In September 2023, members of the PAGNY Leadership Development Group participated in an equestrian leadership development event held at Twin Lakes Farm horse barn in Westchester, NY. This event was an opportunity for current and future organization leaders to engage in innovative methods and strategies to push their organizations forward.
PAGNY leaders engaged with horses to model the situational nature of effective leadership. Push, pull, or guide? Lead or follow? What choice should you make in what situation? Horses are sensitive to human emotions and respond primarily to body language, demeanor, mood, and tone. Because of this, they provide unedited feedback about how you show up as a leader, and what it may take from you to earn their trust. Through this session, the PAGNY Leadership Development Group learned to assess the needs of the teams they lead and act accordingly.
PAGNY team members were welcomed by facilitators from The Physician Leadership Institute, Wes Avants and Karen Kendrick. The event focused on building trust, effective communication, and mutual reliance to achieve shared goals, all while connecting with some majestic animals. The lessons reinforced the importance of teamwork in our corporate cultures. Shannel Reed, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist at PAGNY, described the event as “profound.” “It was about developing a new language of communication, building trust, and emphasizing the power of teamwork,” said Reed. “I would highly recommend anyone seeking personal growth and leadership development to embark on this transformative journey.”
Key takeaways included:
- Building trust begins with learning about what others care about and value—finding out how they want to be led and the conditions in which they are most likely to thrive.
- There is no “one size fits all” approach to engaging with and motivating people. The best approach is the one that speaks to the values and motivations of those involved.
- Successful influence is situational. What strategy you use should depend not only on the needs of the people involved, but also the conditions inherent in the situation. Sometimes, creating a sense of urgency will yield optimal results, while other times it will ignite resistance.
For those seeking leadership development opportunities, consider joining the PAGNY Leadership Development Group. We encourage you to share your personal and professional leadership experiences with your leadership team.