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Elevate Leadership Training

The Five Roles of a Master Herder 

Learn in a experiential way with the support of the horses, allowing deeper understanding, insights and fun!

What are the 5 roles and how can this method help you or your organisation?

This model for Leadership training was born out of the research Linda Kohanov had done for her  book, The Power of The Herd,  where she describes how many great leaders throughout history had been great horsemen.

The research then lead her to the Fulani tribe- nomadic pastoralists of Nigeria whose lifestyle demands fluid and intelligent leadership on a large scale, as Linda explains; 


“Over thousands of years, nomadic pastoralists — tribes that move with large, unrestrained animals — developed a multi-faceted, socially intelligent form of leadership combining five roles,” she explains. “In learning to use these roles interchangeably, rather than specializing in one or two, herding cultures became fluent in when and how to use each of them to greatest effect. In understanding the differences between the Dominant, Leader, Nurturer/Companion, Sentinel, and Predator roles, ‘master herders’ were able to capture the unique power of each. In the process, they created a fluid vocabulary of interventions that allowed interspecies communities to move across vast landscapes. These people had to deal with predators and changing climates, protecting and nurturing the herd while keeping these massive, gregarious, sometimes aggressive animals together — without the benefit of fences and with very little reliance on restraints.”



In my leadership training courses, whether for an individual or a team, we explore these roles through discussion and activities, learning about their benefits and challenges, and becoming aware of when it's useful to use each role and how we can apply them to your specific situation.

Interspersed within the day/course, experiences with the horses*, who also embody these roles within the natural herd environment,  allow the participants to learn;

* how to embody the roles

*how to communicate clearly

* how to set boundaries effectively 

* to explore mutual respect  

* how to become congruent

* what is required to achieve goals effectively

*how to motivate others in a positive way using non-predatory power

* how to work as a coherent team

These active experiences with horses allow the learner to feel the changes within themselves and the group as they are reflected back by the horses in the moment and without any judgement. 

This form of experience takes the learning to a much deeper level, into the felt sense, allowing for much clearer understanding and acknowledgement, moments of intense clarity and insight and, of course, fun!


As Linda says;

‘’If we adopt the social intelligence and leadership skills pioneered by our nomadic cousins, while still valuing the technological innovations that could only have been perfected in a sedentary context, we will combine best of both worlds. Balancing the Five Roles of a Master Herder can help modern tribes of empowered, mobile, innovative, and adaptable people to support each other through the inevitable droughts and doubts of life as we move ever more faithfully and confidently toward the greener pastures of humanity’s own untapped potential.”

So, if you are facing change within the structure of your company, have interpersonal issues that need to be addressed or just would like to find a training workshop to bring your team together, exploring their challenges and strengths in a safe and supported space, then please contact me to discuss your needs. 

*all activities with the horses are on the ground. No riding or horse experience is necessary at all.


*price dependant on your requirements.

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