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One of the things about being a leader for several years, is that I have started to see leadership lessons in everything. Books I read; Friends I have; T.V. and movies I watch. Music I listen to. Pets I take care of. Hobbies I participate in. I am always seeing lessons that I hope will improve how I lead.

One of my hobbies is riding horses. There are huge leadership lessons at the barn. I notice them everywhere. This week, I want share them with you.

Here are the leadership lessons I have learned from horses.

  • It’s important to adjust your approach to the different personalities around you. What helps and motivates one might scare or anger another.
  • It doesn’t matter where someone came from, always lead in a way that brings out the best in everyone you are working with.
  • Everyone benefits from a leader who is calm and emotionally aware.
  • Sometimes you have to be bold.
  • You are not a passenger, you are a partner. Do your part.
  • There is a big difference between driving (taking full control) and leading (asking, guiding, trusting, correcting and rewarding)
  • When you are letting fear take over you are more likely to fall.
  • It’s better to trust and soften than to try and control everything.
  • Those you lead will reflect your leadership style. Look at the reflection and decide what you want to adjust.
  • There are personalities that are excited, athletic, timid, mellow, lazy, aloof, snippy, social. To lead them all the same way is to fail.
  • It is okay to feel fear and lead anyway.
  • No one is too good, too high, or too low, to clean up a mess.
  • If you leave a mess behind someone else is going to have to clean it up. If no one does, then the environment will start to stink and drive people away.
  • When you have accepted a responsibility you have to show up.
  • You aren’t always going to want to do the work but do it anyway. You’ll feel great when it’s done.
  • It is important to know your limitations to keep yourself safe, but also push a little past your comfort zone so you can grow.
  • No matter who you are you may not be the right leader for everyone. Let others lead those you aren’t meant to.
  • Rushing results in sloppy work.
  • Take the time to take care of those you lead so they can be their best.
  • Don’t skip the step of getting the rocks out of shoes, and make sure to use quality equipment so your team can work comfortably and efficiently.
  • And finally. Don’t forget to give treats. Especially when good work was done.

I hope you enjoyed these lessons I’ve learned from horses and that you are able to apply some of them to yourself.

I would love to hear from you. What lessons have your hobbies taught you?

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