Leadership Lessons from Barcelona, Spain

Tour Guide or Travel Agent, Part IV

Barcelona was our second port of call in Spain, one we were excited about. To maximize our sleep time, we had another expedited breakfast and we were off to join our tour group! At our bus we met Myriah, our tour guide.

Barcelona - Myriah

Barcelona is a beautiful port city. Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona has continued to be a city of importance. As a major economic and culture center of Europe, it is a blend of the old and new. Barcelona secured it place as a major tourist destination as home of 1992 Summer Olympics.

This is my fourth post on leadership lessons learned from tour guides during our summer vacation cruise of the Western Mediterranean region.

It was an early start for our day in Barcelona. Our tour began at 7:30 am. The city was still asleep and streets were empty. As we wandered the narrow streets of the old city, Myriah walked us through the rich and colorful history of Barcelona. She effortlessly shared the city’s evolution from a Roman city to a modern power house. We strolled past the Roman and Medieval walls to the Barcelona Cathedral in the center of town.

Barcelona is the home of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Architect Antoni Gaudi’s work is publicly displayed throughout the city. His Palau Güell (mansions) are excellent examples of the Art Nouveau movement, which captivated Europe between 1885 and 1950.

The Sagrade Familia, Basillica and Expiatory Church of the Holly Family is Gaudi’s most famous architectural work and Barcelona’s most popular tourist site. Although construction began in 1882, the Sagrada Familia is not projected to be finished until 2026. As we marveled at the exquisite beauty of the church, Myriah shared Gaudi’s vision for the Sagrada Familia with passion and confidence.

By now the streets were crowed and the temperature had warmed up significantly. As we strolled through the streets towards our bus, Myriah answered my many questions concerning the education system, unemployment rate, the movement to succeed from Spain, and the political implications. She was warm, articulate, well-educated, and committed.

Myriah made a decision to be a tour guide although she could have easily climbed the corporate ladder, having two college degrees. She committed herself to becoming a professional storyteller. Commitment is required to fulfill your purpose. In his book, Today Matters, Maxwell (2004) identifies four truths concerning commitment:

  • it can change your life
  • it will help you overcome life’s obstacles
  • it will be tested every day
  • there is always a cost

As a leader, every day we must strive to keep our commitments. Myriah enjoyed being a tour guide, in spite of the heat, walking, and inquisitive tourist. Her commitment to creating a memorable experience was obvious.

People forget how fast you did a job-but they remember how well you did it”
– Howard W. Newton

My husband and I returned to our cruise ship agreeing our visit to Barcelona was enjoyable and memorable.

I’m committed to helping aspiring, emerging and senior leaders expand their influence, lead with confidence and achieve successful outcomes.

As a leader, what are you committed to? Tell me about it…

Your friend,

Dr. Kim Moore

Kim d. moore

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