I was approached a little while ago by Jan-Dirk Rosche from Switzerland. Jan is connected with the Jakobsweg path – the part of the famous pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela that passes through Switzerland. There are many people wanting to walk this trail – but a problem in convincing locals along the route to open their houses to offer the walkers accommodation.
Jan is a fan of Host Leadership, and asked me if I would write a short guide on ‘how to be a good host’ for the Jakobsweg – to give encouragement to new and existing hosts about how they can support the walkers and also get some interesting new contacts and perspectives themselves. I agreed, and the piece is now up on the Jakobsweg website in both English and German.
As you can see, I use our six roles of a host leader to offer practical guidance for Jakobsweg hosts. These ideas can of course be used elsewhere too – by anyone offering shelter and accommodation to strangers. When we lived in Cheltenham, SW England, Jenny and I used to offer bed & breakfast to racegoers coming to town for the National Hunt Festival every year, and the same things applied.
Do please share this with everyone you know who is perhaps thinking of opening their houses. It’s very worthwhile, there is richness for both host and guest, and it is excellent leadership development too! If we are leading with engagement at work, then engaging with strangers at home is a marvellous learning resource.