I recently had the opportunity to appear on The Career Clinic Show with Maureen Anderson. Maureen’s program is nationally syndicated on 25 terrestrial radio stations around the country. During the interview we explored how our approach to experiential learning, called Transformational Horsemanship℠, cultivates the critical, relationship-based competencies leaders require in today’s multi-cultural, multi-generational, global business environments. We had the opportunity to discuss the neuroscience, emotional intelligence, core mammalian emotional system, psychology, applied behavioral economics and quantum physics research that we integrate into our custom, professional development programs we deliver experientially through ground-based exercises with horses.
What we’ve learned over the past four years is how a person connects, engages and motivates a 1,200 pound sentient being without the use of touch, language or dominating, coercive behavior reflects the exact same way a person connects, engages and motivates fellow associates. This mirror effect, when experienced first-hand by an executive, reveals our hidden biases or what Carl Jung called our shadow self…that part of our self we are not necessarily aware of but those around us may see clearly through our behaviors.
Much like the Gen X and Gen Y knowledge workers in today’s intellectual property-based economy, horses require congruency, authentic intention and clarity in order to join up with a leader. Leadership in herds of prey animals differs dramatically from leadership in packs of predatory animals. With predators, the leader is the one who dominates. In herds of prey animals (like horses) the leader is the one who is watched and watches. They are the sentinel that looks out for the well being of the herd. This models the transformational leadership approach needed in today’s complex, rapidly changing world…leading from a perspective of service to those we are charged to lead.
Transactional leadership, the command and control approach honed during the Industrial Age, no longer serve us, as we can see by the endemic employee disengagement crisis (more than 70% of employees feel no connection or loyalty to their company ~ Gallup and the Chartered Management Institute) and the recently reported drop in worker productivity. Each report that discussed the lower productivity numbers referenced the fact that companies may have squeezed all they can from their employees. Squeezing workers on an assembly line in 1947 may have been representative of good management, but squeezing knowledge workers whose creativity, team cohesion and innovative thinking are key drivers of value creation in today’s world is anything but inspirational leadership.
It was a fun and lively interview…you’re more than welcome to listen to the podcast.
© 2012, Terry Murray.