Thoughts on Working While Walking an Indian Trail

Have you ever heard of the Cochise Stronghold?

No? Neither had I until recently.

A little over an hour’s drive east of Tucson, Arizona, you find a part of the Coronado National Forest called the Cochise Stronghold.

An interesting name combination if you’re not familiar with the area. Who was Cochise, and why is it a stronghold? I needed a couple of quick definitions:

‘Cochise’ [kå-chiz]: famous Apache Indian leader…‘Stronghold’: fortress

So when I got to the parking lot, I looked for a building nearby. But there is none; instead, there are several trailheads. They lead you onto dusty paths where you hike through the desert countryside and look up at the immense, reddish-brown rock formations nearby. There’s a spiritual feeling to this place, and you realize that the entire area you’re walking through is the ‘stronghold.’

Given that I write about working life, as I went along, my thoughts turned towards Cochise. He’s like a modern-day business owner who has to watch their pride and joy fail in spite of all their efforts to save it. At the same time, Cochise is an example of how to go down with dignity.

Why this comparison? Because I’d read the following about him before heading out that day (

Cochise is reputed to have been a master strategist and leader who was never conquered in battle. He died peacefully on the newly formed Chiricahua reservation in 1874.  His son, Taza succeeded him as chief. Upon his death, he was secretly buried somewhere in or near his impregnable fortress.  The exact location has never been revealed or determined.

A lot of amazing information in one short paragraph, isn’t it? Master strategist…never conquered…peacefully…secretly…impregnable fortress…never revealed or determined.

A lot of work ideals in between these words, too, aren’t there? A clear vision…role model…defined goals…personal resolve…wise negotiator…willpower…inspiring leadership…self-determination…strength and courage

Inspiring stuff to ponder while you’re taking a walk in a national park.

While we’re not a noble Apache chief whose mission was to save his land and people, shouldn’t we all work with these ideals in mind?

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