It's called "immersion leadership training," and it's for anyone who wants to tap their leadership potential (which we all have, says Barber). As a partner in Leading Concepts Inc., Barber leads groups of paying customers -- that's $2,500 a pop -- on four-day, coed courses in a remote area of Louisville, Ky.
If you're going, you won't need your BlackBerry. "They have no connection to the outside world," he says. "The purpose is to change behavior, and we do that through a dramatic experience." Information gathering, problem solving and, yes, paintball exercises are all on the agenda. Who's the enemy? "That would be 'MODD,'" says Barber, referring to anyone at the office "who makes our day difficult."
Barber says neither his daylong seminars nor longer getaways are designed to test muscle strength. "It's not about doing pushups," says Barber, also the author of No Excuse Leadership: Lessons From the U.S. Army's Elite Rangers. "It's about leadership. It's a blast."
Ellen O'Brien, a former senior editor at CIO Decisions, is now a senior editor at Storage magazine. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was first published in July 2006