When I rode a horse a little while ago, I not only had a blast, I saw parallels to good riding and good leadership. I learned right away I needed to partner with my horse (I explored that in my previous post). Once we had been on the trail a little bit, our guide (his official title was “wrangler”—now that’s a sweet title to add to your resume) taught us about the different gaits, or speeds, that horse moves at. He explained that we would need to change the way we rode based on the gait of the horse.
When walking, he said, just sit snug in the saddle and enjoy it. But when the horse starts to trot (like a jog for a human) you need to “post”. Posting involves standing in your stirrups and rising above the saddle, but doing so in a rhythmic pattern that aligns with the up and and down of the horse as it trots. And when in a lope or canter, when the horse starts running, we were told to roll with it, but press our backside into the saddle, to resist coming out of the saddle.
This is just like great leadership. There isn’t just one style that’s right for all situations. When leading beginners you stay close and give lots of direction. When they get more experienced you have to back off and only engage at certain points. And if a crisis comes and we need to run, you need to stay close, but be willing to roll with the changes and not try to control your followers.
Great leaders don’t use one approach, they lead each individual how that person needs to be led. Tweet This