Authentic Leadership

Custom Retreats


Experiential leadership trips

I design and facilitate customized trips for executives, entrepreneurs, teams and men seeking challenging, adventurous and out of the ordinary experiences that help them outgrow limiting behaviours, beliefs and worldviews and discover new ways of being and seeing the world.

Example retreats include: homelessness expedition, wilderness expedition, charitable acts of service.

Fees: To be determined based on your focus, the duration, number of participants, logistics and location.

If you are interested in an experiential leadership trip please submit your interest below.


“From time to time leaders need to be stripped of every adornment and just be in the world and function without any props, without identity, without qualification, without external resources, stripped to raw essence so that we can learn to tap into our raw power again and again, so that we can feel, and relate human to human, essence to essence, with or without title, qualification or identifier. In the fall of 2014, William Walker invited me to go homeless on the streets of Montreal for a weekend. I was advised to eat well before setting out because it could be my last meal for a few days. William asked that I leave my IDs, wallet, phone and money behind. It reminded me of when Jesus sent his followers out on a mission and asked them to leave their money and bags. Now that is true leadership development, where for a limited time, within certain parameters and with some guidance, you are stripped of who you think you are and what you think you have and are left with your truth. You are likely to learn new things about yourself and the world because you have put yourself in a context where the areas you need growth become as clear as day. Here is what I learned:

Curiosity. I am naturally drawn to things I have never done because I came to the realization a while ago that if I only did the things I had done before, I would never grow and would never learn.

Integrity. I invite leaders, executives and teams into an experience called Cleaning as Practice, which is a very outside the box experience that stretches people beyond their comfort zones. I thought integrity requires that I experience again and again, what I invite others into.

Togetherness. I agreed to homelessness because I would not be alone. We were two. When difficult experiences are shared, the negative effect is minimized.

Radicality. I needed my thinking and paradigm challenged and shattered if necessary, by truth. I figured that by putting myself in an entirely new situation with an unfamiliar set of variables, I will have to create new thought patterns just to deal with them. I knew that the easiest way to think outside the box was to come out of it. It is very simple: when you step outside the box, you will think outside the box. Leadership and organizational development programs that keep most variables constant are not truly transformational.

Immersive learning. True learning involves the heart, mind, and body. Most learning involves playing with other people's ideas in our heads but true learning involves experiencing and feeling with our bodies and sensing and seeing with our hearts, enabling us to come up with original thought. I wanted to learn not only about homelessness, I wanted to learn about myself, my work and of course witness the city in a way I had never done. Real learning is experiential.

Juxtaposition. I love contrasts. A software developer becomes a better software developer when he or she is periodically exposed to experiences outside the world of coding. Juxtaposition enlarges our frame of reference. You are a better CEO the more you juxtapose your CEOness with a role that stands in sharp contrast to it like being a janitor, and vice versa. I went homeless because I wanted to better understand and appreciate homefulness. To learn about anything, it helps to experience its contrast.

Stripping.  Floor stripping, perhaps the messiest and most difficult and time consuming cleaning task is also one of the most rewarding. This is the process of metamorphosis. The old self dies and a new self comes alive. This was my interpretation of the probability of not coming back alive. And really, we are not ready to live until we are ready to die are we? My primary reason for honoring the invitation to homelessness, which in a sense encapsulates all others, is that I wanted to be stripped of wax but also of dirt. I wanted to experience, albeit for a short period of time, what it was like to be, to navigate and to act without identity, qualification or resource, only my essence.

--Tolulope Ilesanmi, Founder, Zenith Cleaning Inc. and Cleaning as Practice

EXECUTIVE COACHING // men’s coaching // Workshops // leadership trips