Last week I attended Tony Robbins’ Leadership Academy Bootcamp in San Diego. I’ve attended a number of Tony’s events since I first did UPW (read all about it here) in San Jose in 2006 (incidentally, he’s back in San Jose this month after a 3 year absence, if you’re interested in attending call Erica Nitti, 858-535-6367, tell her I sent you and she’ll look after you).
I’ve got a lot of value from Tony’s real world approach to human psychology, it’s helped me and I’ve been able to help others by practicing just some of what he teaches. Anyway, the Leadership event really bought the last 3 years of events home for me and has set me on a new path in life.
As is often the case with his events, they use a physical act as a metaphor for a psychological/emotional breakthrough, at UPW it was the firewalk, at Life Mastery it was climbing a telephone pole. At Leadership Bootcamp it was breaking a 1″ pine board, karate chop-style! There were about 300 people in the room and after a 30 minute rundown by Joe Williams on how to get in state, stand, position our arms and strike we all queued up ready to do it.
Apparently this usually takes someone doing martial arts 6 months to progress to, here we were ready in less than an hour. A great demonstration of the power of getting into state. As you can see in the before photo, there’s a look of total focus in my eyes…this was my second attempt. My first didn’t go so well, but it sure confirmed that it was a real piece of solid wood, up until then I think I still thought that it can’t really be a solid piece of wood (there’s a metaphor for life for you). So on my second attempt, hand smarting a bit from the first, I totally focused and went for it. As you can see from the second photo I broke through, strange thing was, the second time around I didn’t even feel the board, in fact I had to double-check since I figured I must have missed it, that’s how easy it was to breakthrough (another great metaphor for you).
All in all, the event was simply amazing, and those who know me know I don’t use that term lightly. Outside of the coaching and training, the speakers they had were first class. Robin Bennacasa is an adventure racer (World Champion honors in both the Eco-Challenge and Raid Gauloises) and spoke on the kind of leadership and team dynamics that you need to make it through a 7-10 day, non-stop adventure race of 400-600 miles. Once I get through with my Ironman ambitions maybe adventure racing will be next, not sure if they’ve ever had a physically challenged team or not, maybe it’s time. Jan Hargrave was a blast, she’s a FBI specialist and expert in non-verbal communication (body language) and took us through a riot as she tested and explained how the body doesn’t lie. Want to know if someone is attracted to you, she knows. Steve Linder spent half a day with us on Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), he’s somewhat of an expert on how patterns of mental and emotional behavior affect us. Shore Slocum bought an interesting and more contemplative perspective on leadership and life, a great story-teller and compelling speaker. Joe Williams, one of Tony’s master trainers (with an incredible assist from Joseph McClendon), ran the show and did a marvelous job through the 5 days, 12 hours plus a day.
If you ever get the chance to attend a Tony Robbins event, take it: have fun, play full-out and you won’t regret it.
Many Thanks to Pete Parker for taking the photos of the event, they are © Copyright 2009 Peter S. Parker, All Rights Reserved, Used with Permission. If you want to see more photos of the event, click here.