Reflections on Our Corporate Planning Summit

Corporate Summit Group image

In late July, we had our first Corporate Planning Summit. We brought together the entire leadership team, along with all HQ staff, for an incredible weekend in Manila. I have finally digested the wonderful ideas and touching moments of the Summit and wanted to share it broadly with the Peak Support community.

On Saturday, we kicked off the Summit with a casual and delicious buffet dinner. I sat at the far end of the table and caught up with Jim, Mark, Roland, Trish, Trixie, Kim & Cyrene.

As I looked across the room, it was great to see everyone settle-in and spend quality in-person time. We ended the dinner with a brief toast to our H1 2018 success and set the agenda for the next day. I jetted off to bed; which meant I fell right asleep and then got up at 12 midnight and stayed up through the next morning. Damn you jetlag!


Sunday was the big day. After breakfast, we descended on the conference room. It was a big, luxurious room with formal table settings and all the equipment we needed. On the left side of the room were tall windows looking onto a rainy Filinvest City. The room matched our core value of Extreme Professionalism.

Conference Room

We started the meeting with a group Om. This was a last minute idea, and I’m glad we did it for two reasons. First, it gets everyone to open their mouths and make a sound. And that was the whole point of this event: to hear from everyone. Second, an Om displays the group’s power. When 23 people say “Ommmmm” in unison, the sound vibrates through the room. You feel it in your bones.

We then did “Stop-Start-Continue.” We first did this in November 2014 as part of the Path Team. That exercise four years ago led to many of the initiatives and activities that work so well today. The ideas generated in 2018 exceeded my expectations. A few highlights were rethinking the Summit to include more team activities/corporate social responsibility; continuing the CEO-led New Hire Orientation; and all the ideas around incentives.

After Stop-Start-Continue, we did a training on Project Planning. This training is based on Getting Things Done by David Allen. More specifically, we tackled the chapter on The Five Phases of Project Planning. We then used these frameworks to brainstorm specific ideas around launching new client engagements.

We then took a break for lunch and handed out our 3 Year Anniversary shirts!

Group Image Summit

After lunch was the highlight of the Corporate Summit! Bianca, our Director of Operations, welcomed people to share moments of high stress and how they dealt with it. This was an off-agenda item but really this is why we were all gathered in the first place.

A few weeks back, Bianca became overwhelmed. Her to-do list seemed endless. She felt like she was letting everyone down. She was working too much; resting too little. I, as her manager, had not given her clear priorities or deadlines. This resulted in her taking a brief vacation in order to gather her thoughts and center herself.

And it also resulted in this Summit. After speaking with Judz, Hazel, Ivy and JM, we knew we all needed to gather in one place. Afterall, we are not a virtual company. We are a company that largely works from home BUT also gets together in-person to laugh, cry, work, and play.

Bianca kicked us off by opening up about how she felt that she was letting everyone down. Chel then shared a moment when she felt tired and was asking herself, “Is this worth it?”

Then Hazel shared a time when she was overwhelmed. Instead of raising her hand and asking for help, she locked herself in her room and cried. Her boys started to worry. Finally, she spoke to Bianca, who helped her work through the new process. So the lesson here is don’t be shy: speak-up and ask for help!

Jim mentioned that he felt inadequate when he joined the leadership team and looked at Mark and Monica, the other leaders on his project. That word – inadequate – struck me like a lightning bolt. That is exactly how I feel. You see me as this steadfast CEO (I hope!) but really I’m plagued with a sense of inadequacy. Am I doing enough? Am I doing the right things? Am I present enough? Am I too present? Did I do the wrong thing?

I shared that I battle the feeling of inadequacy by publicly listing what I accomplished. For example, at the end of the day or the week I’ll list out what I accomplished and share it in the leadership channel. Doing so helps me say, “this what I did. I think it’s a good list of accomplishments but sharing with you to judge.”

Heck, inadequacy is driving this write-up. I got home last week. I was super jet-lagged and torn between working and catching up with family and on my health. All weekend I felt inadequate so I wanted to collect my thoughts from the Summit and share. This act of documenting all that we accomplished is inadequacy’s kryptonite.

Dianne shared her thoughts on time management, more specifically the fact that you cannot do a job if you work yourself to death. Mel shared her thoughts on managing her self-perception. And then Aidz shared her personal savings goal … Jaswin shared adjusting to a new schedule … Roland shared the pressure he felt in his new role … and the floodgates of emotions and feelings were wide open! It was remarkable!

Sunday night we let loose! KTV!

Socialize and Relax

The summit was a great opportunity to learn, refresh, bond with old friends, and make new ones.

Ladies of Peak Support
Four of our incredible team leads (clockwise from top left): Trish, Trixie, Chel, Likhe

Monday we enjoyed a great breakfast at the hotel and went our separate ways home. As I took the day-long journey home, I was filled with a sense of gratitude. Gratitude to be working with so many dedicated people on so many amazing accounts. Remember, this is all possible because every day we deliver value to our clients. I was – and am more than ever – filled with a sense of purpose. We have built something great. But we are not done. We are not even close to done. We have to constantly improve every single aspect of our business. Let’s do it!

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Peak Support