The Wisdom of Horses
This year, I traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, with Rich Litvin and my fellow 4PC (Four Percent Club) coaches. I had a fantastic opportunity to spend time at the EQUUS Ranch to learn from some of the oldest teachers on our planet, horses.
Horses have thrived on the planet for over 56 million years, which is quite remarkable!
It was a fantastic experience to be with these beautiful and majestic creatures. Being an open-minded person, I went into the experience with the right mindset, but I was still not sure what I was going to learn about leadership from horses. I was pleasantly surprised!
One of the key takeaways was that care and presence create more results over time than dominance and aggression. This is true for horses, and it is true for humans as well. The leader of the herd (in this herd, Artemis) leads from behind by creating an environment of safety, connection, peace, freedom, and joy. I was reminded of the quote by Lao Tzu, “To lead the people, walk behind them.”
I also thought a lot about the concept of psychological safety, an area that I have spent a lot of time focusing on with my clients. As I watched these horses interact with each other and with us, they each felt safe to be themselves.
When I left the Ranch, I brought with me two questions you might find useful in your life too:
- How can I be more present in the moment and not worry about what I need to or should be doing?
- How can I have deeper connections with the people I serve?