adults. And, how to come to peace in your parenting role.
- How to best encourage and empower young adult children to realize their own destiny … either inside or outside of a family business
- How to be welcoming and nurturing without enabling or rescuing
- How to repair strained or broken relationships with your young adult children
The OnCourse resources use riveting role plays to model the outward interactions, the inner angst, and deepest yearnings in the parent-child dynamic.
Advanced Forum Training: Authentic Relationships
This experiential training offers potent tools to help forum moderators, YPO members, and spouses realize authenticity and deepen intimacy with their forums, spouses, children, extended families, and work teams. In this one-day intensive training, participants create a confidential, forum-like environment for breaking through relational bottlenecks and restoring or igniting honest, productive, caring communications.
The Authentic Relationships training is a blend of proven communication models and experiential learning. Authentic Relationships is ideal for forum moderators seeking advanced tools for taking their forums to deeper, more truthful levels, and for any YPO members and their spouses desiring a transformation in their personal and vocational relationships. Authentic Relationships is also ideal for individual forums who wish to be trained as a unit.
Typical Relationship Issues of Participants:
- Shallow, guarded relationships that inhibit truth and intimacy
- Hidden agendas and facades which gridlock communication and stall growth
- Little knowledge of the backgrounds of others so you never know where the other person is coming from
- Politeness trumps honesty so groups never get to the root issues
- Patterns of concealing, complaining, and controlling
- Constant friction among team members drains the energy of the entire group
- Proven techniques for creating safety, clearing issues, cutting through fluff, addressing conflict, and holding emotions
- Immediate applicability in forums, work teams, and marriages
- Tools to take personal and forum relationships to deeper, more intimate levels
- Greater awareness of the underlying dynamics of small groups
- Predicting, facing, and navigating through resistance to change
- Tools for dealing with chaotic or dysfunctional relationships
- A new paradigm for member breakthroughs during presentations at forum meetings
- “Fast feedback” tools for measurable goal-setting and accountability (ideal for forum environments and work teams)
- A wealth of self-awareness exercises for your forum or work team
Advanced Forum Moderator Training
Duration: Half-day or full-day
This advanced workshop helps chapter forum officers or regional forum champions strengthen and expand the skill sets of their forum moderators.
Prior to the workshop, each participant completes a customized checklist on the most pressing issues within his or her chapter (forum officers) or individual forum (moderators). At the workshop we invest our time together in a blend of:
- Addressing the most prevalent or pressing issues brought up in the checklist
- Doing deeper, experiential exercises (abridged versions) that can be used immediately within forums
- Free-flowing Q&A
Typical issues include:
- Guidelines/norms for meetings and retreats
- Tools and exercises for creating safety at meetings and retreats
- Conflict within the forum (spoken or unspoken): personal conflicts among members; hidden agendas; business conflicts
- Flat, stagnant, stale, shallow, boring forums and how to jump-start them
- Weak moderator
- The chapter member that no forum wants
- Forum sabotage, including dominant members, brash behavior, inappropriate humor
- Dysfunctional member(s) (e.g., addictive, immature, or dangerous behavior)
- Breaches of confidentiality (alleged or confirmed)
- Handling emotional outbursts
- Asking a member to leave a forum
- Cliques, pecking order, widely varying net worth among members, other inequalities
- Fast integration of new members into a forum
- Honoring exiting members
- Reluctance to share personal, delicate, deep issues with a forum
- Delving into taboo topics
- Key success factors for retreats
- Advanced retreat tools and exercises
- "Anytime" questions to use in a forum meeting when all else fails
- Tools for addressing the ugly, often unspoken conflicts within a forum or among members of the forum
- Tools, exercises, and coaching for addressing and resolving the more difficult issues and relationships of struggling forums
- Tools, exercises, and coaching for helping high-functioning forums get to deep or taboo topics/issues, including power, money, sex, fragile marriages, death, anger, fear, grief, loneliness, and spirituality