Read The Power of the Herd Online

Authors: Linda Kohanov

The Power of the Herd

Also by Linda Kohanov
Riding between the Worlds:
Expanding Our Potential through the Way of the Horse
The Tao of Equus: A Woman's Journey of Healing
and Transformation through the Way of the Horse
Way of the Horse: Equine Archetypes for Self-Discovery
— A Book of Exploration and 40 Cards

Copyright © 2013 by Linda Kohanov

All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, or other — without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review.

The material in this book is intended for education. It is not meant to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified medical practitioner or therapist. No expressed or implied guarantee of the effects of the use of the recommendations can be given or liability taken.

Text design by Tona Pearce Myers

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Kohanov, Linda.

  The power of the herd : a nonpredatory approach to social intelligence, leadership, and innovation / Linda Kohanov.

       p.  cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-1-57731-676-3 (hardcover : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-1-57731-681-7 (ebook)

1. Social intelligence. 2. Leadership. 3. Horses—Psychological aspects. 4. Animals

—Therapeutic use. I. Title.

HM1261.K64 2013

152.4—dc23                                                                                    2012044855

First printing, March 2013

ISBN 978-1-57731-676-3

Printed in Canada on 100% postconsumer-waste recycled paper

 

New World Library is proud to be a Gold Certified Environmentally Responsible Publisher. Publisher certification awarded by Green Press Initiative.
www.greenpressinitiative.org

10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

For
Steve Roach,
my husband, anchor, confidant,
and muse
CONTENTS

I
NTRODUCTION

Part I. A Brief History of Power

C
HAPTER
O
NE
.
The Horse in My Cathedral

C
HAPTER
T
WO
.
Legacy of Power

C
HAPTER
T
HREE
.
Hidden Wisdom

C
HAPTER
F
OUR
.
Revolution and Evolution

C
HAPTER
F
IVE
.
The Lion and the Horse

C
HAPTER
S
IX
.
The Melancholy Truths

C
HAPTER
S
EVEN
.
Abel's Genius

C
HAPTER
E
IGHT
.
Herd Power

Part II. The Necessity of Vision

C
HAPTER
N
INE
.
The Invisible

C
HAPTER
T
EN
.
Moon Dance

C
HAPTER
E
LEVEN
.
Sticks and Stones

C
HAPTER
T
WELVE
.
The Challenge

Part III. Horse Sense at Work:
The Twelve “Power of the herd” Guiding Principles

Guiding Principle Overview

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTEEN
.
Guiding Principle 1.

Use Emotions as Information

C
HAPTER
F
OURTEEN
.
Guiding Principle 2.

Listen to Your Horse

C
HAPTER
F
IFTEEN
.
Guiding Principle 3.

Manage Contagious Emotions

C
HAPTER
S
IXTEEN
.
Guiding Principle 4.

Master Boundaries and Assertiveness

C
HAPTER
S
EVENTEEN
.
Guiding Principle 5.

Develop a High Tolerance for Vulnerability

C
HAPTER
E
IGHTEEN
.
Guiding Principle 6.

Choose the Programs; Be the Programmer

C
HAPTER
N
INETEEN
.
Guiding Principle 7.

Conserve Energy for True Emergencies

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY
.
Guiding Principle 8. Employ Nonpredatory Power

Liberally, and Predatory Power Sparingly

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY
-O
NE
.
Guiding Principle 9.

Prepare for Difficult Conversations

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY
-T
WO
.
Guiding Principle 10.

Engage in Consensual Leadership

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY
-T
HREE
.
Guiding Principle 11.

Cultivate Emotional Heroism

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY
-F
OUR
.
Guiding Principle 12.

Enjoy the Ride

A
PPENDIX
.
How to Choose an Instructor

A
CKNOWLEDGMENTS

E
NDNOTES

I
NDEX

A
BOUT THE
A
UTHOR

INTRODUCTION

T
hroughout history, knights in shining armor often rode spirited,
well-trained horses like those featured on the cover of this book. If you're an experienced equestrian, you know that these luminous creatures aren't white; they're gray. And they were, in all likelihood, born black.

Pure white horses are extremely rare. Some experts argue that they don't even exist. All those movie heroes racing around on snow-colored stallions are riding older mounts whose youthful coal-colored coats lightened dramatically over time — as their focus, self-control, and athletic prowess increased through years of careful training.

Dark horses slowly turning gray, then silver, then white are the
perfect
metaphor for developing power — innovative, compassionate, and mentally, emotionally, and socially intelligent power. The more faithfully we work to bring our talents out of the shadows, shining a light on those notoriously elusive areas related to creativity, charisma, and mutually supportive relationships, the more quickly we are bound to excel.

If black horses represent unconscious, unbridled spirit, energy, intuition, and instinct, the process of developing this raw “material,” of making it fully conscious, is, truly, the path we must undertake today. We can no longer wait for great leaders to emerge accidentally, as radiant freaks of nature whose inspiring presence nonetheless remains mysterious, untranslatable, unteachable to others. The stakes are much too high.

In my fifty-plus years on this planet, so much has changed. Like millions of other baby boomers, I've seen racial segregation and “traditional,” 1950s-style
family structures erode and evolve under the influence of civil rights, women's liberation, the sexual revolution, the fall of the communist empire, financial deregulation, economic strife, and the creation of the Internet, among other social and technological upheavals.

Many of these forces combined in 2008, leading to the election of Barack Obama, our first mixed-race U.S. president, a development my conservative southern grandparents couldn't have imagined in their wildest dreams. Yet no matter who runs for this coveted office in the future, this presidential race marked a significant turning point in American history — for other reasons as well.

The Republican ticket would have been equally disturbing to my prim and proper grandma: a conventionally respectable war hero with an outspoken woman vice-presidential running mate — whose daughter was pregnant out of wedlock, no less? In the mid-twentieth century, this self-proclaimed “mama grizzly” would have been completely, unquestionably ostracized by members of her own sex for all kinds of behavior unbecoming a matriarch.

Despite her seemingly militant support of traditional values, Sarah Palin's very presence on that political stage represented a significant innovation for a new kind of family, one in which empowered women might become leaders while also showing compassion and acceptance for the many challenges future generations face upon entering this world. What she was
saying
in her conservative, at times aggressive, speeches hadn't yet caught up to the promise of what she was living. Maverick, indeed!

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