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Small Business Digest


Developing Leadership Skills and Clarity at Machu Picchu

In this era of hyper-connectivity, it is increasingly difficult for people to look outside of themselves for new approaches to learning.

While truly great leaders are able to integrate lessons from work and life, today people find themselves with no time to disconnect, no time to focus inward and forward, no time to explore who they are and what they can do as leaders.

Elizabeth Becker, Principal of Becker & Company, and a leadership development coach created a way to alleviate this difficulty. 

She will be leading a group of professional women who will be traveling to the sacred site of Machu Picchu in Peru in October via a 30-mile Inca path called the Salcantay Route, a lesser-known route to the ancient site that climbs to 15,000 feet. 

Becker says, “I have always been excited about adventure’s ability to activate leadership potential – to really awaken a person’s power and get that spark moving in their lives and especially, their work. If happened for me when I left my executive position with Lucent Technologies 5 years ago and trekked the south island of New Zealand."

"While there, I realized I wanted to find a way to harness my experience in hospitality, marketing and organizational leadership with adventure travel to help high-performing individuals “Get Out There” and exceed their goals. This “leadership adventure” offers something unique to business leaders who really want to succeed and have a fantastic travel experience,”she says.

The goal is for the leaders to develop their personal and professional leadership skills while testing themselves physically, intellectually and spiritually—and then bringing the lessons back to their daily lives.

It is also a journey of connecting with other business leaders—not just fellow trip-goers, but also in meetings with different Peruvian businesspeople (including the founder of a charity for deprived children, who will talk about the leadership challenges of setting up and running the organization).

Under Elizabeth’s leadership the group will participate in activities and conversations designed to move their leadership capabilities forward. Their mandate is as follows:

    * Explore who you are
    * Magnify your strengths
    * Put your ideas into action

The ultimate objective is to use adventure travel to get small business leaders to reflect, recharge and reengage in what makes them tick as individuals and as leaders—whether they are on a mountaintop or in their own backyard. 

The Machu Picchu Leadership Adventure has 3 main goals:  

  1. Get leaders doing something big and completely out of the ordinary and have them recognize that they can do it!
  2. Focus that new-found strength and apply it to a breakthrough project in their lives and work; and
  3. Help leaders build their network with a strong community who will support them when they apply what they learned to their lives and work back home.

The business owners, professionals and corporate executives who are going on the trip find this adventure to be the perfect way to combine vacation with professional development.

"And, because they are working on a breakthrough business plan for their business during the program, they are able to go for longer than the usual week. Some are even planning to write off the cost of the trip as a professional development expense,” says Becker.

Last year, she partnered with OCSC Adventure ( and led a group of adventure travelers/vacationers on a trek to Machu Picchu.

She felt that it was the perfect place to come back with a group of business leaders and after arriving home, she started inviting leaders for 2008 and since women were the first to say “yes,” it became a women’s-only  trip.  However, she is already filling spaces for co-ed and women-only trips for 2009.

Visit and click on the “PDF” link on the right-hand side for additional information about the Machu Picchu trip, as well as Becker’s background and biography.

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