Leadership is challenging. Immense strides in technology and artificial intelligence make the pace of change faster than ever before. It can make us wonder if anything but logic matters. At the same time, we know that people need inspiration and connection, and we need their perspective and engagement. Leadership has been turned on its head as we strive to figure out how to attract, retain, and motivate talent that is more diverse than ever. We realize that we need to lead not only with thought, but with compassion and courage as well.    

Horses reflect our human paradox of power and gentleness, independence and vulnerability, sensitivity and strength. As prey animals, their life depends on leaders with capability, compassion, and courage. They recognize and respond to leaders with these traits instantly, with truth and accuracy. Horses literally know no other way to be. They teach us how to lead and remind us of truths we may have forgotten. 

So, what could be better than to bring this "horse wisdom" to those who need it the most - the leaders of the future? 

The time has come for Equine Assisted Coaching. It is time to put down the iPhone and let the horses teach us the leadership skills we cannot learn with logic and language alone. We need to let them teach us to lead with our minds and our hearts. As we continue our journey for what the United States Constitution calls, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” remember that life is brief, precious and very fragile. Each of us deserves leadership with thought, compassion and courage for ourselves and others to truly optimize our gifts and talents.     

Do you want to reach your potential, and help those you lead do the same? Do you seek the power and joy that comes from leading with your highest thought, compassion, and courage? Spend some time with a horse for a refreshing reminder of not only how great it feels, but how remarkably effective it is.  

Expectations and Capability

I spent the weekend learning the physical reasons horses do and don’t things. It is incredible how often we unintentionally demand movement that is painful or even undoable for the horse.  

As leaders, we often do the same with people.  We expect, ask, or even demand that others do things that are harmful to them or that they simply cannot do. When someone doesn't do what we want or expect, it pays to get curious and compassionate in finding out what the reason is. Horses and most people want to do what is asked of them. It is our responsibility to know what the receiver is capable of. 

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Leading Millenials--and Millenials Leading Us

According to a recent Forbes article, Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce. By 2020 they will make up half of the total workforce. Chances are if you don’t have a millennial manager now, you will be getting one soon.

When a baby boomer has a millennial for a boss, the number one challenge is the perception of lack of credibility, and possible resentment about “taking orders” from someone young enough to be their children.   Millennials who are fully qualified from a technical and business standpoint may lack the emotional intelligence, maturity and wisdom to respect the experience and knowledge to lead workers older than themselves.  What can we do? 

  • Treat each other with respect

  • Listen carefully, with empathy

  • Assume good intentions--value both experience and a fresh perspective. Timing is everything!