Experience our life-changing retreat for current and emerging engineering & product leaders.
With Edmond Lau and Elenna Mosoff
October 2nd - 4th, 2018 in Sonoma, CA
For those who want a powerful edge in their leadership — one that lets them harness the unexpected, create abundant opportunities from nothing, and take charge of their impact.
“A duo capable of bending, stretching and expanding how understand ourselves and our lived leadership. Elenna and Edmond bring unparalleled depth, courage and spark to their work and to the world.”
“Imagine being on a leadership journey where you have a safe place to explore the edges of your leadership with thoughtfulness, care, and some no nonsense kickassery. That is what you will experience (and everything in between) when trusting your authentic discovery of your leadership to Edmond and Elenna. “Wow”, “More please”, “Best thing ever” are words that aptly describe what you will experience. They know what it takes to guide you on your journey. You are definitely in good hands and, more importantly you are in good hearts.”
Hi! I'm Edmond Lau. I'm the author of The Effective Engineer and a co-founder of Co Leadership. I've been building and leading teams across Silicon Valley at Google, Quora, Quip, and Ooyala for over a decade.
I remember a time when I struggled with my own leadership and fulfillment, when it felt like my destiny was in the hands of someone else.
“It'll probably be another six months to a year,” my manager said to me.
These words hit me hard. I had already been passed over three times — another year felt like forever. My motivation to be at the company, which was already low, plummeted.
I had joined the startup when it was a dozen employees, and I had set my sights on what I thought was the next level of leadership and career success — becoming a manager.
Over the course of a few months, someone else was selected internally to become a manager, and then another manager was hired in. Each time I heard the news, I felt even more despondent and hopeless.
When will it be my turn? How long will this take?
It felt like my dreams were pushed back even further. The team would have to grow even more to have need for another manager and for me to have the influence I wanted.
I felt like I didn't have any control over my situation — that I had to wait for someone else to give me what I wanted. I thought that validation of my ability as a leader had to come from someone with authority. I thought that someone had to give me permission — that only with a manager title could I do the things I wanted to do that weren't officially in my job description.
That lack of control extended to my personal life as well. I had been working 60-80 hour weeks for 5 years, and had expected that by relentlessly focusing on my career first, happiness and fulfillment would follow. But even when projects at work were going well, I would go home feeling a little empty, and I'd wonder what it was all for.
I longed for a richer life — one with more meaning, more joy, and deeper friendships — but I didn't know how to make it happen.
I was stuck in this very hopeless waiting game.
I tried many different things to get myself unstuck. I read books, listened to podcasts, and watched TED talks, searching for some breakthrough. And while I might feel momentarily inspired, I wasn't sure how to turn theory into practice in my life and work.
Nothing really clicked, until the day I invited my friend Elenna Mosoff to fly over from Toronto to San Francisco to celebrate my birthday with me.
Elenna's background couldn't have been more different than mine.
I've worked full-time jobs nearly my entire career; she's never held a 9-to-5 job. I'm an engineer; she's spent years as an theater director — even designing an award-winning, 8-month-long zombie apocalyptic narrative game in the real world. I'd learn from reading books; she'd talk about the wisdom in trees.
For my birthday, she gifted me a 2-day experience where we turned the world into a playground for adventure. We acquired and dressed up in costumes and wandered around the city and the woods. I'd never done something like that before, and it blew my mind when we were able to enroll strangers into our adventure. And I started to realize that I could see the world with a different lens, one that could show me new possibilities hidden in plain sight.
I went from being just another “engineer” to crafting my own ideal role that focused on my strengths and passions in tech leading, coaching, and leadership development. And all without having to negotiate a title change or having any explicit authority.
That secret weapon gave me a sense of self-authority and even emboldened me to later start my own company — one where every day at “work” just feels like I'm hanging out with a close friend and spending 100% of our time doing the things we enjoy to create the impact we want.
In life, that secret weapon gave me a new perspective that when things in life don't go according to plan, I have the power and self-trust to view it as an opportunity for an adventure. And that's given me the confidence to tackle and co-create so much more in the world.
And in a world where many things don't go our way — whether it's with politics, the environment, or natural disasters — that secret weapon has given me the ability to deal with the chaos in the world while continuing to work towards changing the world into the one I want to live in.
Most importantly, that secret weapon has freed me to feel fully alive. I feel like I can bring all my dreams and ideas into the world, view the world with an abundance mindset, and always be asking “What's possible here?”
And through all my work in developing and coaching engineering leaders, what I've realized is this:
Creative leadership is the ability to remain resilient when your plans fall apart, to trust in yourself when things go awry, and to move forward decisively and with ease on new paths. It empowers you to gracefully and confidently handle when stakeholders change project requirements at the last minute, when teammates don't behave as you expect, or when your efforts don't lead to the success you want.
