Leadership Inspired by Nature

In Health our hyper-connected, collaborative environments demands a new leadership style. Are you a leader, do you have leadership qualities or are you leading a team? It may all sound the same, but there is a slight distinction between a “leader”, “leadership” and “leading”. For instance, you can have formally appointed leaders who do not have real leadership skills. Leadership is not only related to a person’s skills, it is significantly related to the degree of influence that a person has, and is often found in people who are not formal leaders. In the emerging, hyper-connected and collaborative environment our health service faces today, there is a need for a new type of leadership. We know the old command and control styles are gone the top down from leaders who assume they have influence simply because they are the boss, more than that we are looking for leaders who are brave and willing to make judgements in what is a truly risk adverse culture. Modern health leadership is increasingly collaborative and transparent, there is a need for leaders who can create working environments in which people want to belong, linking purpose to values and beliefs. This demands a different set of skills that includes communicating, interacting and nurturing performance relationships within an organisation, network and social system. We need emotionally intelligent, connected leaders.

What is Natural Leadership? And how will it help you?

  • You take a holistic view of yourself. Head, heart, body and spirit
  • You overcome your self limiting beliefs and connect with your true limitless potential
  • You experience being in the now and leading in the here and now, you will learn how much easier it is when your in flow and flourishing in your natural leadership style, reflected in ease, and connection instead of effort and expenditure of energy.
  • You will create mutual beneficial situations and share joint goals, experiencing unbridled collaboration through open choice.
  • You have the awareness and empowerment to influence your circumstances and not to rely on external factors or enforced authority

Aligning your knowledge, skills, attitudes and models, the joy and power of being true to yourself, connecting to your full potential and the Natural Leader within you.

Why Dogs and Sheep?
Dogs are non-judgmental, honest crystal clear mirrors, which give us direct live feedback in every situation. They live in a pack and work with sheep who herd, all with clear leadership, each having a distinct role and position in the hierarchy. As humans we have similar group structures to dogs and can learn a lot from their group dynamics and leadership style. For their survival, dogs are very sensitive and social animals, able to notice the slightest inconsistency in their environment. Therefore, they mirror back to us inconsistent behaviors including our non verbal body language, that we may not be aware of; behaviors and styles that can stop us from being effective, reaching our desired results and outcomes, from achieving our life goals. And just to help us grow in our own authenticity.

Dogs sense and respond to a person’s intentions, emotions and thoughts, even those expressed subconsciously through body language. If you are not authentic, if you are masking or say don’t believe in the work or message you are trying to communicate, your voice and your body language will expose this. Often consciously humans don’t notice this, but subconsciously we do, often giving a result that leaders are not followed. Trying to convince a trained professional working sheep dog to trust you and follow your commands will be impossible if your heart and soul is not in it.

Now try and recall one of those times when you have had people not engaged and doing their own thing? Imagine if they had told you the truth and given you raw live feedback, about how they felt or what they believed about your latest plan or instruction. Would you have gone back to them and tried again to convenience them and connect with them in a different more meaningful way? Sessions with our dogs at natural leaders are highly interactive and provide instant learning experiences that are difficult to acquire in more traditional settings. Furthermore, being outside in nature and engaging with it, helps us to connect to our true selves. Inner state equals outer state; inner nature equals outer nature. “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” Sun Tzu The Natural Leaders Workshop – how to move a flock of sheep (with no hands) Stuart Jackson, CEO of behaviour change and coaching specialists ICE Creates, has developed a leadership development model that allows participants to define and unlock the Natural Leader and reach their goals and desired situations through 3 steps:

Recognise your learning model and pattern: After you have defined your goal and your desired outcome for a specific situation you will do an exercise with our dog and sheep . This exercise symbolizes your defined goal.

Understand your current model and pattern: We will evidence and name your current empowering and limiting beliefs and patterns of leadership, highlighting how they impact your leadership behaviour and style. This will happen as you interact with our dogs and sheep. The feedback from the dog and your coach gives insights in the way mental models and emotions often interfere and reduce the effectiveness of you. The natural leaders model give pure clean feedback helping you achieve your desired results and outcomes.

Step 3 of Natural leaders: “achieving your desired results”. You will experience how you can break through your limiting patterns and start to practice what you need to develop further in order to achieve your goals. You experiment and practice with these new behaviours and learn how you can apply it in your day to day life.

A tremendous new confidence comes from reaching your goals, working at ease and flow and learning how to lead and connect confidently with one of nature’s most natural workers. It is certainly a wonderful empowering experience! “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill


Stuart Jackson