Young Presidents’ Organization

Since 2000, Brian has worked with Young Presidents’ Organization as a retreat and chapter event resource and trainer supporting YPO members and their spouses.

Brian’s unique background as facilitator and coach and keynoter, combined with twelve years as a CEO and seven years as a YPO member, contributes to consistent ratings of nines and tens!

Read What YPO Members are Saying About Brian

Brian focuses in three areas:

Forum Retreats

Chapter Events


Forum Retreats

YPO members seek to be better leaders through education and are often in the prime of their business careers while raising families. Intense hours and travel often put pressure on marriages and parenting. The following programs track common questions and goals YPO members have. These programs are designed to help YPO members make a living and make a life. YPO members are often contemplating or living as empty nesters. Many have sold some or all of their businesses and are contemplating what’s next in their careers and lives. I will design a retreat to meet the unique needs and goals of your forum and together we can create the right mix between work and play. Below are successful retreat experiences I have offered over the years.

Brian’s mission for working with YPO forums: To Build Safe Connections among Members to help them move from Success to Fulfillment.

Brian offers two types of retreats for YPO and YPO Gold forums:

  1. Custom-designed retreats for which the forum selects the location and arranges all logistics including travel, retreat venue, and meals.
  2. Turnkey retreats for which Brian helps select the retreat location and arranges logistics securing the venue, arranging for professional chefs and activities. Below are examples of each type of retreat.

Custom Designed Retreat

From Success to Fulfillment: How to Manage the Paradox of Success

Location: Determined by forum. Ideally set in or near nature. Private homes are ideal.

Duration: 1-3 days – for best take-home value plan at least 1½ days.

Too many high-achieving executives and entrepreneurs reach mid-life having achieved critical professional and financial goals and feel like still something important is missing. They hunger for more and know that more success is not the answer. Successful business leaders risk experiencing the isolation that can come with success and power. Many business leaders are successful because of their discipline and focus and yet may create a life that is smaller or less balance than intended. The most important things in life such as relationships, meaning and aliveness are too often neglected or missing.

Retreat Goals. The goal of this retreat is to help leaders compose a life with no regrets. This retreat experience not only sets you up to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life it removes barriers that limit either your genius or career. Participants work on material dilemmas they are facing that may be blocking them from getting more of what they value most. These dilemmas take the form of questions such as:

  • Should I grow my business or sell it?
  • I have achieved all my financial and business goals, what’s next?
  • I still have a lot of game left, I want to stay in business yet I want to avoid complicating my life at this stage.
  • How can I play a bigger game that has meaning and purpose and make the second half of my life as enriching as the first?
  • What will be my legacy?

In addition to increased energy, clarity and connection, participants will leave with a road map containing the steps needed to integrate the learning from the retreat into a concrete plan that touches all the relevant domains of their life.

Pre-work. Participants will complete a questionnaire and, if needed, have a telephone interview to allow Brian to get to know the participant and to custom-design the agenda to fit the needs of the participants and the forum. Participants will be assigned pre-reading including Brian’s book, The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don’t.

Retreat Format. This is a forum experience whereby participants learn from each other by sharing their personal experiences. We will create an environment that taps both our left brain (creativity, emotional intelligence, vision) and right brain (problem-solving, analytical, action planning). We will use a mix of experiential learning using group processes, short didactic sessions (e.g., what makes for a fulfilling life?), practices that can be used again at home (e.g., meditation, movement), and individual processes designed to help gain clarity or perspective.

Cost. Facilitation fee is $5,000 per day plus reimbursement for travel expenses. The total cost of the retreat is dependent on the location and specific start and end times of the retreat. One half of the facilitation fee is paid upon agreement of the terms of the arrangement, is non-refundable and reserves the retreat dates. The balance of the fee is paid at the end of the retreat. Travel expenses are invoiced after the completion of the retreat.

Turnkey Retreat

Diving Deep: Accessing the Power and Beauty of Sea Soul

Location: Cozumel, Mexico

Duration: 3 days

We live in a surface, externally-focused world and often fail to slow down long enough to reflect on what our heart and soul are calling us to do. Powerful external results start with deep internal change. This retreat experience changes the tempo and scenery of life for business leaders allowing them to refocus their attention on their core goals in all key areas of life.

We will make full use of the remote, natural setting, ocean views. A seven-bedroom villa and guest cottage accommodates private sleeping for an entire forum.

This retreat experience is ideal for YPO and YPO Gold Members who are amid a transition such as selling a business, growing a business, changing the course of their career, ending or beginning a marriage.

Retreat Goals. The goals for the retreat are to deepen the bonds among forum members, allow each member an opportunity to work on a challenging situation or dilemma in their life and enjoy the beauty of the villa and dive sites. Questions that past YPOers have explored on this retreat include:

  • What is the secret to living a life filled with fulfillment and no regrets?
  • What provides us with meaning and passion?
  • Am I on a course that will get more of what’s most important to me?
  • What is my life calling me to move toward right now?

