To Be Present, Patient and Persistent – How Horses Can Teach You How to Be a Great Leader

“The horse is a mirror of the handler”, he told me. That got me thinking. If my horse should be a mirror of me, then it should be nice. However, I did not like what I saw. She was dominant, lazy, aggressive, and ignorant and she was eating too much. Well, I was not eating too much, but I was not teachable and in my life, it was either my way or the highway. I am a leader of a great organization in a very big company, I am used to be somewhat dominant, and setting the standpoints on which other people should follow. However, sometimes I experienced that the people I was working with did not like the way I was teaching. I was telling people what to do and not thinking of what could be their motivation or thinking about their point of view.

I found that the young man who taught me about my horse’s behavior also has an educational center where he teaches people the natural principles of love, language and leadership and understanding the horse’s point of view, so you can better help the horse to understand what it is that you want. “Imagine what that approach could do in Humans-Ville!” I started training with this person and soon I found that I was the one who needed to change, not my horse. He was right the horse is truly a mirror of me and how I feel and act inside.

First, I had to learn to be teachable and that was not easy. I had to learn to be humble in order to put the horse first instead of my wants. The horse showed me all my weaknesses and my strengths. Then I had to learn to be Present. If I was not present, I could get hurt and I did. Too many people live in their pasts or in their future. Nevertheless, the real key to happiness and living a fulfilling life lies in the present and the horses truly taught me that. The time is flying and we have a great time once we are present and enjoying ourselves. One way I learned to be present, was that every time I had a negative thought, I should recognize my thought and then focus on what sounds I could hear, the colors around me, the chair I was sitting on or focus on my horse if I was with her. Staying in the present moment is one of the best ways to change your future. It helps you create more of what you really enjoy and isn’t that what life is all about? Having fun and enjoying ourselves?

Another thing, the horses taught me, was to be patient. Again, in my professional life, I usually had only a little patience with people who did not do what they said they would do or they did not understand what I wanted the first time I explained something. So, the way I learned to have patience was that I had to give the horse time to understand what I wanted it to do. Then I had to give the horse time and responsibility to figure out how to do it. That REALLY takes a lot of patience, but it truly pays off in everything else you do. Today I use the same technique when raising my children. I give them a “job” and the responsibility to do that “job” and then they need the time to figure it out for themselves. It gives them more motivation and it gives them a better self-esteem and self-worth. And I noticed that by doing that both my horse and my children started to offer more and they even began taking more responsibility.

But it does take some time. Especially in the beginning so as a side effect I had to learn the power of persistence. The horses are very good teachers when it comes to that subject. They are true masters in this field and they can out-persist you any day if you are not aware. They are dependent on this ability in order to survive in nature. Imagine a Zebra who does not persist on a lion. Before I learned to be persistent, I gave up even before giving my horse the chance so then I began micromanaging the horse and not trusting that the horse would figure it out. That was really a mirror of me. I was the type of person, which gave people assignments and then said that it was a lot easier and faster if I did it myself. So I did not really trust that they would do it well enough or fast enough. Try to imagine what persistence will do to your life. What if you persisted just a little bit longer on that goal? What if you persisted just a little bit longer on getting the relationship right? What if you did not give up on other people or yourself and persisted just a little bit longer? Imagine what positive changes could occur in your life.

I found the same with goal setting. I learned to set goals, to focus on my goal but to stay and enjoy the present moment. Before, I sat a goal, and if I didn’t get it within a short period of time I got impatient and I was not giving it enough time to unfold. What happened was that I only got a few of my short term goals manifested. With the long term goals, I am still working on my patience, being persistent and staying in the present moment.

These are very profound qualities that good leaders also have. And my horses are now teaching me to be a great leader with both horses and humans. So if you have a horse you have one of the greatest teachers close to you.

The 5-Minute Prep Before You Present: How To Calm Your Nerves

First off, know that it’s completely normal and natural to be nervous before speaking in front of a group.

We are born with two natural fears: loud noises and falling. The other fears are products of our environment including public speaking.

