March 26, 2013

The Power of the Herd by Linda Kohanov

The Power of the Herd by Linda Kohanov is a book about leadership that focuses on “non-predatory power,” instead of the power hungry leadership roles many businesses use. This insightful approach to developing assertiveness, creativity, and leadership roles can work for workplaces and relationships.

Book Description
Linda Kohanov is beloved for her groundbreaking articulation of “the way of the horse,” an experiential wisdom known to riders for centuries but little studied or adapted to off-horse use. Now Kohanov takes those horse-inspired insights on exceptional communication and leadership into the realms of our workplaces and relationships. Here we explore the benefits of “nonpredatory power” in developing assertiveness, fostering creativity, dealing with conflict, and heightening mind-body awareness. 

In the first part of this far-reaching book, Kohanov profiles cultural innovators who employed extraordinary nonverbal leadership skills to change history, usually on horseback: Winston Churchill, George Washington, Alexander the Great, and the Buddha, among others. She also draws on the behavior of mature horse herds, as well as the herding cultures of Africa and Mongolia, to debunk theories of dominance hierarchies, challenge ingrained notions of “survival of the fittest,” and demonstrate the power of a consensual leadership in which governing roles are fluid.

Kohanov adapts these lessons into twelve powerful guiding principles we can all incorporate into our work and personal lives. Eloquent and provocative, this is horse sense for everyone who seeks to thrive in the herds we all run in — our communities, careers, families, and friendships.” – The Power of the Herd

My Thoughts
The Power of the Herd is an encouraging book that truly teaches the reader about how horses can teach us humans about life, and especially leadership. Before delving into this book, I never knew that horses have leadership in herds, and that they could teach us so much.

Kohanov does an excellent job explaining what she has observed with horses, and how it can help to empower us. The 12 guidelines are something that can be used in life, not just in leadership roles at work. However, I think if more “leaders” were to read this book, the workplace would be a better place for many people because the same old leadership programs don’t seem to be working. This is however, full ideas and guidelines that I think would work quite well to encourage people instead of making them feel like just another number in a company. This is an excellent resource that I highly recommend.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Power of the Herd, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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