Leadership Lessons from the Camino de Santiago

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Leadership Lessons from the Camino de Santiago

I just returned from Spain from a three-week adventure with my son, Riley. It was an adventure filled with fun, sun, cuisine, culture, and some much-needed father-son time. One of the highlights of our three weeks in Spain was a 6-day, 72-mile hike on the Camino de Santiago. We hiked the last 115 km (72 miles), beginning our journey in the town of Sarria and ending in Santiago de Compostela.

This adventure has been on our father-son bucket list for several years. I hiked this same leg of the Camino in 2019, and the minute I finished, Riley and I decided we would complete the same journey together one day. We now have so many memories that we experienced as father and son during these six days together that we will both cherish forever.

There are so many of the moments from this experience and journey that I will be sharing over the coming weeks as I begin a new blog series. This week’s blog is to recap some of the life and leadership lessons we learned as we took close to 150,000 steps together through some of Spain’s most beautiful terrain.

I hope these lessons inspire and encourage you to pursue excellence in your life and leadership journey. As you ponder these lessons regarding your journey, I hope they speak to you wherever you are in your life, your leadership, and your business.

  • Leadership is a lifelong journey, an exciting journey, a challenging journey, a scary journey. I encourage you to embrace all of the journey.
  • Any and every journey begins with the first step. Do not worry about how many steps the entire journey has, just take the first one, then the next one, then the next one.
  • Don’t compare your journey to anybody elses.
  • As challenges present themselves along the way, remember why you are taking the journey, the importance of it, and what completing it will mean to you and others.
  • Stories matter. Your story matters. Share it with others.  Other people’s stories matter; when they share their story, take time to listen.
  • Your planned trajectory does not always end up being your executed trajectory. Plans can and will change.  Roll with the punches.
  • Your desired, “final” destination may just be the beginning.
  • Sharing of what you have can bring massive joy and happiness to others .
  • Having somebody to lead, guide and encourage you along the way is always a plus.
  • Try new things and new ways to do old things. You never know what you may discover.

When Riley and I arrived in Santiago, it was a moment filled with many emotions.  We were tired, and invigorated at the same time.  One of my happiest memories in life will always be when he and I stepped into the plaza, placed our backpacks, hiking sticks and jackets down, and embraced as we celebrated the journey we just completed.  It was then we realized, the journey had just begun.

Keep an eye on the coming week’s blog where I will be diving more in depth into each of the lessons I presented above.  Also, feel free to check out some of the photos from our adventure on my Instagram page.

www.Instagram.com/matthewshoup

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