Being a leader

The first video listed above gives a very linear description of what a leader should not be, but can be guilty of becoming.  I hate leaders are that headstrong, self righteous, power-tripping, sanctimonious jerk who thinks that their feelings are the only ones that count. 

The second video is about a horseman named Dennis Reis.  Dennis Reis is a genius practitioner of natural horsemanship.  As you can see from his video, his words are encouraging, his smile never leaves his face, and he is genuinely proud and pleased to give people credit where credit is do.  I chose Dennis Reis as a shining example of who a leader should be, not just because I am a follower of his natural horsemanship practices as is my horse riding instructor, but because I had the indescribable pleasure of spending a weekend with Dennis and his wife Deborah.  I, along with about twenty others, were able to witness firsthand his generosity and almost tangible spirit of leadership, encouragement, and selflessness.  Mr. Reis worked with about four different people who were having “horse issues”.  I remember so distinctly one moment, when he said to a young woman, “You have to be his (the horse’s) leader.  If you are his leader, you will have to correct him sometimes.  You can correct and encourage, or you can correct and discourage.”  He then took her on a step by step pattern to correct her horse firmly when needed, but then love him immediately following, showing that her correction was out of love and desire to keep both of them safe and working together as a team.

The Dennis Reis natural horsemanship techniques have become more noticeable to me as I practice them, not just with horses, but in my life with my fellow co workers and family.  The reason that one “scene” from that weekend stands out to me is because that is a great motto for any leader to follow.  It is important to encourage as much as possible and make sure that everyone who is being led by you knows that you are just as interested in making them look good as making yourself look good.  It is important that they feel appreciated and not belittled over the slightest error.  And it is important that when the need for correction or improvement should be addressed that the leader is just as willing to listen and encourage as opposed to dismiss and discourage. 


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