Leaders of the future need a specific set of skills: ones which allow them to respond quickly, adapt effectively, remain in the present and connect powerfully with others.
Horses are masters of these skills.
And an expertly facilitated process called “Equine Guided Development” allows us to learn directly from them – and receive profound insight into our own presence and practice as leaders.
Today, we’re excited to share an announcement which reveals our ongoing commitment to this unique strand of our development for leaders.
Quite simply – we think the wisdom of horses is at the heart of the leadership that’s emerging right now.
What is Equine Guided Development?
Horses have been around for 60 million years and are masters at leading through uncertainty. Their leadership is sensory and fluid, courageous and sensitive. Finely tuned to herd dynamics, it is grounded in the present, able to change direction mid-stride to escape threats or explore higher or more fertile ground.
In the wake of Covid, these are all things we urgently need to master. Just as, for the sake of our wellbeing, we need to achieve a better balance by spending more time reconnecting with our selves, with one another – and being grounded by nature.
Equine Guided Development invites us to develop our skills as human leaders via interactions with horses in a very different arena from our everyday work environment.
Feeling supported and safe, you interact with and learn about leadership from the ultimate team and herd animal – a sentient being with no preconceptions or judgement, who will react solely to the energy and impact you manifest in the moment.
This experience teaches you that, to lead successfully, you must cast aside pretence and step into your authentic self.
The future of leadership
Increasingly, our team are convinced that that the learning that horses evoke within us – from the importance of presence, trust and respect to an effective way to lead and avoid burnout – has never been more important.
Mounting research by psychologists, points to a strong correlation between time spent interacting with animals and enhanced mental wellbeing and empathic connection, which are key concerns for 21st century leaders.
“Wow, wow, wow… I was telling myself last night before I fell asleep and this morning on the drive to the farm that I needed to be prepared for the “me” part of this experience. The “me” happened in a very profound way. I am still processing it…
It was an experience like nothing else I have ever been through; it was what I needed. And needed now. I can’t thank you, Ginny, Sharon and Dave enough for holding me safe through the experience. It was that safety that enabled me to let my guard down, to see what I needed to see, to be brave about the limiting beliefs I hold about myself, and to be present in their meaning.
And, of course, Phoebe. She is in my heart. She is my coach. She deserves all the hay, great views, strokes on the neck and love that any exceptional horse who is helping us be better versions of ourselves should get.
…I can’t wait to do it again and bring this version of courageous leadership to [my company].”
2022 testimonial from a Senior People Leader in a global tech business
Our next steps with Equine Guided Development
Equine Guided Development has been a wildly popular and deeply impactful element of our work since 2012 – and as our work has grown and evolved, has informed many of the philosophies and techniques we bring to our wider work.
More recently we recognised that, thanks to its qualities of being grounded, balanced and authentic; powerful, passionate and compelling, working with horses has become the symbolic heart of Global Warriors.
So, Global Warriors are delighted to announce our acquisition of Acorns 2 Oaks, the Equine Guided Development (EGD) partner with whom we’ve had a wonderfully rich, respectful, and productive working relationship since 2012. As Global Warriors Founder and CEO Biba Binotti explains:
“We see equine guided development as critical to the future of leadership, allowing us to expand our perspectives beyond the human and learn from the wisdom of horses as we navigate this complex and challenging moment. Bringing this work in-house shows how highly we value our equine colleagues – and the extraordinary impact they are having on the next generation of leaders.”
Led by internationally acclaimed trainer, speaker, coach and all-round brilliant character David Harris, Acorn to Oaks has been delivering profound development experiences for individuals and companies since 2003.
And we know the Equine Guided development work led by Dave, his wife, Sharon and our team will continue to steer the next generation of leaders, as we adapt to our ever-changing world.
David told us:
“We’re really excited about this new development. We share with Global Warriors core values and beliefs about people, organisations and their potential – and our partnership opens up new possibilities for all of us. And, most importantly, we’re delighted to be continuing the legacy of our work with leaders from around the globe – and the impact of the horses on their work.”
If you’d like to find out more about how working with horses can create powerful learning and development experiences for your people, do get in touch.