Pink Zebra Director’s Retreat – Top to Top Leadership Meeting
My husband and I attended recently attended Pink Zebra’s 2nd Annual Leadership Retreat in Wharton Texas. The “Ranch” as it is affectionately known is just off the grid outside of Houston in Wharton County. The Top to Top retreat is a gathering of Pink Zebra’s top leaders; Directors, Executive Directors, and Presidential Directors, as well as corporate Pink Zebra staff. This year, the company did something different and invited other top sales and leadership consultants. They got to see first hand the perks of becoming a Director. I know this helped inspire them to want to promote to the next level.
Day 1 – “The Ranch”
In the words of Tom Gaines, Pink Zebra’s founder, “the ranch is a no-frills, honest, hard-working, team effort, get ‘r done kind of place. A place where you are safe from judgment and politics.” You are expected to pitch in with chores like making meals and cleaning. It’s also “a place where you feel special, informed, productive and part of something bigger than yourself.” You leave the Ranch with the tools and knowledge to make your team feel the same which helps lead them to achieve their goals.
Leaders slept in rooms with bunk beds as many as 4 to a room, the higher your rank the better sleeping arrangments. Bathroom and shower accommodations were also shared. As Presidential Director, I was able to have my own private room with a shower and bath.
Pink Zebra really knows how to make you feel special, each leader received their own gift bag filled with swag. They had new products and other logoed goodies. No, I am not going to say exactly what was inside- ok maybe I can share a little, a new Wallhug mug, new Simmering Light and a new Sprinkles fragrance from our 2020 Spring/Summer Catalog. That was not all, as an extra special gift Directors and above received a pink jacket, of course, my husband Al, who is also a Director got a black one. The jackets had the leadership retreat logo to celebrate our 2nd meeting.
Most of us arrived on Saturday night. We had time to mingle and welcome each other, as for some it was their first time attending. We gathered out front, roasting marshmallows and having a few drinks around the bonfire. Allan and I made it an early night and went to bed as we needed to be up extra early to help prepare breakfast and get ready for the next day’s meeting.
The Agenda – Day 2
Getting down to business. The ranch is a super fun place, but it is also a place to work. Our agenda was pretty full. Filled with lots of learning and brainstorming.
Rise and Shine: Our corporate field trainer, Connie, held an optional walk/run around the grounds. A good group of people took her up on this and they explored the beautiful grounds of the ranch which has the Colorado River as it’s a backdrop. This was at 6:30 am! Needless to say, I didn’t go as it was too early for me. At 7:30, we cooked breakfast together as a group which was a lot of fun.
Our first day’s meeting started promptly at 9 am. Tom Gaines, one of the founders and owner of Pink Zebra led the days meeting. It started first with the 4 Pillars of Leading a Successful Team and continued into the company vision for 2020. We split into teams for a group activity. For this exercise, we wrote our story in notebooks, –The Greatest Story Ever Told. These stories included the experiences that led us into our Pink Zebra business. You can imagine this brought some tears. In all, I believe it a good exercise for us as a group. It made us realize just how much our stories had in common. Granted, each of our stories is different but almost all of us have some obstacles to overcome to get to where we are today.
We broke for lunch and after that, we got down to numbers! Each person received a binder and a flash drive with a detailed 2-year review of our Pink Zebra teams. We also got an income model to help us build our team goals, allowing us to see our top performers and the areas we need to work on. That said, It was a long but productive day.
The Agenda – Day 3
Day 3 of the retreat was with Directors and above only, as the other group of top leaders left in the morning. The agenda for this day was also full. Tom spoke about the companies direction and focus for 2020, and we brainstormed on messaging for our upcoming rally as well as other initiatives for the year. The day ended with a reveal of our Spring/Summer Catalog, where we got to see and smell the new catalog items! I can’t wait for you to see them! I love the added perk of being able to see the new line before it is launched. The launch date for the new catalog is January 25. If you are looking for pictures of the new products you won’t find them here. It’s top-secret and my lips are sealed!
Work Hard Play Harder – Nights at the Ranch
After those long days of training, its time to relax and kickback. The ranch has many activities and spots to do just that. My favorite spot is the Saloon. Yes, they really have a saloon on the property! The ranch has a few other buildings as well. Our meetings were all held in the main ranch house, which also has sleeping quarters. I was lucky to be sleeping in the main building, others bunked in quarters outside but the saloon was where most of our downtime was spent.
After preparing dinner each night it was time to unwind and this is just the place to do it. The Saloon is pretty big as you can see in the photos and it has lots of room. It has a pool table, darts, ping pong, Jenga, you name it they have it! The best part I think is the stage!
2nd Annual Lip-Sync Contest
We held our 2nd Annual Lip-Sync contest on Saturday night – although I am not sure we named a winner! For this contest, we broke out into the same groups as our training sessions earlier in the day. This was so much fun as you can see from our pictures. The lip-sync contest quickly turning into karaoke night and lots of the other leaders sang their hearts out.
Polaris Mud Rides
Singing wasn’t the only fun activity, we also had the opportunity to take a ride the Polaris. Tom and his son Conner, drove us. We were able to explore some of the property and got a glimpse of some of the wildlife.
So another Pink Zebra Director Leadership Retreat is in the books. We laughed, cried and learned so much. I am excited to put my new training into place and to really make 2020 a year of success and intention.