Yeske Buie’s Staff Retreat: Storytelling, Visioning, and Focusing
Just before the Thanksgiving Holiday, the entire Yeske Buie team came together in San Francisco for an inspiring staff retreat. While the retreat serves as a great opportunity to step away from the day to day office routine, the team spends each day working on various exercises related to personal, professional, and company growth. The themes of this year’s retreat included storytelling, focusing on “just one thing”, and visioning for the firm.
To practice storytelling, the team was challenged to share a personal story related to their favorite quote, as well as a story about Yeske Buie that reflects our values and worldviews. The exercise produced stories that were vulnerable, powerful, and inspiring. Several team members felt that this was the most impactful exercise of the retreat. Camille shared, “I loved our work on story telling! Not only did it give me the opportunity to sharpen my skills, but it created the space for us to connect and understand each other on a deeper level.” Similarly, Cristin echoed, “I really enjoyed the practicing of our story telling muscles. It is something that translates into all aspects of our lives.”
Following these exercises, the team focused on Gary Keller’s idea of just one thing and how this concept translates into our day-to-day work for our Clients. To begin practicing this idea, the team was asked to identify one thing they could do in their lives that would make everything else easier or unnecessary. Once identified, the team had a discussion to brainstorm how we could think, plan, and do each “thing”. The result for many team members was actionable steps towards changing a behavior that will make their lives easier. After the retreat, Mila shared her excitement in implementing this training stating, “This is not just a tool that I can use to better my productivity within Yeske Buie, but is a tool that I can actually apply to every aspect of life.” Zach also appreciated how, “Our focus on ‘one thing’ training helped us determine the best way to tackle lofty goals, one step at time. We did these exercises for both personal and professional goals, and I think we all left with some new ideas on how to best achieve them.” Also citing this exercise as the most impactful for her, Lauren S. shared how she is acting on her one thing: “It’s amazing how powerful one small change today can be. For example, my ‘Just One Thing’ would be if I could get out of bed at my very first alarm early in the morning. When I do that, I’m extremely more likely to get my workout in, which leads to a day of being alert and paying attention and a day full of healthier choices.”
The final exercises of the retreat focused on visioning short-term and long-term goals at Yeske Buie and 2017 initiatives we can pursue to help the team grow individually and collectively towards these goals. New Financial Planning Resident, Ryan, identified these exercises as his favorite, sharing “My biggest take away is being given the opportunity to have a direct impact on the internal development of Yeske Buie. That is not something you see at other companies and is just another reason why I enjoy working here!” Likewise, Victoria recognized that these exercises give her, “a clearer understanding of Dave and Elissa’s vision for the firm moving forward to the next decade and beyond.”
For others on the team, the most significant takeaways and appreciations for the retreat were “side effects” of the exercises themselves. Lauren M. noted, “My favorite part of the retreat was the team building that occurred as a result of the vulnerability, commitment, enthusiasm, and open-mindedness that every member of the team brought with them to the retreat.” With similar sentiments, Yusuf shared, “While the work to strengthen our team never ends, it was refreshing and encouraging to hear several members of the team appreciating how much they’ve learned from other members, irrespective of seniority or specialization.” Finally, two additional appreciations share how the retreat benefited staff members personally. Russell shared that, “Retreat is always a great opportunity to reorient myself and stay grounded,” while Dorothy said, “This past retreat felt special because of some of the personal challenges that I’ve been experiencing. Being part of the Yeske Buie family really provided a lot of emotional support.”
We hope you enjoy the following photos from our week together!