Are you leading your life/teams are are they leading you?

 “If you want to get the best out of someone – you must look for the best that is within them.
Leadership develops daily, not in a day” – John C. Maxwell

Working with horses allows us to experience leadership principles in a new way–providing a unique opportunity to learn how to better communicate with integrity and authenticity, remain confident when faced with uncertainty, and motivate and encourage those we are attempting to lead.

Leadership: Horses respond in the moment, offering clear and honest feedback about our current strengths and shortcomings as leaders. A simple leading exercise may result in a horse moving enthusiastically for one leader, and refusing to budge for the next. The difference is in the person’s sense of him/herself as a leader in that situation.

Integrity: As prey animals, horses live in the moment. Their survival depends upon their ability to accurately scan the environment for incongruence. As such, they “read” our minds (intentions) and hearts (character) and when they discover differences between what they “feel” from us and how we behave, they are unlikely to cooperate. To horses (and to humans!), integrity between our hearts and minds is often more important in leadership than our words and actions.

Task vs. Relationship:
Many of us get caught up in the frenetic pace of our daily work. Meeting deadlines and “getting the job done” is often our first priority-often at the expense of relationships. Working with horses helps us understand the importance of cultivating and nurturing the relationships with our colleagues, and in fact, can actually facilitate our ability to be successful! When working with the horses, those who take time to establish a connection with the horse before moving to task encounter less resistance, and in fact, experience a much greater sense of partnership. Remember: If you can encourage a horse to trust and follow, you can encourage people to do the same! 

“When the best leaders’s work is done, the people say, we did it ourselves” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu, once said that ‘to lead people, walk behind them’. Traditionally when you think of leadership, do you think of being in front or behind your team? This question challenges us to think outside the box about leadership style and result.

To lead from behind means you must have a clear vision and the ability to communicate that vision to your team. For this to happen you need cooperation from your team, built on a solid foundation of trust, respect and understanding. Allowing your team to go before you encourages confidence, exploration, freedom and creativity, within the individuals that make up your team.

AHA Leadership Programmes aims to examine and improve the effectiveness of your leadership. We are not looking at what you do as a leader but more importantly who you are being as a leader. Being an extraordinary leader means being present and open to listening to your team. Even in the best teams fear of making a mistake, looking bad or appearing stupid inhibits best performance. It is up to you as the leader to create the environment where breakthrough ideas can be voiced and heard without fear.

Working with horses you will learn how to synchronise your intention – mentally, emotionally and physically. When you start using this new knowledge with your team they will feel motivated, excited and willing to work with you, which will lead to a new level of performance.