New Directions: Leadership Lessons from My Horses

It’s been almost a year since Phoxxberry, lead gelding of the Epona Meadows herd, passed away.  His death was portrait-suitsad for those of us who knew him, including clients who had an opportunity to work with him in individual coaching and teambuilding sessions.

One of the things I learned from Phoxx is that transition creates space – space that challenges and invites us to discover new skills and capacities.  I see this in Cato, who is now the leader of the herd. While leadership came naturally to Phoxx, for Cato it’s a first-time role and learning process.

He’s learning about leadership and power.  Cato is bigger, younger, and stronger than the other horses.  He occasionally overuses his physical power and brings more than he needs to the job.  That’s when the herd gives him instant and sometimes rough feedback, kicking out or moving away from and ignoring him (horses hate being ignored).

I’ve also watched him learn to channel his power through increased self-confidence and a quiet authority.  He’s figuring out how to build trust and credibility, and establish a different relationship with his herd.  When he steps out of the trailer after a day-long trail ride, they snort and buck in noisy welcome at the main gate.  And he’s become a favorite coaching partner for my clients, who are drawn to his sensitive, gentle nature.

Although a sense of loss remains in the new routines we’ve established without Phoxx, he continues to be a source of inspiration.  My goal for 2012 is to forge partnerships that deepen the quality of your leadership experiences and consulting services.  Here are just some of the new directions you’ll see:

I’m curious to learn about the new directions you intend to take this year to strengthen your leadership and organization.

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