owever, a lack of academic distinction meant that dreams would have to be put on hold, and upon leaving school at eighteen Mike was confronted by the need to earn a living, working as a labourer on a building site before getting a job in a London pub.
A natural aptitude for the practical aspects of providing good customer service and running an efficient business proved the foundation for what would turn into a long term career, and with the help and support of a few notable mentors he went on to run groups of pubs, hotels and restaurants around the UK, and led the government division of a major international catering and facilities management company.
During this time Mike met his wife and soulmate, Adele, and together they made their home in the picturesque Dales of rural North Yorkshire, where they married in 1992, developed their 17th century farmhouse, and raised their three wonderful children in the peaceful haven of one of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes.
Stimulated by a former business acquaintance, Mike moved from the hospitality to the construction industry in 2007 leading a multi-national utilities contractor that delivered its services in geographies spanning Europe, the Far East, Australasia and the USA.
This taste of global travel rekindled Mike’s interest in the American west, where the attraction of Yellowstone National Park and horse riding in the rocky mountain wilderness culminated in he and Adele purchasing a much loved property at the head of Paradise Valley.
As is often the case in life, one action led to another, and time spent in Montana gave his childhood passion for nature the oxygen it needed to flourish once more. Indeed, understanding the ability to live in closer harmony with nature, how to live off the land, and how to harness the potency of the medicinal qualities of naturally occurring plants, resonated with a deep inner desire. So, it was no surprise that the history and culture of the local native American tribes began to become a focus of interest and a rich source of inspiration.
Riding with Mike Leffingwell at G Bar M ranch, Montana
Lions, early morning on Moditlo Reserve March 2016
By late 2013 a nagging compulsion for change was taking hold. Mike wanted to spend more time with his wife and family, and was gripped by the notion of writing about the insights of the native American people and their often tragic history. So, as New Year beckoned, he left the security of full-time employment and embarked upon a career as an author.