Horse sense.

katy_leadership
I was one of those horse-crazy girls and spent many a day at the barn and in the saddle. After more than 20 years away from the sport I recently took it back up and have enjoyed myself more than I anticipated (though I’ve also been more sore than I anticipated.)

As anyone can tell you who has ridden horses there is much to think about to do it well, things like keeping your heels down, hands quiet, legs on, massaging the reins…all at the same time. In my case I typically ride a horse who is a bit spunky but also a bit unbalanced so I’m constantly adjusting my legs and hands to both keep him going at the pace I want and on the path I want. To keep him on track one of the most important things I need to do is in some respects the most simple: keep my eyes up and look where I want to go. The reason it’s the most important is because the simple act of looking where I want him to go actually makes him head that way. It seems kind of magical when you make that simple adjustment and it all comes together but it’s obviously not magic at all. The simple fact is that a horse can sense from your posture and how you have your weight distributed where you want to go, and will follow your lead and go that way.

I’ve been struck by the similarities between this aspect of horsemanship and leading a team. As with a horse, if team members can sense your unwavering focus on a stated end place or goal, most folks will not only know where you’re trying to go but will help you get there (or step out of the organization if that is a direction they absolutely don’t want to go.) Similarly, if people sense that your focus isn’t on the end goal but drifting to one side or another, they become disconnected and start to push and pull in different directions, too.

At Shiny we have an absolute focus on building a world-class organization that helps our clients create engagement in the age of distraction. That focus has enabled us to deliver game-changing work for our clients and build our own business through creating new relationships. It has also enabled us to stay focused on how we are going to grow and evolve our own business to better serve the needs of our clients. We’ve accomplished a lot this year already, and are excited to be on the cusp of announcing in the coming weeks another major move towards our goal.

Hope you’ll join us for the ride.