Business Thoughts from the Back of a Horse….
I have been “horse crazy” all my life and am thankful for the privilege of partnering with these amazing creatures. I have learned so much from our work together and I would like to share some principles via a few posts. In each post, I will share one principle I have learned and how it applies to business.
You can’t just “show up”.
Trust and respect are integral in all relationships – horse, human or business – but they take time to develop. Trust and respect are products of applying knowledge and wisdom. We are all life-long learners, utilizing books, online resources and mentors. Wisdom comes from implementing that knowledge. It is a journey, combining the knowledge in our head with living it out in practice. Sometimes messy, sometimes tough, the journey itself becomes incredibly rewarding.
Horse competitions pit horse and rider against other partnerships. Whether judged by time or the finesse of maneuvers, the competitions are an “artificial” event constructed to exhibit the trust and respect the partnership has built in its journey together. Yes, talent plays a part, but I suspect that if we could get the data, the majority of “winners” are the ones that have put a huge amount of time into building trust and respect through studying and practicing. When I evaluate my successes and failures in the show ring, I can see where those hours paid off and where I need to invest more time and effort. That evaluation spurs me on (pun intended!) toward continuing improvement.
Business is an everyday competition that puts our knowledge and wisdom to the test. How much more, then, should we be studying and practicing for our daily work? I sometimes fall into the trap of thinking I can “wing it”, but the consequences range from lackluster to abysmal. How can we prepare for the challenges of tomorrow or next year? How can we communicate more clearly with our clients? What will build mutual respect with our team mates? If we look back on our last week, what score would we give ourselves? How we can better prepare the next time?
Think of your upcoming week as a competition, but focus on competing with yourself. How can you improve in one or two important areas of your career? What knowledge and subsequent actions will improve outcomes? Showing up is important, but preparing before you show up will be more rewarding!
All the best!! Laura