In addition to increased energy, clarity and connection, participants will leave with a road map containing the steps needed to integrate the learning from the retreat into a concrete plan that touches all the relevant domains of their life.

Pre-work. Participants will complete a questionnaire and, if needed, have a telephone interview to allow Brian to get to know the participant and to custom-design the agenda to fit the needs of the participants and the forum. Participants will be assigned pre-reading including Brian’s book, The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don’t. Participants who are interested in getting certified as an open water diver will need to take some or all of their diving classes (on-line and, if they choose, in the pool) prior to traveling to Mexico.

Retreat Format. Participants stay at an exquisite villa located on 23 acres of oceanfront in Cozumel, Mexico and enjoy easy access to some of the most beautiful diving and snorkeling in the world in the morning and taking a deep dive into your life in the afternoon. Participants will be guided by master divers and dive instructors and take a private dive boat to spectacular dive sites less than 30 minutes from shore. If you are a certified diver and need a refresher or if you are in the process of completing your certification, you can complete this activity on day one. Not into diving? No problem. There is plenty of snorkeling and the villa comes with a boat and Jet Skis or you can sit by the pool for a few hours.

All meals will be provided by local, world-class chefs who will design menus based on your preferences.








Cost. Approximately $25,000 for up to ten forum members. Specific price depends on the size of the group and choice and frequency of activities. Fee includes use of villa, all meals and beverages, diving, local transport, use of boat and Jet Skis, and retreat facilitation. Fee does not include travel to and from venue.

Note: This experience can be replicated in the mountains of Brian’s home state of Colorado. Brian has access to a spectacular seven-bedroom home that sleeps ten in Breckenridge, Colorado. The location is ideal for skiing in the winter or hiking and horseback riding in the summer. 


Q7 Executive Leadership Program. This program is typically not offered to private groups but I have designed this experience specifically for the needs of YPO members. This training is based on my book, The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment…and Others Don’t. In this experiential process, YPO members learn to understand how they can have both success and fulfillment and, if they aren’t careful, how success can be their undoing.

Participants in this training move through the Q7 Process. The Q7 Process is composed of 4 quadrants— thinking, acting, feeling and being; and 7 Steps to Fulfillment. The four quadrants facilitate each step in the process and are pivotal to increasing both your leadership effectiveness and happiness. The seven steps are:

  1. Take a Fearless Inventory of your Life
  2. Create a Vision for Your Life
  3. Remove the Barriers to Fulfillment
  4. Burst Your Bubble
  5. Build Your Court of Support
  6. Create Personal-Practices
  7. Draw a Roadmap for Your Future

The Q7 Process is ideal for leaders experiencing a personal or professional transition but can set any high-achiever up for a more satisfying life that taps their full potential.

How I Approach Retreats

Working alone or with a co-facilitator, I will design and book the retreat experience, or the forum can make the venue arrangements. Typical retreats last from one and a half to three days. Venues range from downtown hotels to a lodge in nature (preferred) or even traveling across wilderness areas.

I will design experiential retreats based on the needs and objectives of other forum members. While working on important issues, forums increase intimacy and emotional safety among participants. All of my retreats include some coaching on how to maintain the depth of connection and conversation in monthly meetings that follow the retreat.

The flow of Brian’s retreats follows a four-step process:

  1. Goal setting via review of pre-work members have done in advance, and building emotional safety among participants.
  2. Group exercises designed to strengthen the health and depth of the forum. Surface and resolve any conflicts among members that will prevent the group from going deeper.
  3. Individual exercises designed to facilitate personal growth and transformation in the context of a live personal dilemma or challenge.
  4. Integration and goal setting to equip the forum with the tools to sustain deeper connections and conversation at future forum meetings.

Retreat Length

48 hours is ideal. Basically arrive mid-day on day one and depart mid-day on day three. Two days, two nights.

Location and Food

The key is to have a private setting, close to nature. Rented or owned homes are ideal, full-service resorts, less so. I can arrange for a location in the Colorado Mountains or elsewhere. Forums can either opt to cook themselves or arrange for catering that does not interrupt the forum’s work.

After the Retreat

Participants will be able to support each other either individually or as a group as they implement their plans and pursue their vision. The forum will not only be more deeply connected, it will also be equipped with the 4 Step Forum Exploration Process to use in their future meetings to further their personal growth and transformation. I will also follow-up with the forum moderator in advance of future meetings to support the forum’s on-going health and vitality.

Fees and Expenses

Specific facilitation fee will depend on the scope of services (e.g., who is finding venue and food arrangements), location and duration. It will be in the $9 – 14,000 range. Plus out of pocket travel expenses.

Chapter Events
Brian Gast is a dynamic keynoter and emcee who will create an action-packed, fun-filled chapter event or retreat for chapters seeking to build stronger community among their members and/or provide growth experiences for their members. These programs are perfect for chapters seeking to take the value of their chapter to the next level, chapters with a lot of new members coming in, or where attendance at chapter events has fallen and connections across chapter members has weakened.

