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The Semmering, and how leadership is built from the unknown.

Updated: May 15, 2020

When a story of vision becomes the belief.

Many times, we create a dream in our head and we feed it with our enthusiasm in order to make it happen. However many times as well, we let it rest in case it gets “too “ real and wants to jump into the world to become true.

Some years ago, I had a beautiful lady as a client. Shy, introvert and super reserved, she had a business dream. When she began telling me about it I started asking some factual questions about the idea. While she was giving me the information, I saw her eyes sparkling and shining with happiness every second of her story. Nevertheless, when I asked: Why don't you do it, then? She timidly replied “Because it is impossible to think that I am capable of making it happen.” Her self-confidence was at its lowest and she could not possibly believe in herself. But she had all the talent in her hands. I could see it. That was a fact.

Therefore, in order to empower her, I told her a nice story that I once heard in a movie. While the movie was based on a novel, the story is based on real facts.

History tells us that (once upon a time…) there was a secluded section of the Alps called "The Semmering". Before 1848, it was an impossible place to access due to the fact that it was located in a very high part of the mountain.

But, one day it was decided by the visionary mind of the Albanian designer Carlo Ghega, that a train track was going to be built in order to connect Austria, Slovenia and Italy, with the purpose to interconnect cities, to facilitate people’s communication, and (most importantly) to enable the cities to do business.

The interesting point is that, back in the days, there was no locomotive with the technical capability to pass by those tracks. Clearly this was not an impediment to build the tracks first, with the vision that those rails will allow a future train to make that journey.

It took six years of constant and dedicated work by 20,000 people from all backgrounds and professions to make this happen. During the process, they found many obstacles and difficulties: from weather conditions to new methods of working, and from how to learn using new tools to engineering challenges never seen before.

Regardless of the circumstances, in 1854 the first mountain railway in Europe was built. And today it is one of the most beautiful train rides in the continent.

Moral of the story:

Besides the importance of this magnificent construction, the lesson learned here is that when we believe in our vision, we build “tracks” in the most unimagined roads, in the most unexpected places; with the certainty that our constant work, the team performance and the most profound inner voice that is guiding us towards a particular mission, will certainly take us to our destination. We just need to believe in it.

Going back to my client’s story, after a lot of “teamwork” between the two of us, empowerment and constant goal setting, six months on, in our last session, she told me: “I finally woke up Vicky! I am now going for my dream.”

Little pleasures of life.

Now, my question is...

Do you know what is your “Semmering”?

A small exercise to help you:

In an “ideal world”: What does your dream life look like? Write it down, sketch it, make a collage, create an art piece, whatever you feel you can créate with your hands.

Materialize your perfect and ideal life and go through every particular element you chose.

Now tell me, how does it look ?

I am curious to see your results.



For more info about this wonderful construction please refer to: W://


Vicky Martinez Dorr is a qualified Branding Consultant, Business and Leadership Coach, Speaker and Author with certifications in NLP and TimeLine Therapy® and Magna Cum Laude from Solvay Business School in Brussels, Belgium. With her universe of words, she is on a quest towards helping leaders reconnect with themselves, thrive and move towards an exemplary leadership world.

Her 15+ years of MarCom experience in International Branding and Multicultural Leadership have taught her how to bring efficiency out of chaos in any organisation and people's professional lives.

Her findings within the fragmented leadership, have moved her to start working towards a more authentic business world and more humane leadership culture.

Vicky is also an Artist, a serial Entrepreneur, CEO of the Start Up and Founder of LinkedIn:

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