But you can come across as being completely sure of yourself, even if you can’t completely shake the jitters.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your calm before you take the microphone.

1. Wiggle your toes

Studies show that wiggling your toes reduces stress levels and decreases anxiety.

2. Chat with Your Audience Before Your Presentation

Meet and greet people before you get on stage. Talking with audiences makes you seem more likeable and approachable. Ask event attendees questions and take in their responses. They may even give you some inspiration to weave into your talk.

3. Claim the three “audience realities”.

One: They believe you’re the expert, so don’t tell them otherwise.
Two: They want you to succeed, so they’re on your side.
Three: They won’t know when you make a mistake, so don’t broadcast it.

4. Find a Pre Talk song.

Athletes and entertainers use this strategy to focus before they take the stage, or start their sport.

Find a song that gets you pumped up and listen to it backstage before every talk. It has to be “your song”, a song that gets your adrenaline to the perfect level: It has to give you enough so you’re saying “You’ve got this, (insert your name), they are going to love you”. Any song that can make you feel that way is worth taking a few minutes to listen to before jumping on stage. Many athletes do it, why not you.

5. Visualize your success.

Sports psychologists have proven that an athlete’s ability to vividly visualize his or her success creates a higher win rate.,Before your next presentation, mentally walk yourself through the presentation. Picture yourself speaking with confidence and poise; see your audience responding positively.

Nervousness is a natural reaction to speaking in front of large groups. However, try to think of this emotion as a “readiness to share you”, and a type of excitement that is necessary for you to speak. You’ve been sub-consciously programmed to think that you fear it, so how about intentionally creating how you perceive your nervousness? It’s within your control. That simple change of view can change your whole attitude.

It’s time to use the strategies above and take back control of you nerves each and every time you speak.

Hardcopy Presentation Printing – Dos and Don’ts

Hardcopy presentation can be very hard work. The sheer number of possible glitches is enough to drive anyone to distraction. The only way to deal with these issues is to create a reliable hardcopy format that eliminates mistakes at the setup stage, and without the last minute panics. The added element is good quality, reliable printer cartridges, laser toner, and supplier support.

Setting up your hardcopy- the single stream approach

“The simpler the better” is the golden “do” here. Don’t use multiple formats. The last thing you need is print problems, when doing an important presentation. This can get tricky when doing reports, or presentations where there are multiple sources and types of data involved. Printers often advertise “Variable Data” printing services, so you can see it’s no minor issue, even for professionals.

A “single stream approach” is using one format for all your presentation work. This is easier, because you’re working off integrated software and hardware, not multiple formats.

For example:

Although most software is OK for Windows, putting images and data sources together can be a real “don’t”, and the print quality can be variable. The solution: Use PowerPoint, a familiar Windows standard, as the image source, which automatically formats the images.

Note: This will also give you a layout and let you work with the presentation element composition.

Checking for errors

The good news is that your print setup will also find any problems before they happen.

There are two basic processes in checking for errors:

Proofing: This is a full quality check, proofreading and image checking for quality before a print run. Make absolutely sure you do this, because it can be expensive to fix any errors, if you don’t.

Print testing: Do a full source quality check on a basic print test. This allows you to identify any hard copy issues at once. The print test includes a full printer test, heads and nozzles, and a preliminary test print to find any issues.

The preliminary print test will save you time and money in just a few minutes. Some basic printers are simply not designed for highly advanced, detailed prints and high volumes of copies. If so, your ink application will be out of synch. Adjust the settings on the Advanced tab, and you’ll find out if the printer can do the job.

Important Do’s:

  • Install new ink cartridges for printers before a print run.
  • Check ink levels regularly.

Presentation values, defined

High value presentation is very high quality, like a prospectus or other important business document. If you’re working with something complex, like a report or business white paper, the presentation must be top quality. Your print job needs to be immaculate, for presentation to business clients.

Success- Print matches presentation needs

The proof copy of your presentation is the benchmark. It will be perfect, with no text or image issues. The ink application will be 100% according to your source materials. Good presentations make good business.