Last week at the stables where I ride the owner commented that four of her lessons had lost their jobs this week, and as she does’t teach that many people, that represents quite a high proportion. The reason seems to be that companies are now being asked to apply for the second furlough grant and are realising that as they come out of Covid 19 their business will not be what it used to be. This seems typical of the nationwide picture. So there are going to be a lot of people suddenly wondering what to do next. There is going to be a need for good leadership, but whom will these people follow?
When a horse is taken out of the herd, and is feeling insecure and afraid they also look for leadership. That leader is often us. One of my favourite horse authors, Mark Rashid, talks about how horses choose a passive leader, ” …before a horse (or person) can be considered a passive leader, it must first exhibit the qualities that make it desirable to be chosen. Those qualities are, quiet confidence, dependability, consistency, a willingness not to use force.” These four qualities are what make the horse trust us, (passive leadership does not describe how the leader behaves after they are chosen, but how they are chosen in the first place).
So this got me to wondering do humans have and innate need for leadership? If so what qualities do we desire in our leaders for us to choose them?
Susan Scott wrote in Fierce Conversations, ” In any situation the person who can most accurately describe reality without laying blame will emerge the leader, whether designated or not”.
So as we emerge from Covid 19, and the demand for leadership is greater than ever, we need to choose our leaders carefully. It is going to be critical that we have given though to the qualities we want from those whom we choose to follow, and that those leaders show that they have a firm grasp of our reality.