Leadership has been, and always will be, fraught with myriad responsibilities. Millions of people the world over entrust their livelihoods to leaders in government, corporations, small businesses and community organizations. All too often though, in the midst of uncertainty, with the enormous burden of responsibility, a leaders’ confidence has often been crushed. No one really knows what the future holds.
However, by turning to the innate wisdom of horses, leaders can learn volumes about confidence in the midst of uncertainty and how to successfully lead a team, an organization or a family through the unknown. It is by observing horses that today’s leaders can learn to negotiate their way through the darkest of times.
My colleagues, Jude Jennison and June Gunter have written about the wisdom of horses in their forthcoming book, The Choice To Lead: Navigating Uncertainty Together. In this brilliant book the authors state, “The complexity and uncertainty of twenty-first century business environments calls into question the effectiveness of traditional, hierarchical approaches to leadership. It is time to reimagine leadership for the complex, uncertain, connected world we live in today. The wisdom we need to prepare us for our future is ancient and rooted in nature. Horses have been creating healthy, sustainable communities for millions of years and they have much to teach us.”
For 15 years, Jude and June have, in their own words, “have honed a framework to apply how horses lead their herds to creating healthy futures for organizations and communities.” What horses illustrate for humans, as Jude and June point out is that, “Confidence in uncertainty is not about knowing, it is about noticing. We define noticing as the capability to place your attention on what is happening to you, those you lead, and to the world around you to detect emerging patterns that enable you to adapt to reality as it is shifting.” In addition, they add, “Horses are creatures of uncertainty who use routine to prepare themselves to handle the unexpected. These routines are precisely what make them agile. The difference between horses and people, is that horses can let go of their routines at the first sign that reality has changed, and a new response is needed. Horses understand that comfort is not the goal.”
Not only is The Choice To Lead: Navigating Uncertainty Together a great read, it could lead you to a more fluid leadership style that will see your company through uncertainty intact.