Discover Authentic Leadership Skills
Throughout the corporate world and our society in general, leadership is a concept that is the topic of much conversation. In many areas, however we are experiencing what can only be called a lack a true leadership. If horses were still a major presence in our culture like they were in centuries past and even in the early history of our country, we might be able to understand what leadership really means.
“To be led,” means to follow voluntarily. So, in order to be a leader, one must have someone who is willing to follow. In its most effective form an excellent leader ensures his or her followers’ independence and willingness to take risks and move forward.
In past centuries leaders were trained with the help of horses. The word “manage” has its origin in the mid 16th century, meaning to put a horse through the paces, or train a horse.
Without the aid of a presence that is totally non-judgmental and without any type of bias, it is virtually impossible to see oneself and one’s behavior clearly. Other humans claim to offer that type of clarity, however, as someone who works day in and day out with horses and people, I have to say that I don’t believe it’s possible to get authentic leadership training from other humans.
Excellence or Internal Incongruence
What makes horses such influential training partners be it for individuals or for teams is that they have no agenda. Horses simply reflect either excellence or internal incongruence.
In our leadership development with horses, the horse’s nature underscores the importance of authenticity. There can be no discrepancy between internal thoughts and external actions. When the horse does not comply with a request, it is almost always a statement about the presence of the one working with them, offering reflection moment by moment of how effective (or not) we are being with them.
Do we present a clear and compelling vision? Do we believe what we are asking is attainable? How is our mood (non-verbal communication skills?) Are we sending mixed messages? Are we committed to the goal?
Incorporating horses into practice is a unique, nonjudgmental opportunity to examine your leadership style and where you are or are not communicating effectively.
Courage, Strength, Creativity and Willingness
Effective leaders inevitably find themselves in new situations and uncharted territory, situations in which they might not have all of the answers immediately. However, in many instances they have to make quick decisions and take action anyway.
Partnering with horses fosters courage, strength, creativity and willingness to take risks, and at the same time encourages a sense of responsibility, reliability, patience, rigor and determination.
The horse cooperates fully with you when participants demonstrate self -confidence, trustworthiness, clarity and credibility and when you are goal oriented. Even the slightest shifts in awareness can take a person from ineffective to very effective and sustainable leadership strategies.
Discover what authentic leadership feels like. Develop your own personal leadership style and qualities that will bring your natural leadership skills to the forefront. I am optimistic that the more corporate groups work with horses, we will see a renaissance of true leadership emerge in every segment of our society.
Custom equine-guided experiential programs can be designed for individuals, specific groups, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics. Please contact the office to schedule a personal consultation.