Canadian leaders are known internationally as bridge builders and peacekeepers. Our vision is that every participant who passes through the Leadership Studio will understand that it's vital to build bridges, but that, as leaders, we must also be the bridge.
Our vision is inspired by the ancient Welsh tale of the good king, Llyr. Llyr was a man of mythic proportions, as tall as a mountain. His daughter, Branwen, was married to the neighbouring king of Ireland, and moved with him across the sea. In Ireland she was treated harshly, made to do menial labour, unbecoming to a princess! A starling, reared and taught to speak by Branwen, flew to Wales to report the poor treatment of the Welsh princess. Llyr, seeking to avenge his daughter's honour, assembled an army to sail across the sea. While the men traveled by boat, Llyr himself could cross the sea on his own mammoth legs.
Seeing the colossal king and his army from their shores, the Irish were terrified and burned all their bridges, retreating into the city.
"Our vision is that every participant who passes through the Leadership Studio will understand that it's vital to build bridges, but that, as leaders, we must also be the bridge."
Though Llyr could easily step across the waters, his army couldn't cross the rivers to reach Branwen. The king realized he would have to carry on alone to avenge his daughter. Instead, he chose to humbly lie down across the rivers and allow his men to walk across him to the other side. From this story we get the expression, "The one who would be a leader must also be a bridge"
Our Leadership Model
At the Leadership Studio we have a favourite expression: "A leader is someone who sees the world and says it doesn't have to be this way, and does something about it."
"A leader is someone who sees the world and says it doesn't have to be this way, and does something about it."
We exist to equip leaders to do just that. Decades of research and experience have helped us uncover a three-part a leadership model. When the three parts come together, we have the makings of a great leader.
Our model is based on Psalm 78:70-72. The passage describes young David before he became king. We learn he was chosen to lead Israel because of his "integrity of heart and skillful hands"-we call these traits Character and Competence. The third piece, Cadence, getting on God's page, is bringing it all together and moving forward, leading to change. It is about getting in step with your unique self, with others and with God-building your self-awareness, your interpersonal skills, and solidifying your relationship with God.
We think memorable experiences are the best teaching tools-whether it's a simulated NASCAR pitcrew experience or firefighting challenge, hands-on activities like baking bread from scratch or learning to sail. Nothing can teach groups to work as a team better than actually working as a team. We've developed a premiere lineup of experiential learning programs designed to teach leadership skills at three levels: self leadership, team leadership, and organizational leadership. All are designed to support various learning styles, and to create teachable moments with lasting impact.
Healthy Active Lifestyle
At the Leadership Studio, we make no secret of our "No Numb Bums" policy. No more than 90 minutes will ever pass without something to stimulate your muscles and get you moving! Indoor golf, hackey sack breaks, hikes, wide games, kite flying, sandcastle competitions, and dozens of Outdoor Rec activities-there are endless ways to get active at Muskoka Woods. Our commitment to health lifestyles extends to every part of our program; from the all-natural food we serve to the hands-on learning experiences we provide.
To see our leadership philosophy in action, contact us.
Our story begins 150 years ago when the Muskoka Woods property was first homesteaded by a couple from London, ON-the Lawrasons. When Mr. Lawrason died shortly after their arrival, his wife, Julia, was left to homestead the property alone. A woman of both faith and determination, Julia Lawrason refused to return to the comforts of the city, but instead settled the land beside Lake Rosseau, taking on boarders to make extra income. She called her home the Retreat, and it was one of the first B&Bs in the area. Her journals record her prayer that this land would always be used to God's glory. We believe Muskoka Woods, and now the Leadership Studio, are here in part because of Mrs. Lawrason's prayers.
When Muskoka Woods was established, more than 100 years later, leadership was central to our program. Each summer we train hundreds of youth for leadership positions. But Muskoka Woods' CEO, John McAuley and his team dreamed of raising the profile of leadership, and sharing our expertise with a much wider audience. To show just how much we value leadership development, he knew we needed a place that was 100% dedicated to that pursuit.
"To show just how much we value leadership development, he knew we needed a place that was 100% dedicated to that pursuit."
We conducted extensive research to see what makes Muskoka Woods' leadership training unique. We discovered a process that was both relational and experiential, and very much rooted in the place itself, with its endless amenities and undeniable beauty.
Space Matters- the design of the Studio reflects all that we learned. Space is designated for experiential learning, to foster creativity and unconventional thinking. Other areas are designed to build friendships and solidify them. The Muskoka Woods property is a giant extension of the Studio, offering endless learning outdoor opportunities for personal skill development and team building.
To learn more about the Leadership Studio story, or to inquire about booking the Studio, contact us.