4 Leadership Lessons from Horse-Guided Coaching

Patience important horse meme Deb Cherokee

What can a 1200 pound horse teach you about leadership? In 2010, I found out as Cherokee walked up and chose me in an experience that has forever changed the way I relate to both people and animals in my professional and personal work as a coach and consultant. The photos below reflect my early experiences working with horses as a learner and a future coaching partner.

What I learned, from Horseplay and mindfulness practices included:

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6 Steps Beyond Industrial Age Performance Appraisals

Willy Wonka So Excited Perf Evaluation

Let it go, let it go, let it go! It takes courage, tenacity and teamwork to let go of performance appraisal practices and industrial age thinking. In our post 9-11, post financial, no-such-thing as “New Normal” world, business models continue to evolve dramatically and surprise us. Yes, the old relic of performance appraisal from twentieth century business practices persists. For example, a recent entry in Wikipedia suggests:Continue reading “6 Steps Beyond Industrial Age Performance Appraisals”

Think like an Entrepreneur: Be AntiFragile No Matter Where You Work

How do you  FRAME an approach to entrepreneurial change that helps you adapt to a business climate that is always changing?

I asked those attending a question, “How many of you have been in your same career for more than ten years or so?”  Two raised their hands.  Their professions were cosmetology and nursing.  Though there have been many updates in those fields, it is interesting that looking good, and being healthy and/or recovering from illness, stands the test of time.

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Curing ONE of the Seven Deadly Diseases of Management, Performance Appraisals

Entrenched habits tend to persist, mostly invisible, until poets, reformers and provocateurs start writing, talking and asking questions. They challenge us to reexamine long-standing practices that no longer fit our current world and what’s on the horizon.

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A History of Performance Appraisals: Letting Go to Power New Culture

Performance ratings are part of ancient, really ancient, history.

Photo SIn Yu Partial

Are we ready yet to let go of individual performance appraisals (reviews, evaluations) to fully embrace achievement-oriented, team cultures?

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Beyond Resilience: Givers, Takers, Matchers and Anti-Fragile Systems

“Our focus on removing or minimizing randomness has actually had the perverse effect of increasing fragility.”   How can we work through this  paradox in organizations?  Assistant Professor Adam Grant’s recent works provides insights. As a follow-on exploring the concept of anti-fragile systems that I blogged about earlier, consider the power of Dr. Grant’s recent work on Givers, Takers and Matchers, described in his book and in his recent article for McKinsey, Givers Take All: The hidden dimension of corporate culture.   

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Creator, Challenger, Coach through Change: Getting out of the Drama

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Being creative can be tough when bad news abounds.  Yet taking the creative, challenging coach role through turbulence is a hero’s journey that matters greatly as we recover and build anew.

What does it mean to be a Trusted Change Advisor in today’s turbulent times?

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Beyond Resilience: Black Swans, Anti-Fragility and Change

Random, extreme events: What are our options when we confront events we don’t understand?  Is it possible to develop characteristics to emulate strengths in nature in becoming antifragile as described by former wall street trader, now academic, Nassim Nicholas Taleb?  

Photo by Diego Madrigal on Pexels.com

“When you are fragile, you depend on things following the exact planned course, with as little deviation as possible.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Here are some insights into Taleb’s approach, especially relevant today:

Nassim’s credentials:

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3 Things That Cause Ethical Breakdowns in Workplace Culture: Timing a Reminder is Everything


Tensions among senior staff in universities seem to be making the news on a regular basis. Examples include leader strife at Rutgers (blame), Penn State (cascade failure to deal with a crime) and University of Virginia (abrupt leadership goings and comings.)

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Using Jung to Clarify the Power of Introversion and Extroversion in Coaching

Learn how to move out of the shallows of those old introvert & extrovert labels.

What’s best used as a combo with other aspects of personality?  Introversion and Extroversion.  

The famed psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, is one of the few that has added clarity to the oversimplification or archaic use of introversion & extroversion in modern times.   Assessments of the past, like the Myers Briggs Type IndicatorTM have helped many people better understand Jung’s complex explanations about personality so that they are more accessible and useful in the world.

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