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In today's increasingly uncertain business environment, leaders are needed at every level of an organization. RIDERS workshops are uniquely designed to help managers, leaders, and potential leaders take the journey toward leadership excellence.

The path to leadership
According to Warren Bennis, a widely-recognized authority on leadership, many organizations are under-led and over-managed.* Although managers and leaders are both needed, they contribute differently to a business. Managers ensure that things get "done right," while leaders focus on "doing the right things." It is apparent that the challenges facing 21st century businesses require people who know what are the "right things" to do. Leaders discover their "right thing" by beginning with themselves and moving outward to involve larger "systems"—partnerships, teams, and ultimately by learning how the whole organization fits within its environment.


m.stenross quote

Knowing yourself
Self-awareness is a cornerstone of leadership power. Leadership develops from knowing who you are—not simply what you should do. Self-aware leaders develop confidence through knowledge of their personal strengths and weaknesses, increase their competence by setting goals for gaining new skills, and establish credibility by being able to admit limitations and complement their own skills with those of competent followers. And if you must decide about what is "right" for the organization—and yourself—then first you must examine what you know about your:

• Values, motivations, thinking processes
• Commitment level; focus; drive; perseverance
• Emotional intelligence (for yourself and ability to "read" others)
• Communication skill (clarity; content)
• Credibility, trust-building
• Degree of openness to reasonable risk-taking

A leader's development begins with knowledge of personal values, motivations and historical influences. These shape our being and actions in fundamental ways. Our values and preferences affect our choices, how our energy may be directed, and even what we are strong, or not so strong, in. Naturally, we gravitate toward what we value. Effective leaders demonstrate significant levels of focus, drive, and perseverance. Self-knowledge about how well you use your energy or drive is crucial for anyone who wants to succeed in business.

Self-awareness creates a strong sense of confidence and competence in carrying out a leadership role. It's the foundation from which we are able to make wise decisions, to delegate effectively, and to handle uncertain or ambiguous situations with assurance. Knowledge of "emotional IQ" is also essential. An understanding of what make us "tick" allows us to see others more clearly as well, enabling us to treat ourselves and others in a more compassionate manner. Finally, a leader who has both personal insight and insight into others is usually someone whom people trust. And that goes a long way toward building credibility.

Prior to attending a Lead RIDERS Workshop, participants take a well-researched leadership instrument. In this way, individuals come prepared to immediately create their learning goals for the workshop. This individualized approach allows each person to focus on those leadership practices that need improvement, as seen through the lens of the workplace. During the workshop, the instrument's information may be confirmed, revised, or complemented with new data. The workshop leaders guide each participant through exercises that address the leadership gaps; other participants are invaluable sources of feedback and new ideas as well. RIDERS focus on self-awareness is a powerful way to begin your leadership journey.


g gloski quote

Leading through partnerships
The ability to create partnerships—with customers, suppliers as well as with other departments and employees—is fundamental to organizational success. The leader who can build trusting partnerships through clear and compassionate communication and feedback not only gets results, but also develops long-standing business relationships for the future.

The act of riding a horse is a natural "partnership" activity. Inherent in riding is direct feedback from the horse-partner about how we communicate, listen, develop mutual direction, and become the "partner-in-charge."** Potential leaders who are not clear where they are headed, or don't communicate that message well, may find themselves heading back to the barn! "Micro-managers" who have a hard time "letting go" will find that their relationship with the horse is tense and over-bearing. It is up to each participant to look closely at these interactions. The Lead RIDERS trainers assist in this goal by helping participants learn where to look.

Partnership benefits of Lead RIDERS aren't limited to the horse/rider relationship. They are also deepened by coaching one another — by giving and receiving feedback. RIDERS members engage in several exercises to improve coaching and feedback skills, which are necessary tools in every leader's toolkit.


d.stravopolous quote

Leading teams and networks
Today's lean and adaptive organizations depend upon teams and networks of teams working smoothly together. RIDERS workshops help leaders develop the mental model for successful teams and the practical skills for sustaining teamwork through both routine and challenging times.

To lead teams effectively, leaders must:
Translate the organizational or team direction and mission into reality. Leaders need good ideas and future-oriented thinking, but these are no guarantee of success. Effective leaders must also know how to get things done. That usually requires significant support or action from partners and team members. "Followers" must believe in the direction in order to implement it with enthusiasm (they may implement an idea without enthusiasm but the result will embody their half-heartedness).

Align people with this direction. The leader's ability to align people with the team or organization's direction will be based on two key factors: 1) An ability to communicate it clearly; 2) The foundation of relationship support (trust; credibility) so that people believe in and support the direction. One's credibility is greatly enhanced by the self-awareness that we spoke of above.

Foster continuous learning and improvement. A person, partnership, and team must always be improving in order to remain successful. A stagnant organization is doomed to failure in today's business environment; an individual who fails to adapt and learn will quickly be left behind as well. The leaders who take seriously their own commitment to learning are able to transmit that passion to their partnerships, teams, and organizations. Where are you on the commitment to continuous learning?

Using the RIDERS Method
The RIDERS training process engages you in "real time" experiences to enhance your leadership capacity. For example, the need to lead and define direction is rarely more obvious than when riding a horse. Leave leadership up to the horse and he will head back to the barn in a flash! The results can be almost as dramatic in a team setting, where an absence of leadership can quickly dissolve into conflict or apathy if the leader fails to establish credibility and communicate clearly. The Lead and Women RIDERS workshops provide varied and exciting opportunities every day—with riding, lassoing, penning cattle, and other team exercises—to engage in, reflect upon, observe, and continuously improve the dynamics of knowing yourself, building powerful partnerships, and encouraging high-performing teams. Join us for an unforgettable experience!

* Learning to Lead, Warren Bennis & Joan Goldsmith (Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1994) p. 4. **Stewardship, Peter Block (Berrett-Kohler Publishers, 1993) p. 31



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