40 Leadership Lessons from The Freedom Trail – #26

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.


Leaders set direction – be unafraid to set your pathway

After many days of travelling from place to place, today we were headed to yet another beautiful spot – South Lake Tahoe. We were staying here seven nights and had planned a series of excursions to various other points of interest, using our resort as a base camp.

P1050007Our journey from Chester to South Lake Tahoe was another enchanting scenic drive P1050027
through forests and craggy outcrops.

We had decided to take a different route to the one suggested in the California Road Book and some majestic sights rewarded us. Although born by the seaside, I much prefer the mountains and forests, having been an avid mountaineer in my youth.

Our journey also included a short stop for lunch and a visit to the Eco Centric shop in Graeagle. The town was originally named Davies Mill but was renamed following a competition to find a better name. Graeagle is a charming contraction of Gray Eagle Creek, a local water source. The town only has a few hundred inhabitants, but it was by no means the smallest settlement we passed through on our drive.

We played ‘spot the lowest population’ in the villages and towns we passed through – Canyon Dam was the clear winner with 31!

While town and village sizes varied considerably throughout our journey, the scale of everything else – the mountains, forests and rivers – were spectacular.


Even the local pine cones get in on the act! This part of the California is an amazing contrast to the West Coast, especially around the Redwoods in the north of the state.

We were so thrilled that we had taken an alternate route than the one suggested in the California Road Book, as we had found a charming and captivating tableau unfold before us.

Musing on our time there today, some three years plus on, I would say the current TV adverts about California have it right. It is a massive state, with so many different and exciting things to see and do.

Eventually, we arrived at last – to find our lovely apartment right on the edge of the lake – literately.

The ‘private beach’ was a short walk from our gaff, just one minute, with a marina right next door. The view, as you can partly see, was spectacular. The weather was warm and sunny, and we felt that we were so lucky to spend the next seven days in and around such an idyllic spot.

At the end of the day, we reflected on our travels from Chester and the sights we had seen throughout the day. Our view was that it had been an excellent choice to drive off the beaten track as so many incredible sights along the way brought us much joy.

[Tweet “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. – Lao Tzu”]

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 set direction and will often be rewarded by choosing an alternate path. Be unafraid to set your pathway!

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