Good Business Leaders Need Good Horse Sense
The business of life is for the most part, a communal event. We huddle together like pack or herd animals. No aspect of life takes place in a vacuum. We all share in leadership whether we are part of a family, a congregation, a corporate team or a solo-preneur. We can lead lives of quiet desperation or lives of cooperation that open us up to the greater joys life has to offer.
Today, our world is calling for leadership with more transparency and authenticity. Nowhere is this required more than in business. And nowhere can one see where they are lacking in effectiveness than in the presence of horses. Winston Churchill said it so well when he stated, “There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.”
In a horse herd, leadership is shared. The lead mare sets the direction and pace for the herd. The stallion protects the herd from predators. Each and every member of the herd is valued; every individual’s contribution is essential to the safety, harmony, unity and survival of its members. Horses are highly sensitive to changes in the environment and they are able to give immediate, clear signals when need arises to take action. Trust among the herd members is earned, and tested constantly. It is not a static state.
Human teams can draw upon many similarities and experience a new model for effective leadership, collaborative practices and cooperation by studying horses in their natural herd environment. Humans can find out more about their individual leadership strengths and weaknesses by working with horses in Equine Guided Education (EGE) programs that are popping up all over the country. It’s a discovery that will lead to something that used to be intuitive – good old-fashioned horse sense.