The Success Template

Leadership with HeartI find myself drawn to titles that have numbers in them, such as “3 Surefire Ways to ______________” or “Top 7 Ways to ___________________”. I click on them expecting that this is the article that will clearly reveal to me what I have not yet discovered–the simple template for success! About 80% of the time, it is nothing new. I am either already doing it or I am finding myself resistant to what the article suggests.

This weekend past, I was enrolled in an enriching workshop out at Great Strides horse farm in Damascus, MD. The workshop, Adventures in Awareness: Leadership with Heart was led by Barbara Rector, who for four decades has traveled the world training professionals in her unique process for what horses have to teach humans: in life skills of self responsibility, clear communication, effective listening, congruent behavior, and heart centered teamwork.

And this is what I learned through our amazing teamwork with horses–there is no template for success! By no means do I mean that success was not reached in our teams. Indeed it was. The roles/positions that our team chose in each activity shifted from exercise to exercise. This all depended on what the horse felt was right. If our energies were off, the horse could read that and would stop until we had found the proper spots to walk with our team through an obstacle course. Through very little conversation and resistance, our team was able to feel the team energy and make the needed adjustments for forward moving in order to reach our goal. I have goose bumps as I recall what took place.

As Rosamund and Benjamin Zander teach in their brilliant book The Art of Possibility , leadership can take place from any chair. It did not mean that the person in the front of the horse was the team leader, it was just the role that the horse agreed felt right for this assignment.

So I reconsider how I look at the articles that I hung on to as “success templates” and now realize that they are offerings. Success is really in the energy that one is giving off and receiving at any given moment.

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