Creative leadership is a mindset that lets you discover new possibilities. It lets you shift from latching onto opportunities — whether it's titles, promotions, or something else — because they feel scarce, to letting things go because you know that you can ask “What's possible here?” and expose abundant opportunities just around the corner.
Creative leadership is a practice that develops confidence in your own ideas — even when they seem like far-fetched dreams — and to enroll people to shape them into reality. It lets you add fuel to the sparks of ideas you have at work and at home — ones that you might've been hesitant to share before — and successfully transform them into ambitious realities.
Creative leadership transcends title, is available to anyone, and is critical to succeeding in our unpredictable world.
And now, I've partnered with the most creative person I know — award-winning director and leadership coach, Elenna Mosoff — to train you to use this secret weapon over a three-day immersive Creative Leadership Camp.
“Elenna and Edmond are the most dynamic duo I’ve ever met. I’ve seen the two of them bring large groups up to sparkling heights, then back to earth safe and sound. The differences between Edmond and Elenna creates room for everyone to be as they are. The deep trust and respect they have for each other sets a tone that fast forwards everyone to the edges of their comfort zones, then makes it safe to take that one step beyond into something new. If you’re looking to expand your range, this experience is for you.”
“Picture Gandalf in the shire, hundreds of years younger but still full of joy, wisdom and life's experiences. Now think of Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus cartoon, with even more enthusiasm and love for creativity. That's what you get with Edmond and Elenna as your Co-Leaders of this program. This workshop, retreat, class will be the best adventure you have gone on in years. Buckle up, lean in and soak it all up.”
“Elenna and Edmond are a powerful mix of eccentric, magical, and deep human beings that can transform wackiness into deep insights and a-ha moments and curiosity into playful learning. They will allow you to learn by failing, transforming the concept of failure as something that is wrong or bad into something you need in order to grow and succeed. Both of them take personal growth very VERY seriously. And are not afraid of leaving the comfort zone, of exploring beyond limits. They will always encourage others to embrace their whole amazing selves.”
During this 3-day leadership experience, you'll go deep with 14 other creative leaders who are ready for take control of their own lives and work.
You'll walk away having experienced powerful and concrete tools that you can immediately use and apply in your professional and personal life. You'll take away:
Walk away with a close community of 14 other creative leaders who can continue to support and nourish your growth even after camp.
Empower yourself to feel more confidence and to take the lead, so that you're not self-filtering your ideas but instead letting them soar.
Leave with a bolder sense of trust in yourself and in others, knowing that even if co-creation and creative leadership got messy, that it will still lead to new and delightful possibilities.
Feel refreshed and alive, with a fuller awareness of where you might be limiting yourself and an imperative to include your full self into your work.
View the world with a sense of abundance, knowing that ideas and opportunities will flow — as long as you stay open to looking for them.
You're slowly but surely climbing the ladder at work. Sometimes you get recognized, but other times your work seems unappreciated and unrewarded, and you wonder what it's for.
Maybe you've signed up for an art class or read The Artist's Way or tried some other out-of-the-box experience, hoping that it would increase your creativity. But it's been difficult to directly see the impact of those experiences on more creative leadership — they don't teach creativity in the context of leadership.
You're reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching TED talks. And they do momentarily inspire you, but you're not sure how to turn theory into practice. You wish there were dots connected between what you learn and your own personal dreams, fears, and needs.
You've looked for mentors, but either they're busy, or you still wish that you had a bigger community of people who support you, share their learnings, and invest in your success.
You've been looking for a sign of something else to try.
“LIFE CHANGING LEADERS! Edmond & Elenna create a palpable magic that’s inspired so many of us to stretch into better versions of ourselves. Their extraordinary co-leading partnership manifests from their exuberant zest for life, brilliant smarts, and commitment to living with unadulterated authenticity. They will EXCEED YOUR EXPECTATIONS because of what they co-create beyond the unimaginable!”
“You’ve been on roller coasters before, but not like this. What’s unique about Elenna and Edmond's style is their creative genius. With Elenna’s theater background combined with Edmond’s technical prowess, you are guaranteed to have an experience that will amplify your growth unlike any other you’ve had before. You will find yourself challenged to use all your intellect and to tune your existing senses. Be prepared to be taken to new limits and explore uncharted territories.”
