March 23, 2020
“We are all in this together.” This is a comment that we hear a lot in these days of the coronavirus pandemic. And it’s true. We have never before seen every person around the globe affected by a health and economic crisis that none of us ever imagined could happen in our lifetime.
The illness, the economic loss, the fearfulness, the uncertainty – it is daunting, but it also has a strange way of bringing the best of humanity together. We see it in the bravery of the first responders of the medical community who are putting their own health in jeopardy to care for others. We see it in those individuals and companies volunteering their time and resources to make hand sanitizers for the community and personal protective equipment for first responders, doctors, and nurses. We see it in the people that are practicing social distancing, while still safely supporting local restaurants through drive-thru’s and take-outs. We see it in the people who are reaching out to help the elderly and other neighbors who are highly vulnerable to coronavirus.
We are all part of a larger team in our own communities, working to help everyone survive. To remain resilient now and in the difficult challenges ahead of us, this is a great time to reflect on what we can learn about survival, about leadership, and about working together successfully as a team from a herd of horses. Yes, from horses.
Horses have evolved over the last 45-55 million years to be the animals that we know today. They have survived because of their herd behavior – because of the way they work together as a team. As prey animals, the horses within a herd support each other for their own protection. They want nothing more than to graze peacefully together in green pastures, which is what we also want, metaphorically speaking, for our own families, our own businesses, and our own local, state, national, and global communities.
Our blog entries over the next few weeks will outline what we can learn from horse herds in this difficult time about leadership and about what we call the three C’s: communication, cooperation, and collaboration. As we are all hunkered down in our homes, our goal is to present these lessons from nature so that, as humans, we can learn the secrets that horses have known for millions of years about survival through teamwork.
Stay tuned for our follow-up entries. Stay strong and look to the herd.
Susan and Joseph Urban
Dashing W Farm
(Based on a presentation by Susan and Joseph Urban entitled Workplace Dynamics on the Age of Social Media: What We Can Learn from a Herd of Horses).