I was working with a tech company CEO last week in an executive coaching session with my herd. Knowing her leadership skills and appetite for adventure, I gave her an advanced assignment. As we were standing with my herd of 4 horses, I said, “Pick a destination, and take them there.” Without skipping a beat, off she went.
Her first move was to get out in front of the herd and move in the direction she set with confidence. This is what lead mare’s do. Her confidence about where she was going compelled them to all face in her direction and prepare to move. As she took steps forward towards her chosen shade tree in the pasture, the distance between her and the herd began to grow. Then, she looked back to see if they were coming. All 4 horses stopped in their tracks, about 10 yards from the destination. The CEO had a moment of doubt that brought progress towards her vision to a halt.
She stood there for a couple of moments looking at the horses, looking at her. Then she turned back around and headed to the tree on her own. I joined her and said, “Okay, tell me what you are thinking and feeling. She said, “It started out great and then I started to doubt if they would come with me. Now that I am here, it feels vulnerable and lonely.” The more honest she became, the closer the herd came to her near the tree.
As she spoke to me about feeling alone, one of my herd members, Grace, came and placed her body next to the CEO. I said, “Grace wants you to know, you are not alone. You just got here first. Once you moved beyond your doubt and were honest with the herd about your experience, they all joined you. Not because of your effort. Because you stayed true to your vision with patience and honesty.”
Come visit us at TeachingHorse to learn what lessons my herd has for you on your leadership journey. Email me at [email protected] to schedule your first session.
June Gunter, Ed.D., is the Co-Founder and CEO of TeachingHorse, LLC. Established in 2004, TeachingHorse offers a unique approach to leadership development that is inspired by how horses lead their herds. Our mission is to bring horses and people together to discover more effective ways of leading that create healthy communities. TeachingHorse has worked with over 5,000 leaders from around the world to develop skills required for moving confidently through uncertainty. June has worked in the field of leadership and organization development for over 35 years and holds a Doctor of Education degree in the field of Adult Learning from North Carolina State University. She is also the Co-Founder of Go-od Consulting, LLC.
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