When I was growing up I had five siblings, loving parents, good friends. We went on vacations with our tent trailer and I fell in love with campgrounds all across Canada. We also used to travel to Olympia, Washington where my grandparents lived. Visiting the ocean and camping near by filled me with special memories of family and fun!
As we dig deeper into the five roles of a master herder as laid out in the teachings of Linda Kohanov, we can identify with most of the roles. Dominants tend to be more demanding, and set in their ways. The nurturer-companion can be looked at as a people pleaser in most situations. The sentinel is always on the lookout for dangers and pitfalls. The predator comes out when tougher choices need to be made. Of all these one leadership role tends to stand out above all else, in her teachings Linda refers to this role as the leader. In the corporate world we see this type of leadership as more of a visionary. This leader tends to motivate through inspiration, rather than fear. They calm others or reset the focus in tense situations. A leader will exhibit visionary qualities.
The art of doing nothing! Or is that even possible?
Lao-Tzu observed that "it is upon disaster that good fortune rests." - a broken leg, a missed appointment, a snow storm, surgery. Ten days ago I had major surgery, I have been recovering and feeling stronger each day. I am committed to allowing my body time to heal. I am a very active person and like to be busy with many things. As I have allowed myself the quiet time to heal and rest, so many wonderful things have happened. My thoughts and ideas have flowed so freely and in such an inspirational direction.
Did you know that up to 90% of all communication is nonverbal. As leaders in the workplace how we use this information is critical in relaying information and sharing our vision with our co-workers. You do not have to be the boss to be the "leader". There are many situations in the workplace where a varitety of employees will be given a task that requires a leadership role, and those who succesfully communicate their message to the team are more likely to accomplish the goal set out in the task. If we rely entirely on verbal communication to share this vision then we are at risk of only communicating 10% of that plan.
In 2011, creators of the iPhone 4S took speech recognition software to the masses with an “intelligent” assistant named Siri. Siri responds to all kinds of verbal directives, Siri looks things up on the internet, makes restaurant recommendations, keeps track of your schedule, asks clarifying questions, and learns, to a certain extent through continued use. Some people find Siri amusing; others find her useful. Still others find her annoying and turn her off. And then there are those who joke with her like my husband.
Dominance is one of the most misunderstood roles in nature and in the corporate world. If you follow the dictionary definition of dominance, to be dominant you have to be: commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others. Unfortunately this definition of dominance is in it’s immature form and never matures to be truly useful.
Time to put what I learned about myself into action.
On the third day of the workshop, The gifts of the Horse, we finally had the opportunity to evaluate what we had discovered about our leadership characteristics from day-one and day-two. Armed with this new information about our emotions and how to interpret them we were faced with our largest challenge yet. Before I get into the details of the final challenge the 3rd day of the workshop dished up some other useful tidbits.
In the first day of the workshop we covered a lot of awareness related topic. The body scan is important for identifying the symptoms of an emotion we may be experiencing. Once armed with this information we can address the symptoms and ask ourselves some key questions to help get those emotions under control and prevent an intensification of that emotion (See The Message Behind the Emotion).
As a new employee in the Lodestone Leadership family we decided I must experience one of our leadership workshops first hand to fully appreciate what it is we do here. On paper Lodestone Leadership offers leadership training using Equine Facilitated Learning (working with horses). The concepts taught were curated by Linda Kohonav, a best-selling author of The five roles of a Master Herder, an expert on EFL and founder of eponaquest. My goals for this workshop were simple, get through it and pick up all the features and benefits I need to go out into the corporate community and effectively sell this service to business leaders.
Humans most often seek an absolute definition of leadership. We want a concrete technique or job description to go with our leadership role. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that simple, if it always worked like that? As leaders we would be completely on task all of the time and never miss a beat.