Passionate Leadership – A Visionquest to the West for Tomorrow’s Leaders.

A character-building personal and career development programme for tomorrow’s leaders

Context for this Programme

The need for excellent people and leadership skills has never been greater as organisations the world over strive to help their people adapt and innovate to new world.  With graduate unemployment across Europe creating fierce competition for jobs and employers demanding that graduates be workplace-ready, it’s more important than ever that our young people – tomorrow’s leaders – are equipped with the right skills to succeed before they enter the job market.   Too often, they are left to sink or swim, and many fail to reach potential.  The earlier these skills are taught, the more innate they become and the greater the contribution each young person makes to their job and community.

Employers are also looking for ambition, entrepreneurial attitude, self discipline and great interpersonal skills.  The kinds of skills todays leaders learnt in their 30s and 40s, today’s students need to learn in their teens and 20s – those that have these skills will be picked over and above others, because of their innate adaptability and resilience to take on whatever comes their way.

Helping a young person to learn these skills is like a rite of passage.  In indigenous cultures, young adults are sent off to the wilderness to survive alone and receive their vision from their Gods, whilst overcoming tough challenges and fears.   Proving that learning through challenge is one of the best ways to create lasting imprints that inspire for life.

Idea in Brief

Xenergie and Killary Adventure Centre have developed this rite of passage into a groundbreaking course for ambitious and passionate young people aged  between 16 – 18 or 19-22 to equip themselves with the basic skills of leadership and teamwork that will set them up for both university life and career.

Over 2 weeks with a group of around 20 young people, they will be put through their paces and will learn critical skills for success through a combination of experiential coaching workshops and practical exercises in the great outdoors amidst stunning surroundings in the West of Ireland.  Participants will be taught in English, providing opportunity to practice speaking in English and improving their vocabulary in the language of leadership and teamwork.

For centuries, people have travelled West to discover their fortune and to discover the meaning of life.   Irish spirit and passion is renowned the world over as the Irish have travelled and settled far and wide and are known everywhere for their love of life and ability to connect and converse with almost anyone, in any situation.     Ireland, traditionally the land of Celtic saints and scholars and modern day world-renowned literary heroes from Grainnaille to WB Yeats, is the ideal location to awaken the spirit of young leaders and inspire them to bring soul and passion Irish-style to their future careers as leaders.

Participants will be interviewed for places according to enthusiasm, ambition, potential, diversity and their will to make a difference to themselves and others.   Two bursary places will be awarded to young people who show amazing courage and potential who would otherwise not have the funds to attend such a course.  The group as a whole will be tasked during their stay with coaching and training a group of underprivileged children and making a difference by teaching the children something of what they themselves have learnt.

Together the participants will take the trip of a lifetime to some of the most beautiful places in the West of Ireland, and coached by top management executive coaches and adventure sports coaches who are dedicating their time to this programme for these two weeks.

What they will learn

The course curriculum will combine quality leadership coaching with spirit of adventure.   Leading projects, leading your future and leading change is like taking a journey … navigating a boat on a voyage to a destination unknown.

On this course, the young people will do just that.

  • During the first week, they will learn the practical skills of Kayaking, Rock climbing, Hill walking along with navigational and survival skills in preparation for their Wilderness Journey, whilst being assessed and developed by professional executive coaches in self awareness, teamwork and communication skills.
  • During the second week the entire crew set off on a voyage to explore their future applying all they have learnt and together create a film of their voyage.  This journey will take them through the wilderness of the Mayo & Galway coast and involve camping in remote places, cycling, climbing the sacred mountain of Croagh Patrick and other local hills, kayaking along the Wild Atlantic Coast & surviving for a day using the skills they have learnt to build their shelter & catch their own food.
  • On the penultimate night an awards ceremony  and beach barbecue will be held with special guest appearance from an Irish celebrity
  • Each participant will be appointed a personal coach who will support the individual through the programme and help with their development
  • At the end of the programme, each participant will have a comprehensive career review and be presented with a written report and reference on their progress  and a personal development plan, prepared by their coaches.
  • Certificates are awarded to all participants
  • An afternoon will be spent visiting the beautiful sites in Connemara
  • There is also the option to extend your stay and include a Cultural visit to Galway and Dublin or the surrounding islands off the West coast.

Emotional Intelligence and Mental Agility

  • Self awareness
  • Values
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Handling conflict and crisis
  • Mindfulness and mindset management
  • Achieving goals and future building
  • Tuning into your vision
  • Developing and prototyping ideas
  • Developing presence, resilience and confidence
  • Time management
  • Leading learning
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Influencing and getting  buy-in
  • Presentation skills
  • Planning and Project Management
  • Facilitating groups
  • Handling ambiguity and discernment skills
  • Decision making
  • Accountability and responsibility
  • Managing change and uncertainty

Practical Skills and Physical Resilience Navigation

  • Safety
  • Survival skills
  • Kayaking
  • Rock climbing
  • Abseiling
  • Mountain walking
  • Cycling
  • Gorge walking (team work)
Typical Day
Choose Yoga or mindfulness session
Teamwork and leadership group session
Afternoon adventure activity
Free time
Group reflection on the day
Personal coaching
Free time

Accommodation and Board Details

K2 is located right in the heart of Connemara on the Wild Atlantic Way, nestled between the mountains and the sea.  The K2 building is an environmentally sensitive structure (all power provided by biomass boiler and on-site wind turbine) which can sleep up to 98 people in a range of  twin/double, 4 and 6 bedded dorm-style rooms.

It boasts full catering facilities with a range of dining options available and menus to suit every type of group and a dining room overlooking Killary Fjord.  It has underfloor heating throughout along with a large drying room for outdoor gear, free Wifi and a relaxation room with an open turf fire and stunning views.

About Killary Adventure Co.

Killary Adventure Co. has been offering adventure experiences in the west of Ireland for over 30 years. Our aim is to make outdoor adventure accessible to all and to encourage everyone to push the boundaries of their experience.  Run by Jamie and Mary Young and their family, they have run training & survival courses for the past 35 years for individuals & corporate groups as well as for TV & Radio programmes.  Adventure is a way of life for them all, both living on the periphery of Europe and building a business but also going off and seeking Adventure travel all over the world.

Jamie Young has personally undertaken many International Expeditions such as Kayaking around Cape Horn, re-enacting Shakleton’s famous boat voyage in the Antartic regions, travelling to Greenland with a crew of Kayakers and climbers to explore the West coast and he plans to return there in 2015 for a crossing of the polar ice cap using Kite buggies.
Corporate programmes,  Training courses, Adventure races, local and international Expeditions are all part of the Killary product along with Adult Adventure breaks, School tours and Family holidays.  There are over 20 land and sea based adventure activities on-site at their base in K2.

About Xenergie International

Xenergie International offers a pioneering approach to leadership and team development, which uses the energy and effort of people to deliver innovation and more effective business performance, by reaching deep into themselves to find new courage and resources to lead change.  Headquartered  in Ireland, we coach international teams of some of the world’s top companies, through our team of executive coaches in Ireland, UK, Netherlands, France, Ukraine and Russia, who are passionate about adventure and helping organisations to create cultures where people work purposefully together to make a better a better world.  We are also the official distributor for BELBIN Team Roles in Ireland, the world leading system for analysing teamwork and help people understand their team contributions, used by the United Nations, World Bank, Shell and many other top organisations globally.

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Registered Office at Brogan's House, Main Street, Kinvara, Co Galway. International offices in Oxford, UK & Moscow, Russia. Limited company number IE336702
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