“The co-leadership experienced between Edmond and Elenna is best described as magic! A unique combination of style, experience, and talent, Edmond and Elenna do a beautiful job of ‘holding space’ for workshop participants, and do so in a creative, brilliant way. They have the natural leadership ability to dance with whatever shows up, while still pointing to (and keeping) an agenda that meets the desired impact intended. A powerful space to play for all audience members!”
Join our team and 14 other leaders to grow yourself and your creative leadership.
with Edmond Lau & Elenna Mosoff
For engineers, managers, product managers, and other people in tech.
The retreat takes place at Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma County, California. The ranch is a 50-min drive north of San Francisco and a 90-min drive from SFO airport.
October 2nd, 2018 at 10AM
October 4th, 2018 at 3PM
The cost is $2,997 per attendee.
Rate includes two nights, same-gender shared accommodation and all meals.
Even as an individual contributor, you're still working as part of a team, organization, or shared mission. And anytime you notice a gap of something that could be better, there is an opportunity to take initiative and to lead.
You learn leadership by leading, even when it's informal and without authority. In fact, most companies look for people who are already performing at the next level when it comes time for performance reviews and promotions. This leadership experience will give you the foundations to accelerate the growth of your leadership skills.
Do both! There are many great leadership books out there — we've read lots — and they are useful for wrapping your head around how something should work theoretically. But we're sure you also remember reading books, thinking “This sounds useful,” only to never use the material again.
We focus on creating experiential programs because decades of research in learning have shown that the learning sticks best when you experience it. This is especially true when you experience the learning in a supportive environment where everyone else is practicing and reinforcing the learnings as well. And given limited time, why not invest in the learning that actually sticks?
All of us when were kids, used to have wilder imaginations and creative ideas. What's true is that as grew up, society and culture might have shut that part of us down.
One of our core beliefs in people is that everyone is naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. We'll both challenge the notion of what it means to be “creative” and also show you the inner creative child that rests in you.
We've been running workshops for hundreds of engineering leaders across the industry, and we hear this a lot. The feeling of your situation being unique is real — and indeed people's situations are different. But you'd also be surprised how many pervasive themes there are throughout the industry.
This limiting belief that no one else shares your situation is also incredibly isolating. It makes it harder to ask for help if you don't feel like anyone understands what you're going through. Many people struggle with imposter syndrome, not feeling good enough, not knowing whether they're doing a good job, in some shape or form. We've crafted this experience to have multiple layers of learnings so that it is extremely applicable to any leader in tech.
Because this is a leadership development experience, you can leverage your education budget if you have one.
One of the most valuable skills we can develop is advocating for ourselves. The most important thing is to ask. Show them this page. They can say no, there's no budget, but then they know you're interested in leadership training, and that may open up other possibilities and opportunities. Start the conversation with what you're hoping to get out of it that would be good for your team or company: “I'm looking to develop skills to have a greater impact on the company,” or “I want to learn how to more effectively and creatively work with my peers across the company so that we can make decisions faster.”
One hard lesson we've learned is that if you keep doing the things you're doing, the best outcome is that you'll just get better at doing those same things. To truly accelerate your growth, you need to break out of your default pattern and invest in an immersive experience that shifts you into a different trajectory. We've designed our leadership experience to provide a step function in your growth.
Your company might already have some policy for employees to attend conferences. The Creative Leadership Camp is not a conference by any traditional sense of the word, but it is a gathering for you to experience transformational growth.
That's true! But your time is valuable. Why not attend the leadership experience that makes the best use of your time? We are trained leadership coaches and have experience running leadership events for people ranging from companies like Google, Quip, Dropbox, Salesforce, NASA, Autodesk, and more.
We'll have breaks and unstructured rest time. But out of respect for other participants, the rest of the programming for the days is a phone-free and laptop-free experience.
We'll be sad not to see you there, but you can give your ticket to another friend.
No, this is an immersive 3-day experience where you'll get an opportunity to connect with other participants.
This will certainly be the last time we run this event this year, and we can't make any promises about whether we'll run it again.
“In my 30 years in the health care field, I have been fortunate to experience the unique abilities of Elenna and Edmond, as they transform individuals and groups to realize their power from within, their ability to connect deeper with themselves and with others, and to ultimately drive value for organizations. Their skillsets lie not in simply teaching a curriculum but creating an environment and mindset that enables people to authentically lead with intention, and through awareness of both self and others. You need to experience these incredible leaders!”
“Edmond and Elenna's combined experience provides a balance of right-brain and left-brain that create an in-depth exploration of individuals' awareness and enhance a team's growth.”
with Edmond Lau & Elenna Mosoff
Tuesday, October 2nd to Thursday, October 4th, 2018 in Sonoma, CA
$2,997 (includes shared accommodations and meals)
Limited to 14 peopleJoin waitlist