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Ride Em' Cowboy: Business Leadership Lessons from the Rodeo

Posted by StellaPop on Jul 19, 2021 2:30:00 PM
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rodeo leadership lessons

What does business have in common with the rodeo? More than you'd think. Leadership and horsemanship may seem worlds apart, but a bucking bronco can teach you plenty of (painful) lessons you can apply in the business world. If you're ready to sit up high in the saddle of your business or consultancy, then take these tips to heart.

1 Half of This Ride is Out of Your Control

In rodeo, you can be as skilled as the best of them, and know your animal, too. But that doesn't mean everything's going to go to plan. Your ride might send you flying in seconds, even though you thought you had it all figured out. You might have the best ride of your life - even though you weren't performing at your best. Sometimes, all you can do is work with what you've got and accepted that you can't control it all. 

2 Injuries Will Happen - Take 'em in Stride

Rodeo isn't for the faint-hearted. Those gnarly falls and spills can cause all sorts of injuries. Bumps, bruises, and worse are all part of the game. But rodeo riders go into the ring knowing that what lies ahead probably isn't smooth sailing. They push forward, grin and bear the worst of it - and hop right back on as soon as they can. If you want something badly enough, the inevitable bruises are worth it.

3 Know When to Let Go - Dismount the Right Way

Staying power is one thing, but sometimes holding on for dear life is a losing game. Ask yourself: is it sticktoitiveness or the sunk cost fallacy in action? If things start to go downhill, dismount quickly and safely while the risk of damage and injury is low. Better a smooth dismount than a spectacular fall - you'll have more chances to bounce back, and sooner rather than later.

4 Be Ready - Life Comes At You Fast

Most events at the rodeo are over in less than a minute, so you've got to be ready right out of the gate. Be prepared to hit the ground running and give it everything you've got. That means being prepared and being comfortable course-correcting or switching up strategy on the fly.

5 Grit and Speed Matter - But So Does Technique

Muscling your way through earns cred, sure. And moving fast is definitely a plus. But without mastery of technique, grit and agility will only take you so far. Before you leap into the fray, make sure you've got the right set of skills in place. The best riders spend way more time working on their riding outside the ring than they do in it.

6 Learn from the Best - Find Yourself a Mentor

If you're a self-taught wrangler or bullfighter, good job. But if you want to continue leveling up and chasing new highs, you need to find a legendary mentor to train under. Find someone with the skills, experience, and wisdom to share what they know - and help you go from strength to strength. 

7 Take Your Wins With Style - Share The Kudos

So you've stuck it out, reached the 8-seconds ride time, and landed the big buckle and the win. As much as you might want to, now's not the time to toot your own horn. Take a page out of the top riders' books and direct credit for your win to your team's input, expertise, and support. It might be lonely out there under the lights, but no success is all down to one person and their trusty horse. 

Ready to ride out in style? The team at StellaPop has made a name training up leadership greenhorns until so can hold their own with the pros. Drop us a line, and let's ride together!

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See Also:

Prepare the Horse: Guiding Your Team Through Change

What It Means to Be a Leader in 2021 and Beyond

CEO Insight: Building Resilient Teams? Start Here.

Topics: Management, Leadership

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