A couple weekends ago, I travelled to Boulder for several days to attend a Reboot Camp with Jerry Colonna, Brad Feld, and a group of other VC’s. Steve Schlafman gave a great rundown on his blog.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, and I honestly wasn’t sure what I thought on the way out either. Jerry encouraged us to give it a little time to sink in and to be a bit slow to answer the question of “how was it?”. So that’s what I did. Even Nancy remarked the other day “I still feel like we haven’t talked about your weekend!”
Having given it some thought now, there are a couple things that I think are sticking with me that are new realizations that in turn will lead to new behaviors. One is minor, one is major.
The minor is that I’m going to try make it a practice for our team at NextView to talk openly about how we are all doing at a more personal level. I think this will be healthy for our relationship, and help create more transparency and generally better teamwork and coordination as a result. Lives are complex and multi-faceted, and in a business where we are all over the place both in terms of physical location and mental focus, taking a few moments to take stock of where everyone is is important.
The major is more complex. In some of Jerry’s podcasts, he talks about this idea of “the shadow”. It’s a concept that he borrowed from the Quaker author Parker Palmer. I’m going to paraphrase here, but the idea is that one’s “shadow” is a deep rooted thing (not necessarily good, not necessarily bad) that exists in one’s psyche that drives your choices, behaviors, or emotions. The shadow is often linked to early, memorable childhood experiences, and is reflected in multiple arenas of life over and over again. The challenge occurs when one is unaware of these influences, and as a result, it drives him/her to make decisions or react to circumstances in a less than ideal way. Often, we can go years not really understanding how major decisions have been guided by hidden motivations, and that can get in the way of being the best leader, friend, or team member one can be.
This idea struck a chord with me, and during a 1:1 walk with another investor during the retreat, I uncovered some of my own “shadow” that I had a sense existed but never was really able to articulate clearly. I’m still processing this, but I feel like I’ve taken an important first step thanks to this trip and the coaching and instruction from Jerry. As these ideas come together more, I’ll probably share bits and pieces along the way.
If anyone is interested in learning more, happy to chat with folks about this. Having let things sink in for a little while now, I definitely recommend Reboot and feel grateful to have been part of this first VC gathering. Big thanks to everyone who attended and let their guard down, and to Jerry and Brad for giving of themselves in this way.