The first job of a leader is to define reality, the last is to say thank youand, in between, to be a debtor and a servant ~ Max Dupree
The Art of Leadership / Leadership Jazz
CEO/Chairman, Herman Miller Corporation

Alpha Leaders: Adopt Styles
from the Stallion or the Mare?©

You Need to Learn the Difference,
the How, the Why, and the Where

Values on Leadership Skills and Styles

This workshop takes a full scope look into leadership skills and styles, as well as resource management, delegation skills, responsibility and accountability. The purpose of this course is not focused on gender diversity but rather the value of diverse skill sets in leadership and knowing when, how, why and where to apply various styles and choosing the most appropriate leaders to implement specific visions and goals.

Stallions lead the herd very differently than Mares do, yet both are integral to the success and survival of the whole herd.

photo courtesy of Teaming for SuccessContrary to popular belief, the lead herd stallion is not the boss of the herd but more of the defender and protector. He is on constant alert for any dangers or threats to the herd's safety, and if necessary will give his life to ensure it. He will also manage the procreation of the herd by determining which mares will be with foals and also driving off his own colts / fillies once they are sexually active to prevent inbreeding. The lead "dominant" mare is the one who makes all the daily decisions for the herd; where to eat and drink, finding shelter, the path to be traveled, etc. Together the lead stallion and the lead mare work in tandem to provide direction, food, water, shelter, safety and offspring for the herd's survival and success; neither one can accomplish this alone...

If true and successful leadership is defined by how a leader is perceived by their followers, employees, peers or teammates, then a good leader is always striving to be consciously aware of those perceptions. Horses can help us to overcome the challenge of defining how we are perceived as leaders. They offer instant feedback without any ulterior motives, and they are not at all impressed by social or corporate titles. To them we are all on the same level playing field and they react to us based on the agenda we put on the table. Horses are acutely perceptive, completely honest and will always give us sincere feedback pertaining to our communication style and our personal strengths/weaknesses with regard to the believability of our overall leadership perception.

photo courtesy of Teaming for SuccessTo lead people with a shared vision for a common goal there needs to be an organized, strategic plan that fosters dedication, commitment and enthusiasm from all involved. We believe that all people have the potential for leadership; however it is the truly conscious leader who is most successful by utilizing the inherent talents of creativity, compassion, resourcefulness, reflection and intimacy to the work and the people doing the work.

Leaders define the vision for the group or organization. To accomplish this one must consider the reality state of the business, key competitors, ultimate goals, as well as the "who" we are and the "what" we stand for as a team enterprise. Exploring common workplace concepts and concerns in a hands-on environment with 1000 pounds staring back at you requires the ability to think, react, and respond in a similar manner expected under the pressures and demands in the office. Work-related pressures can easily cloud our ability to pinpoint emotions or frustrations as we interact with others. Various ground based exercises with the horses are tailored to enhance social and emotional skills needed for effective leadership.

One of the greatest human needs is to feel appreciated, needed, and valued. There is only so much motivation that money can buy, yet there is an infinite amount of inspiration to be gained by expressing appreciation. A sincere "job well done" can drive employees to a higher level of performance. Once you determine what faces your enterprise (what you represent and where you are going) the next duty for a leader is to examine "servant leadership". This style of leadership is where the leader is in service to a greater mission or purpose - working to help others succeed, grow and perform a higher level. Both the lead stallion and the lead mare utilize this concept as they are making decisions based on the greatest good for the herd, not their own individual success.

Want respect from others? Scientific research says, try giving it. There is power in respect and it comes with multiple benefits. In business; valued respect garners higher sales, less employee turnover and less exposure to lawsuits. At home; a dose of respect gives a stronger marriage, healthier family dynamics and more polite children. In your personal life; choosing respect offers confidence, respect for yourself and needs, closer friendships and a higher standing in the community. Respect is a lost value in our world today and the latest scientific research makes a compelling case for the power in respect, how the simple act of treating people as though they matter will increase both the specific dollar savings and productivity in business (totaling over 64 billion dollars per year), as well as improved grades and test scores in schools. EX: Corporations that lead by the fear based factor models are losing ground to those that lead by appreciation. The power of respect can foster individual achievement through self-respect. Feeling valued by others (superiors) bolsters confidence and creativity. Individuals, who were tentative or hesitant, will now find the courage and inspiration to push the boundaries and accomplish goals...
~ Deborah Norville
Media anchor and bestselling author
The Power of Respect: Benefit from the Most Forgotten Element of Success


photo courtesy of Teaming for Success

At Spring Reins of Hope, we provide an environment for both emerging and established leaders to experience, interact, learn and define the leadership patterns within themselves and to recognize c0mplimentary leadership styles in others. The accurate identification of leadership styles and applying them to the appropriate group within your organization can maximize productivity and proficiency for your entire "big picture" company-wide objectives. Each leader can then perform and manage their specialty in excellence - ensuring the long term survival of your corporate herd.

Working with horses as a leadership practice provides a rich opportunity to refine our natural talents and develop new skills needed to get us to our new destination, including:

  • Developing creative responses to problems and obstacles
  • Exploration of leadership styles and theory - there are always different paths to the top of the mountain
  • Learning to lead from within - starting with self-awareness and perception
  • Inspiring real trust in yourself and others (without micro-managing)
  • Clarifying a core purpose and ensuring that all see the value / importance of it
  • Finding system alignment - working toward being congruent in all leadership policy
  • Unleashing talent - by leading with trust, truth and appreciation you empower all to strive to be their very best
  • Learning the nuances of hierarchical coordination by observing the horses in a herd

Resources on Professional Training and Development with Horses