"How do you create the magic that is sometimes called collective effervescence in a group? How do you do that so that people come away from it feeling like: Wow, MEA just created an event that made me feel like I love life more?" - Chip Conley
If you’ve been fortunate to visit MEA in Baja, you likely experienced the magic that envelops each cohort. It starts slowly the first few days – like the first wisps from Cinderella’s fairy godmother’s wand – but as the week progresses, the magic gets stronger until 20-30 strangers are woven together into a bonded, exhilarated cohort who know one another in a deep & personal way.
I discovered much-needed clarity in Baja. With encouragement from my cohort after I returned home, I found myself co-hosting a podcast dedicated to empowering personal success. So, it was a full-circle moment when I interviewed Chip – as always, he graciously shared a wealth of encouragement and wisdom.
One of the things I was curious about was how they create that magic at MEA? Is it the idyllic setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean? Is it Gio’s fabulous margaritas? Or the 3rd Vault conversations? After all, Chip has been described as a Social Alchemist, a mixologist of people: he knows how to bring the right collection of people together, then help mix them in a way that is transformative for everybody involved. I wanted to know . . . is it intentional? And if so, could I learn to bring that magic to my gatherings?
Chip generously shared how he does it, and he recommended Priya Parker’s The Art of Gathering, which I’m now reading. It’s a radically new way of looking at how one brings people together, and it’s opened my eyes to many new possibilities.
Personally, I find any time spent with Chip results in a-ha moments! If you’d like to hear more great insights from Chip, I hope you’ll watch my interview with him here, or listen via your favorite podcast platform here. In our discussion, Chip talks about the importance of curiosity and a growth mindset; he offers specific advice for taking risks and his tips for tackling self-doubt. Chip also describes “process knowledge,” and how companies have a great opportunity to tap into this valuable resource.
Lan Elliott is an alum of MEA’s online course and its Baja campus – and aspires to return to MEA soon. After 30 years in hospitality real estate, she found herself in the “messy middle” – wanting more but not knowing what she was looking for. Thanks to MEA, she is now focused on advancing women in hospitality leadership, currently as a Principal and Co-Host of DEI Advisors, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering personal success.