40 Leadership Lessons from the Freedom Trail – #23

My apologies to readers who have followed this incredible journey for the nearly two months gap in posting on this thread. Some new amazing adventures and an eye operation have intervened. However, today I resume my story.

On the 31st August 2013, Lesley, my wife and soulmate, 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. With apologies for the absence last week, here’s another one.

john-scott-barry-smilingA leader’s curiosity knows no boundaries

Today was a day of ‘firsts’! Seeing wild elk at Prairie Creek Meadow, taking the Sky Ride to some fabulous vistas, and then seeing ‘Big Country’ Oregon for the very first time, as we crossed over from California were amazing.

However, today was also a day to meet up with two great online buddies, Barry Smith and D Scott Smith from our Lead With Giants community, face-to-face for the very first time! We often talked by Google Hangout, both about Lead With Giants stuff and a joint book project. However, we had never met face-to-face, in person.

So, when they heard I was planning to travel to Northern California, they suggested we meet up. I must confess my US geography was a little shaky, but when I realised it was just across the northern Californian state line, it was a no-brainer!

That was the reason for heading to Oregon, as we were meeting up in Roseburg. Barry and Scott were carpooling to meet up mid-morning.

A Meeting of Giants

barry-john-scott-sitting-smilingI was so excited, as we had been chatting online since December 2012, and I had become firm friends with both Barry and Scott.  You can tell by the smiles what a wonderful occasion it was!

Meeting up with LaRae Quy in San Francisco had been my first Giants/co-author meet up, which was fantastic! We had such a great day and now here was my second opportunity to meet people in person.

Well, what great people – so lovely to meet them. We stayed chatting in the hotel for a while.  It was like meeting old friends.

My wife commented on the photo below that she hoped I was talking about fish! To be honest, we covered so much ground it was incredible.

barry-john-scott-sitting-talkingEventually, we went to lunch and chatted and swapped stories for a happy few hours until it was sadly time for us to head back down south for the next leg of our journey.

My wife and I had counted on staying in Roseburg for maybe a couple of hours. Mount Shasta we knew was a fair drive away. However, time rolled on; we were having a great time and learning so much about each other, and the next thing we knew it was 4 pm!

So, we sadly took our leave, though significantly bolstered by a deeper friendship and the joy of knowing that the characters we knew from virtual reality, were even better in person, just like LaRae!

Our onward drive to Mount Shasta took longer than planned, as a consequence, and we arrived at Mount Shasta in complete darkness. But, that’s a whole other story for next time.

As always, I welcome your comments and dialogue. I also wish you an entertaining and enlightening experience of this series of posts. Thank you for reading.

Leaders’ curiosity knows no boundaries, and they are ever alert to opportunities.

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