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The GEL Approach

GEL stands for Group Experiential Learning. We create, plan, execute and facilitate high impact team building and leadership development experiential programs.

Executives turn to us for help developing team and leadership skills, improving communication, forging new teams or cultures, realizing synergies from mergers and acquisitions and bonding with key clients.

With GEL leadership development programs...

Anyone Can Play

Why sailing programs?

Sailing is perhaps the most egalitarian sport. Male and female sailors compete with and against each other, even at the level of the America’s Cup. People with any level of physical dexterity can sail. Controls are user friendly, easy on the body, and inclusive by design. Quadriplegic sailors compete regularly with able-bodied individuals across the country.

Is the sailing program not quite right for your team?

No problem. GEL offers action-packed Dry Land programs to address the leader development needs of your organization. Led by a retired Army Colonel, these programs utilize battle-tested strategies to get your team planning, preparing, executing, and learning.

No experience is necessary to complete a program with GEL. Non-sailors, non-athletes, non-soldiers and naysayers are among our most enthusiastic alumni. So… trust us… your team can do this together.


Immediate Feedback For Everyone

Our programs require constant real-time collaboration between every person involved .

Unfailingly, the boat’s performance immediately highlights issues involving decision making, consensus building, leadership and delegation. Participants see, hear and feel how an unspoken question or a garbled exchange can slow the boat down or stop it dead in the water.

Learning Made Simple

GEL’s debriefs are known for dynamic conversations, comprehending nods and wide smiles, as well as a few rueful grins. GEL facilitators do not spout platitudes, or use “consultant-speak." We help your team develop their own insights and take-aways, but work with you to focus the power of experiential training on your specific issues and objectives.

Team building events and experiential training can be an important part of broader initiatives to develop positive norms, behaviors, and leadership styles. Your experience should be geared to your specific needs. We recommend polling your group to identify potentially hidden issues. GEL provides advance assessments and consulting services to help maximize the effectiveness of your experiential training.

High Performance Team Members have:

  1. A high degree of trust in each other
  2. A strong sense of group identity
  3. A sense that they can do more as a team then they can alone.

Leaders may be born, but teams are forged.... GEL is a foundry.

"I didn't realize how challenging, inspiring and just plain fun our time on the water would be. This ranks as the best leadership training exercise we've done by far."


"The parallels between what goes on on land — i.e., our working environment — and what went on on the water were uncanny."

Ernst & Young

"Merging two large, geographically dispersed organizations offered some unique challenges. Jay and GEL were tremendous."

Partner, Booz Allen Hamilton

"Jay and his team put together one of the most effective and enjoyable days of team-building activity that it has ever been my pleasure to participate in (and I've been in far too many)."

IFC/World Bank

"Most of our leadership program participants have never sailed before. Trepidation? Sometimes. Positive feedback? Always."

The Symphony Group

Our distinctive experiences focus on these key issues:

  • Problem Solving
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Leadership Skills
  • Organizational Development
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Morale
  • Consensus Building
  • Ice Breaking
  • Timely Sharing of Information
  • Merging Groups or Companies

Our team building activities are an excellent complement to:

  • Management Training
  • Sales Training
  • Leadership Training
  • Corporate Training
  • Teams in Training
  • Corporate Team Building
  • Training and Development Programs