5 Steps to Embrace The Unexpected in Business and Leadership

My son, Riley, and I recently hiked the last 72 miles of the Camino de Santiago. This week’s blog is part of a series titled: Leadership Lessons from the Camino de Santiago

Riley and I began our hike on day 1 filled with excitement and energy to spend the next 6 days hiking to Santiago de Compostela.  The first three days of the hike were front-loaded in terms of the miles we hiked.  In fact, we hiked close to 40 miles in our first three days!

At the end of day 3, we arrived to a small town named Melide.  We had a wonderful lunch of the town’s famous delicacy, pulpo a la gallega (Galician octopus) and then ventured back to the hotel to rest up and prepare for the next day.  Towards the end of the day, I began to feel very sick, weak, lightheaded and flat out drained of all energy.

As the day turned to evening, I began to feel worse and worse.  I went to bed early thinking I would sleep off whatever had been bothering me, but I awoke the next day feeling even worse than I had the evening before.  There was no way I would be able to hike the leg, although a short one, on day four.

Riley and I made the decision to take a taxi to the next town so I could continue to rest.  I spent hours in the next town resting, but after not feeling any better for most of the day, I was taken to the hospital to get checked out.  It turns out I had contracted some kind of virus, which was made worse by my physical exhaustion from the hike.  From the end of day three all the way through day four, I was out of commission.

This brings me to one of the biggest lessons Riley and I learned on our hike on the Camino de Santiago as it relates to life, business, and leadership:

Your planned trajectory does not always end up being your executed trajectory. Plans can and will change.  Roll with the punches. 

When we venture into our business as entrepreneurs and leaders, we many times have plans of exactly how things are going to go.  Having a plan and executing that plan is a large part of being successful in business.  However, when things don’t go as planned, we must roll with the punches, adapt, and make new plans.  Many times there are things that occur out of our control, and when this happens, here are a few simple steps to get back on track.

  • Recognize and admit things did not go as planned.
  • Get clarity and decide on what you can control and what you cannot control.
  • Discover and seek alternative options to get back on track.
  • Decide and move forward.
  • Don’t question the decision.  Great leaders decide and do not play the ‘would have, ‘could have’, ‘should have game.

Remember the only two things you can control when things don’t go as planned are your attitude and your actions.

Challenging and encouraging you to keep up your leadership journey in business!

3 things:

I love you.

I believe in you.

You’ve got this.

Now, go get it!