Seeking To Be Better Leaders Through Education

YPO – Welcoming Extraordinary Leaders Since 1950

YPO is the global leadership community of extraordinary chief executives. Our history is long, our achievements many and our trajectory ever-forward. YPO welcomes extraordinary leaders to grow stronger together to improve lives, businesses and the world.

Since 2000, Brian has worked with YPO as a retreat and chapter event resource and trainer supporting YPO members and their partners.

Brian’s unique background as facilitator and coach and keynoter, combined with twelve years as a CEO and over twenty years as a YPO member, contributes to consistently high ratings from participants.

ypo forum retreat

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.

Building Safe Connections among Members to help them move from Success to Fulfillment.

Popular Retreat Themes Include:

  • Successfully Navigating Professional and Personal Transitions
  • What’s Next? Creating a Regret-Free Vision for my Life
  • Working on the Business not in the Business and other Reasons to be More Strategic
  • Holistic Spirituality and Meditation
  • Successfully Navigating Life’s “Third Quarter” (for YPO Gold Forums)

Brian offers two types of retreats for YPO forums:

  • Custom-designed retreats for which the forum selects the location and arranges all logistics including travel, retreat venue, and meals.
  • 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.
ypo retreat

Forum Retreats

Custom Designed Retreat Example

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.

Forum and the Enneagram: A Path to Self-Mastery

Take your forum experience to a new depth as members learn more about their deeper motivators and understand how best to challenge and support one another. Following a forum retreat using the Enneagram, forum members who apply the Enneagram are more effective at receiving and giving feedback. Monthly meetings come to life as members dive under issues by using the Enneagram to identify root causes of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors; they can use the Enneagram to plot a course to higher levels of development and self-mastery.

Turnkey Retreat Example

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 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. 

YPO Members: Forum Trainings

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.

ypo training
ypo events<br />

YPO 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.

Forum Stir Fry

Brian facilitates a highly-rated chapter event called Forum Stir Fry. This event is a great way to create new and deeper connections across your chapter. It can be done on a President’s Retreat with members only or at a monthly chapter meeting. The event lasts approximately 90 minutes. It opens with a quick reminder of forum protocol and that we will use what we know and value, the forum experience, on a chapter level.

The event then launches with an organic mixing of attendees who have a series of short, meaningful conversations. Brian guides the group with thought-provoking ice-breakers that get more interesting as the event goes on. Eventually virtual forums are created which allow members and spouses to experience the sharing, insight, and support that only YPO can provide.

An event is guaranteed to result in new friendships, deeper existing connections, and personal take-home value.

Growth and Connection Using the Enneagram

This chapter event (members only or members and spouses) increases self-awareness and self-mastery while connecting chapter members. The event begins with an introduction to the Enneagram, a powerful personality system that accurately describes your personality structure and, more importantly, creates a pathway to development that allows you to leave old, limiting behaviors and thinking styles behind.

Attendees will then learn their Enneagram “type” and connect with fellow members and spouses who have similar types to deepen their self-awareness. All attendees will get an opportunity to learn each other’s types and have fun with applying the Enneagram to the relationship, leadership, and parenting challenges we regularly face. The event will be custom-designed to focus on applications most relevant to your chapter.

In this 90-minute event, attendees will learn about themselves as well as other chapter members, and they will be able to take home an understanding of the Enneagram system to apply in a variety of personal and professional situations.

What are YPO Forum Retreats and Trainings? Do I really need them? Here’s What our Clients Say:

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

Brian is a great facilitator. He allowed us to continue growing on our forum journey. Hands down the best facilitator I’ve had in 15 years in YPO.

YPO Member, Mid-Atlantic Region

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

Brian is a gifted, emotional IQ genius. His Zen-like approach and demeanor was perfect for our group of intense personalities as he allows us to drop our shields and get to our true selves.

YPO Gold Member, San Antonio, Texas

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.

YPO Member, Colorado Chapter

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The business of wanting more