Archive for May 2014

Horses in Business

I was talking to a coach earlier this week and he reminded me of something an old boss and I talked about years ago when we were managing an Engineering Firm. We were looking to hire a new Engineer to come into the firm and trying to figure out what kind of personality we wanted that would be the best fit. This is not going to be a perfect analogy but it works for me. See if this makes sense. This kind of goes along with personality plus or gems or colors or whatever you wish to use to help you figure people out. I have always pondered this since my discussion with my old boss.  I have applied it to our Beachbody Business.

There are basically three types of people who come into an organization and he used the analogy of horses (this is grossly generalized but should help you think about people differently).

Horses for fun

Horses for fun

1) You have a Recreational Horse. They are beautiful and strong. They are a lot of fun. They provide a lot of entertainment. BUT, in the end, they really do no work and only cost you time and money. As long as you understand this type of horse, they don’t frustrate you because you know they are only there for your entertainment to ride and hang out with. Try to get them to pull a wagon or win a race and you are going to be frustrated and you will irritate that horse and they may bite and kick you. Unfortunately, most horses fit this category.

Draft Horses

Draft Horses

2) You have a Draft (Draught) Horse. This horse is a worker and pull the wagons. I think of Clydesdales, Percherons or Belgiums here. They won’t typically bite you or kick you. They are not created for entertainment. They may be pretty to look at but that is not their purpose. Their purpose is to pull heavy loads. They will not win any races, but they will get the work done. You simply have to hook up the wagon and point them in the right direction. You can ride them but they aren’t much fun to ride. You certainly won’t win any races with them. They are humble and just work, usually slowly and methodically.   They are typically trained by hitching them to an older horse and having them work along side the one who knows what to do.  They are very loyal and never leave you in a bind.

Quarter Horse

Quarter Horse

3) You have a Race Horse (Quarter Horse). This horse is FAST. They may be beautiful but that is not their purpose. Their purpose is to get down the track, FAST, whether you hang on or not. They are not made for entertainment or work. If you hook them to a wagon, they may break their legs kicking it. They are temperamental and may bite and kick you for no good reason, simply because they can. This horse is flashy and will win you a lot of money at the track, IF they are trained properly and put in a position to win. The trainer is key here to keep them on the track and pointed in the right direction. They are fast but they will run all over the place unless you stay with them and reign them in and steer them all while prodding them to run faster. They typically don’t play well with others and think they are the best horse on the planet and will get frustrated at the other horses in the pasture.

So, first thing, which horse are you? Are you there for entertainment, work or speed?
The last Coach you brought into the business, which type are they? Are you trying to make a draft horse run fast or hooking an entertainment horse to a wagon and trying to make them pull? Most of us are wired innately to attract one type of horse and only one type. If your organization is full of the entertainment type of horse, you will have a lot of fun, but you won’t make any money and eventually you will get frustrated because you won’t make any money. Hopefully that makes sense.  If it is full of Quarter Horses, they will be all over the place until you can learn to hang on and train them all at the same time.  That is why we developed training systems for the business.

The thing is, unlike horses, we CAN change what we are and it may change from day to day. We can flip from one type to the other with Personal Development (reading books and listening to audio) and time in the business and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I’m rereading the Compound Effect by Darren Hardy right now. I want to encourage you to do the same. If you don’t have that book, get it and read it. Also, get any audio you can get your hands on by Jim Rohn. Trust me. It will help you in EVERY aspect of your life.