“Ride the horse in the direction it is going” – Werner Gerhard
Recently I was at a goal setting retreat and went horseback riding through a snow-covered forest trail. It was a rare opportunity to experience the outdoors and feel a deep connection with the horses. As we hit the clearing and headed back to the ranch, one of the horses decided that he had enough. That was it, game over, get off my back! Our trail guide said something that really resonated with me, “Every good horse has a bad day.”
What a beautiful metaphor to explore as a leader. We have big expectations from our team and there are some days that they just don’t measure up to our expectations. These are opportunities for us to determine what nuances we are going to bring to our leadership style. Before you rush to judgement or slam your fist on the table, I encourage you to slow down and lean into your curious side. A team member’s behaviour is merely the tip of the iceberg. What might be going on beneath the surface? The undercurrents of emotions run deep and the more compassionate you can be in the moment, the more you will understand their behaviour. The more you understand them, the more you can inspire them.
We are all leaders – so we all have abundant opportunities to practice using empathy and curiosity. Whether you manage a company, run the household, or influence those in your inner circle, we’ve got some great tools for you. Below you’ll find a link to an interview with Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn whose leadership style is centred around compassion. And, back by special request, our EDGE3 “how to” guide to journaling to help you chart your course and navigate the journey.