Brian helps Education Chairs address the “YPO Member Paradox”: members seek peer support and input, but often struggle to be authentic and make deeper connections with fellow members—it’s too easy to play the “comparison game” among professional peers.

Brian has created Forum-like experiences at the chapter level and tapped selected member experience for the benefit of entire chapter. The result is story telling by members, to members with members on the stage and members in small, forum-like group settings.

Brian combines YPO resources with YPO chapter events to access wisdom and mentoring from well-known YPO graduates. Topics include
The Business of Wanting More: How to Move from Success to Fulfillment
, and many more.

Brian has extensive experience in conducting trainings for YPO members.

These include Forum Fundamentals, Forum Moderator and Leadership Development Program, Transformational Forum Training (TFT), and new training programs designed by YPO to take mature forums even deeper.

Brian offers chapter-wide or forum-specific training on the new 4 Step Forum Exploration Process. This process can shift your entire forum experience to make it more connecting and even transformational!

Brian custom-designs programs to launch new Forums from those that are in transition because they have lost or gained a significant number of members, are addressing conflict among members, or simply want to take their Forum experience to a safer, more intimate, higher value level.

Forum can grow stale with time. Brian has new ways of approaching updates and presentations that reinvigorate Forum experience and support the continuing evolution of a Forum.

Read What YPO Members are Saying About Transformational Forum Training

Read What YPO Members are Saying About Brian

  • During our Forum Week we trained new members, spouses, young adults and had four sessions with all forum members in YPO in our chapter. Everyone loved the sessions and Brian performed beautifully. What a great resource. I am confident in recommending Brian to anyone looking for a high quality leader.
    William Meder
    YPO Forum Officer – Quebec Chapter
  • We engaged Brian as a resource for our annual forum retreat, and are extremely glad that we did.  Over the course of two half day sessions, Brian led forum discussions and exercises which have improved forum dynamics and also provided individual enlightenment for each member.  Additionally, he did his research upfront and was very good at connecting with each member and making the discussions relevant and personal.  I have received very positive feedback from every forum member regarding Brian’s work with us, and we have had follow-up discussions at our monthly meetings post-retreat to help ensure that we leverage the learning from our time spent with Brian.
    Ken Jones
    YPO Member, Kansas City
  • My YPO Forum has worked with Brian six times over the past eight years, and each time has found tremendous value in his facilitation of our retreats. Brian is an effective listener, facilitator and coach. Not only has he helped each of us grow personally, but he has left us with tools to improve the performance of our group.
    Neal Simon
    US Capital Chapter Forum Moderator

  • In my Forum Moderator Leadership Training with Brian Gast a large topic was managed in a very thoughtful and succinct way, while remaining open to individual questions/needs. The forum meeting in the second half was excellent.
    Forum Moderator, Colorado Chapter
  • Thank you Brian for helping our forum. I think it has made a world of difference in taking us to the “transformational level.”
    Forum Moderator, Southern California
  • Brian lead our forum through tough conversations that we weren’t sure of how to have.
    Forum Moderator, Rocky Mountain
  • Brian has amazing skills in negotiating tricky issues within a forum. His insights and examples of moderator leadership will be pivotal for the health and continuation of our forum.
    Forum Moderator, Colorado Chapter
  • Brian facilitated great discussion between the members of our group which allowed us to learn about one another and explore solutions to our own hurdles. He provided useful activities, shared interesting personal experiences and left us with accountability exercises to encourage ongoing success in our area of focus. Over all it was a very productive weekend and I left feeling encouraged and inspired and I’ve quickly put his gratitude practices to work at home and in the office.
    Forum Moderator, Bermuda Chapter
  • I felt Brian gave us a clear understanding of how forum works in its most beneficial way. He was also able to get us all to dive deep in a short time. Which in turn gave us all the opportunity to make quicker and more meaningful bonds.
    Forum Moderator, New Regional Spouse Forum
  • Our forum experienced Brian Gast’s Q7 Leadership Development Program in our retreat this year. It was an outstanding and transformational experience. I left the retreat with a much better understanding of who I am and what fundamental beliefs guide my thinking and motivate my behavior. Brian Gast’s high energy, enthusiasm and unadulterated interest in and deep understanding of each participant as an individual, is remarkable. The Q7 Leadership Program is far and away the most insightful, fun and useful leadership program I have ever participated in; it is incisive, experiential and incredibly enlightening. It should be mandatory for every leader.
    John S. Bank
    Chicago Forum member

  • Brian is an attuned and a gifted facilitator. He is centered which makes him extremely effective, trustworthy and able to get at the group and individual awareness and truth.
    Kansas City Forum member

  • Brian was authentic and real. He was prepared and had a good pulse on our group. Brian worked appropriately to keep us engaged and the results were excellent.
    Colorado Chapter Forum member