Early in 2013, LeaderImpact sent a Global Exchange team of 33 business owners and corporate leaders from a variety of industries across North America to Medellín, Colombia. Our hosts eagerly opened their doors to our team for business forums, roundtable discussions, and one-on-ones over cups of renowned Colombian coffee.
For eight days, team members experienced the uncommon opportunity to leverage their influence and expertise in the Medellín marketplace, while also benefiting professionally and personally themselves. Leaders from across the city filled venues for more than 70 events to hear our North American leaders share stories of struggles and successes from their lives and businesses.
The week saw 2,500 Medellín leaders attend these events, culminating in the formation of 25 LeaderImpact Groups in Medellín. These local influencers now gather in peer groups to further learn and discuss how to grow as leaders.
Here’s what team members from Global Exchange trips have to say about their life-changing experiences:
“It was amazing to engage with other entrepreneurs, other couples, and share our stories and experiences with them, especially from a faith perspective. From the training we received, the connections that were already in place for us, the support that was given to us from our LeaderImpact staff and the Colombian people, combined with the chance to share our story with so many people—it’s hard to imagine that you can feel so close to people you have just met.”
Theo & Jeanette Pelleboer, Perimeter Fence & Deck, Alliston, ON – 2013 Global Exchange to Medellín, Colombia
“This trip changed my life. The people in Medellín are incredible with their thirst for knowledge, drive for excellence, integration of faith into their work lives, and transparency in sharing their challenges and successes. The training LeaderImpact provided was top-notch, giving me many tools for Colombia and back home. [My teammates] from all different fields of expertise across North America were inspiring—they taught me more than I ever imagined I would learn on a one-week trip.”
Carrie Vanderwal, Operations Coordinator, Phantom Screens, Abbotsford, BC – 2013 Global Exchange to Medellín, Colombia
“The Global Exchange allowed me to challenge myself and my faith in a new and inspiring way. What do I truly believe? How do I express this belief to other international leaders in a meaningful way that may impact the way they react in their sphere of influence? The team I joined inspired me to share my personal beliefs more effectively in my own community as well as internationally. Thank you, LeaderImpact, for the life-changing experiences.”
Darryl Mitchell, RE/MAX Legacy, Mississauga, ON – 2010 Global Exchange to Querétaro, Mexico
“We decided [after a comfortable vacation to Jamaica] that our next vacation would be one with a purpose. We joined a LeaderImpact Global Exchange to one of the darkest places in Mexico, overrun with rebel groups, guns, and violence. The local LeaderImpact Group wanted to focus on city leaders, so a Leadership Forum was organized and Jerry was asked to be one of the speakers. This experience taught us a lot and gave us a desire to be more bold about impacting leaders back home in our own city.”
Jerry & Anne Gedir, Continuity Resources, Saskatoon, SK – 2000 Global Exchange to Juchitán, Mexico
“I will never forget when Joy Ann and I were invited to the home of a Medellín businessman for dinner. We met our host for the first time when he picked us up at our hotel. At his home, we met his wife, guests, and brother, our translator for the evening. We had an incredible conversation about important life issues with six people we had never met before. We came home with a greater appreciation of how important it is to be intentional in investing our lives and time in matters of significance.”
Don & Joy Ann Van Meer, Carswell (a Thomson Reuters business), Toronto, ON – 2012 Global Exchange to Medellín, Colombia