40 Leadership Lessons from the Freedom Trail – #17

On the 31st August 2013, Lesley, my wife, and soul-mate retired after 35 years teaching in secondary schools. Two days later, as planned, we set off for a magical celebratory holiday, taking in New York, California and Oregon. Our trip became known as the ‘Freedom Trail’.

While on the Freedom Trail, I journaled every day and ended each entry with a leadership moment/lesson. Here’s another!

Bodega BayLeaders are prepared to go the extra mile

After our trip the previous day to Muir Woods, we stayed overnight in Santa Rosa.

Muir Woods were beautiful, serene and awe-inspiring. We had an early glimpse of the redwoods, which we knew were dwarfed by those further up the Pacific coast. Our stroll through the woods was redolent of ancient times, great pioneering adventures, and the supremacy of Mother Nature.

Waking refreshed and ready for new adventures; we decided to drive out to Bodega Bay and see what lay there. We’d read about it, and it seemed like a good call.

When we arrived, we found it unassuming and quiet. In fact, nothing to stir the blood or quicken the pulse in the way the redwoods had. In fact, we drove to the furthest point we could, and all we encountered were tens of RVs, hitched up to their individual umbilical cords, like so many peas in a pod. They stretched out for miles and miles.

The strange thing was we saw very few people. Maybe they were sleeping or out sailing or fishing. Whatever they were doing, we saw very few people. Just rows of RVs like abandoned tourist tombstones, standing in mute testimony to the lure of the beach and the sea. ‘What was that draw?’ We wondered. We still don’t know to this day!

Not being a great beach lover I didn’t get it. I’m a sun bunny, but I prefer to walk the paddy fields of Bali or the jungles of Thailand. Beaches mean grit where you don’t want it. It’s Ok for a ride along a beach front or maybe crabbing in rock pools, which I did a lot when I was a child, but not for a longer time. I don’t swim, because I hate to get my hair wet, or surf, or fish or any other stuff related to beaches and water. The swim bit was a joke, by the way.

So, my reflection today taught me what? Simply, we are all different.

I reaffirmed that some leaders will go the extra mile and still learn from the journey, even if it appears unsuccessful.

I can say that I’ve been to Bodega Bay, though I will never return to it. But it did help to reaffirm my belief that we are all different and, in that, we should celebrate the diversity of humanity, and its leaders. We are each moved by differing wants, needs, and interests. That’s what makes humanity so rich, so diverse, and so exciting.

Bodega Bay may not have been my thing. But it still helped to teach me something!

Leaders go the extra mile and still learn something even if the journey appeared unsuccessful.

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