Leadership Vision Quest: Interview with Dane Hewlett
MB: What brought you to the Leadership Vision Quest?
DH: Five years ago I felt a calling to go deep. I went out to the wilderness on my own for a two day quest. At the end of the two days I got a clear message it was time for me to come out into the world and give my gifts in a deeper way. That began the process of using my gifts and what matters most to me to be more involved. Two years after this I went out again with the intent of getting clearer about how I was going give my gifts. That quest, done as part of a course, turned out to be about getting rid of my own stuff, my story lines, so I could become more effective at what I do. To be effective I need to have an open heart and a sense of humility. Recently, I felt the need to go out again. The Leadership Vision Quest felt right. Every time I go out it gives me the chance to reconnect with what’s in all of us. The wilderness is a great partner, a great teacher to doing this.
MB: What was the difference between doing this alone and as part of a group?
DH: I need both. The first quest, done alone, was about the solo. The second quest was more about the group and not enough solo. This last quest was a good balance between group and solo. To have the solo experience then bring it back into the community of questers and guides, made it that much more powerful.
MB: What was the essence of your experience with the Leadership Quest?
DH: The core of it–the glimpses of simplicity. I’ve experienced this simplicity before but on this quest it came in at a deeper level. For me, when I experience that simplicity there is a joy that comes with it. Not that you maintain that state forever but it’s always down there, accessible. It helped the spark in me go deeper so the flame goes a higher now. I need the lightness, the sense of joy to work from my deepest gifts.
MB: How did the Leadership Quest relate to the work you do in the world and the gifts you bring?
DH: You had mentioned that your gifts often come from your deepest wound, giving back what you didn’t get, what you most needed. My father died when I was 3 years old so the sense of masculine energy has always been at the core of who I was, where my passions lie and the source of my deepest gifts. Most people that I coach in the business world are men. The quest gave me more clarity on helping men go deeper and live more authentic lives. In doing so I help myself, it’s a gift to me. The opportunity to use the wilderness and transformational experiences like the Vision Quest in the business world and leadership teams can be extremely powerful.
MB: The Vision Quest is a 3 stage process; severance, threshold and incorporation or the return. How did those stages go for you? Was there one that was harder for you?
DH: The first stage, severance, was the hardest. I still had a lot of crap in the way, expectations, assumptions. I was in a heavier place. I also expected it. It’s what I needed. Being sensitive to that helped me to get to where I needed to be.
MB: How do you feel the program and the guides helped with getting you ready in that first stage?
DH: You and Dana (Carman) are very skilled, respectful of the process and did well at not getting in the way. You set things in motion and loaded the container. What I appreciated is that your styles were different for everyone. You were able to meet people where they were. In my case I was challenged, I needed to feel the punch, and I respected that.
MB: What part of the experience had the most impact?
DH: Incorporation, the return was the most powerful for me. I got a lot of feedback from my fellow questers. It was a confirmation of what I was experiencing. The other beautiful part that took place at the last stage was the guides stepping back and the group taking over. It became communal. Everyone is mirroring for one another, the circle grew big, we were all in this together now. The opportunity to see the other questers, the gifts they received and to hear their stories was beautiful.
MB: Since you’ve been back how are you living what you received on the quest?
DH: The feeling of lightness remains as well as the clear intent to be and stay engaged in community. It’s part of my journey now even though my inclination, as an introvert, is to pull back. I no longer see myself as an observer but as a doer. Putting myself out there on the right path with the right intent, things happen. I am making a point of, whatever unfolds, staying fully engaged in life.
MB: How has the quest changed, challenged or complimented your values and beliefs in regards to your own qualities of leadership?
DH: What I have noticed and my clients have noticed is when I’m coaching is that I am more present, the more present I am things unfold in a more natural and useful way. My coaching sessions are more effective and powerful. I don’t know that I am saying or doing things any differently. I’m just more present. What leads from that is more appropriate. Leadership is not so much about what you do but where you’re coming from. The quest and the wilderness helped me come from a deeper place. When you don’t eat, you’re on the earth, on the dust, for three days it makes it real.