The Paddock Boardroom
I watch the horses interact in the paddock with fascination. I often get stuck out there, taking it all in and laughing to myself as I learn the relationships and how they all fit together, and how it reminds me of day to day interactions with people I work with at all levels.
What I have learned by watching reminds me very much of the boardroom. In our paddock we have:
Directors: Lucky, Henry and Beauty (newly appointed)
Employees: Felix, Buddy, HD, Griffin and Mitch
Now Smokey, as the CEO does not really get his hoofs dirty. He swans around and lets his underlings take care of business. If someone new comes into the paddock or someone is out of line, BeeJ makes sure that everything stays in order. Its his job to shadow the new guy and ensure that he knows the order of things. It may not be the COO who usually does this, but BeeJ is very hooves on.
Just like in any business, there is always a disruptor. Someone vying for that higher status and that likes to stir up a bit of trouble. In this paddock it is Henry, he is a bit bossy with those under him and uses a strong hoof to make his voice heard. He is tolerated by senior managers as he has other endearing qualities. He is the jokester- he is good entertainment, and fun to have around.
However he does annoy the team under him and tries to divide and conquer, but due to this no-one will particularly want to follow him as he is not fully trusted, so he will likely never be COO or CEO.
New to the Directors is Beauty. He has strong alliances with the other employees as he was one of that team and is an important member of that junior group. You often see him at the drinking fountain laughing and grazing with the other employees. He is still young, but you can see he is driven and has ambition to be promoted in the coming years.
In life we need a good leader. A leader that is liked. This is the most important part. Smokey is fair, he does not rule with a heavy hoof and is well liked by all the team. He allows the younger horses to make mistakes and allows them develop their skills. The other horses would follow Smokey in to battle without question.
One of the most important learnings from watching this behaviour, is that the leader must be fair and consistent in behaviour. This is the important lesson and is the basis of how we interact with our horses.