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A 1-minute authentic leadership metaphor.

Paul is led through a 'breakthrough' session
by a horsejoy coach.

Paul enjoying a joyfully trusting relationship
with Boris.

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Authentic Personal Value. How Much To Ask For Your Services?

How do you place a true value on your time, your skills, your self?

"Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny,denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognise it as such." - Henry Miller

One of the offerings in my kit bag is supervising budding (horse-assisted and regular) coaches. This often includes enabling them to succeed in their coaching business. This often includes their enrolling high-fee-paying clients.

The biggest obstacle to success here seems to be personal beliefs that resist our being wealthy and drive us away from asking for and receiving the fees we really deserve.

One indicator of ‘poverty beliefs in action’ is asking far less than we really feel we deserve (based on very personal criteria).

Another is asking far more.

Both extremes are a set-up for failure because they are in-authentic and unconsciously seek confirmation from the client that proves we are not unworthy. Paradoxically, if we entertain any belief that we are unworthy, for any reason at all, the harder we try to prove we’re not, the more we reinforce the belief that we are. Convoluted or what? We may as well invest in an online casino account.

If we’re going to succeed in this business (life), I don’t think we stand a chance if we avoid doing the inner work of clearing out the junk room where we store up all our miserable belief systems and files of data on why all the crap we tell ourselves about ourselves is true. Has to be done. No getting away from it.

Another way I find undermines the compulsion to self-sabotage is to create a maxim like: ‘never talk fees with a client until the value has been agreed.’ As soon as the client asks the oh so reasonable question: ‘how much is this going to cost me?’ and you answer it prematurely, before establishing the value, you can pretty much bet you’ve lost the business or compromised your fee. This question is code for ‘I don’t really believe I’m going to get value here’ or I’m not willing to take the risks/put in the energy/etc. to make this work for me. ‘

In other words we have not done our job – no enrolling, no clients, no money, no business.

A good idea for deflecting the killer question without appearing shifty or lacking confidence is to set the conversation up from the start in a very specific way. If we say at the outset ‘My fees are based on a percentage of the value you perceive you will get from our work together’ you cannot but have a conversation about establishing said value.

The value equation is simple. Value of the fee = value of the solution + cost of the problem. If the problem is costing them arbitrarily £200,000 per annum in unnecessary expenses, lost revenue, energy and opportunity, if the value to them of overcoming the problem and achieving their goals is a further £200,000, say, then the value of the fee is £400,000 (or more).

If you then promise to deliver this result for, say, just 10% of this value – it’s a no-brainer. Your fee is £40,000.

There's also something biblically irresistible to offer clients a 'ten-fold return on investment'.

If you fully have this conversation, you will automatically be building trust, gaining rapport and solving problems. This a far cry from a slick, pushy, 'selling' mindset. You will also ‘natually know’ what fee you really want for doing the work and if this percentage brings it into your ballpark. You will also know if you want to turn the job down because you don’t get the right ‘feel’ from the client. I will only work with a client if I sincerely believe I want to and can do the necessary to support them. For me it also has to be fun.

Sounds easy. No not really. Simple is not necessarily easy. In order to quantify all the different intangibles, costs, pains, fears, risks and commitments a client has to make requires a lot of focus, discipline, practice, practice, practice and intention.

What’s probably also true, if you’re not aligned internally with the part of you that really does know its incalculable, infinite value, chances are you won’t pull this off.

The good news is, that part of you is authentic, it is  right here and accessible right now.

If you enjoy a good paradigm shift, do read the definitive book on (soul-centred) horse-assisted leadership and coaching: Why talk to a guru? When you can whisper to a horse - by Paul Hunting.


The Art Of The I'mpossible - The Art Of True Innovation.

Some artists transform the sun into a yellow spot. Others transform a yellow spot into the sun. - Pablo Picasso

It's no good being reasonable. It's useless playing safe. It's a waste of time making friends. It's disastrous to make gradual improvements.

For many CEO's it's goal-setting time. The presssure's on to increase revenues, margins, profitability. Unconsciously you, the board, the stakeholders are thinking 'how much harder can we squeeze these guys before they collapse? How much further can we s-t-r-e-t-c-h them before they snap?'

These are not smart questions.

They are probably the same questions your competitors are asking - but they will not get you the results you really want. Nor the results that genuinely reflect your potential.

Why not? Because they are predicated on past performance rather than authenic leadership.

The authentic leader knows there is no past - there is no future - only now. If we create our future based on what we did last year and what the pundits say market will look like, we are looking through a glass darkly. We are not invoking our authenticity, our creativity, our greater possibility.

When senior corporate executives come here, we challenge them to build an authentic relationship - with a horse. As they do this, as they risk letting go of control and expectations and enter the portal of the present, they find the horse follows them, at liberty, over increasingly challenging obstacles. The client learns through immediate, direct, personal experience, the power of being in the present and communicating a positive focus to a 'team' that will only follw them if their intention is clear.

Good intentions lead to hell. Clear intentions lead to...where you really want to be.


What Reality TV Tells Us About Authenticity In Leadership?

Why do we insatiably devour movies, novels, TV series, etc?

Because to a large extent, we do not have the support and expertise to help us navigate the unknown territory we would really love to visit.

Through the media, we get to live vicariously through the hero's journey we see portrayed with what Joseph Cambell calls '1000 faces' - and one of them looks like ours. On one level, it's an escape from the humdrum or pain of our lives. On another, it's feedback telling us there are things out there we would love to experience if only...

In reality and game shows, the players are not movie stars, they are ordinary Jo's and Joanne's just like you and me. The ideal comes one step closer - right into our living room. What we see is an image of ourselves confronting and overcoming our deepest fears. We feel that much closer to what it really must be like to create a dream and step right into it. And they're not on their own. They have the massive support of a TV production budget and its resources - plus millions of folk in the audience rooting and tooting for them.

What's this got to do with Authentic Leadership? If we could define it (which we cannot) creating and living the life you really want would be an essential ingredient.

Probably the biggest and most insidious obstacle to businesses achieving their true potential is the culture of setting goals that demand more results through more stress. They often look like 's-t-r-e-t-c-h' goals but they only stretch what's limited rather than stretching the creative imagination and our sence of self. What we really want can never be won through more stress (or we wouldn't really want it, would we?).

We challenge you to recognise goals that are far too big, important, meaningful, etc to be achieved with your current belief systems and strategies. Goals that are outside your current paradigm and comfort zone.

These can only be won with more courage and more support for that tricky balancing act we need to master at the edge. Often this includes tough negotiations with 'corporate forces' that ironically put pressure on to achieve bigger numbers that are smaller than what's really possible.

That's where the Authentic Leadership principles and horse-assisted coaching comes to the fore. All the support and challenging you really need to be fully true to yourself is supplied - not by a TV company, but by us and by those enroled into your circle of influence.

As you begin to experience yourself physically and emotionally involved in breaking new ground your self-confidence increases and so does your dissatisfaction with accepting a wooden spoon as the prize for your achievements.

Let us prove to you how powerful this work is. Get in touch to arrange an introductory session.

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