Connecting Leaders With Nature

Leadership is a journey. However, few leaders embark on the type of journey that fosters greatness. That journey is best described as a pilgrimage, a Leadership Pilgrimage.

“A pilgrimage is a sacred journey with a purpose, one that requires vision, focus, and perseverance to complete,” said James Gehrke, founder of The Leadership Pilgrimage. “During the pilgrimage, pilgrims share a common experience: Enlightenment through solitude and sacrifice.”

The Leadership Pilgrimage became a topic for one of Gehrke’s many workshops that “Magnify Leadership and Development” offered shortly after his initial Camino Pilgrimage in 2009. Since then, Gehrke has delivered the workshop at conferences in Europe, Asia, North America, and dozens of organizations in the United States.

In the years since its inception, it has evolved and improved, thanks to participants’ feedback. “My exposure to other historical pilgrimages and journeys teach key historical lessons that align with the five principles of the Leadership Pilgrimage that are Know Thyself, Focus, Persevere, Inspire and Magnify,” said Gehrke.

Through the years, he came to realize one major component was lacking. That missing ingredient was connecting with nature and the solitude, the sacrifice of hiking on the trail.

In 2020, Gehrke was supposed to take a small group of leaders on the Way of St. James to experience the workshop on the actual Camino. Hotels were booked, the itinerary was set, and workshop participants were signing up. But due to the coronavirus pandemic and extensive travel closures, the Leadership Pilgrimage Adventure will have to wait another year, or two, or more.

“Instead, 2020 became the time to practice what we preach. After all, perseverance is one of the Five Leadership Pilgrimage Lessons that we teach,” noted Gehrke.

Magnify Leadership and Development faces tremendous obstacles due to COVID-19. Nearly all its business comes from on-site, face-to-face workshops. The organization switched over to running workshops mostly on Zoom and discovered the need to provide top-quality leadership development via this platform, and the virtual Leadership Pilgrimage was born.

“We still believe that the Leadership Pilgrimage Adventure will be a real value to leaders. It’s also true that the number of leaders who will be able to travel to Spain or other Leadership Pilgrimage Adventure locations, now or in the future, is limited drastically by COVID-19,” he said. “The Virtual Leadership Pilgrimage expands our reach to countless more leaders, and our ability to impact and improve leadership will greatly improve.”

The company offers a 25% discount introductory offer to all new clients and an additional 25% discount to all Utah residents, thanks to the Shop In Utah grant. To learn more, contact James Gehrke at or go to