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Meet Patrick, CEO of a Service Company


Patrick is everyone’s favorite boss. Since he started his company three years ago, he had yet to have anyone leave his employment, and business is very good. In fact, so good that Patrick wanted an equal partner to take some of the load off his plate.

He realized though that he felt overwhelmed in how to make a decision about who to mentor and how to communicate his needs without upsetting employees whose roles were not going to change. Patrick wanted a solution that would keep everyone happy and allow him to create a little space for himself. He decided to try some Leadership Mojo Equus Coaching because it would get him out of the office and away from everyone to make some sort of plan.

Patrick had taken some riding lessons with horses in his childhood and was excited about getting back into doing some work with horses. He was a bit perplexed by the idea of remaining on the ground, without any bridle or halter, in an arena with a horse. He figured that this must be a preliminary step and that he would quickly move to riding the horse.

Once in the round pen, however, Patrick struggled to keep Chester, a large bay gelding, from constantly barging in on him. It’s not that Chester was aggressive, but he clearly wanted to be close to Patrick, and Patrick was not comfortable setting any limits.

As the session progressed, we began linking what was happening in the arena to some of the challenges at work. It became transparent to Patrick that this dynamic with Chester was one that existed throughout his leadership experience and especially in his organization. Everyone who worked with Patrick loved to get in close. Patrick assumed this was a good thing, but was finding with a 1500-pound animal, it wasn’t going to work!

In the course of a couple of hours, with some constant mirroring by Chester, Patrick had felt a sense of his problem. He recognized that he had a great deal of work to do in getting better at defining what he wanted and expected both with Chester and at the office.

Patrick’s skill-set as a relational leader was without question exceptional; however, Chester helped him discover that unless he got better at becoming more connected to himself, and communicated his true thoughts, feelings and wishes, he was going to be run over and burnt out.

This was the first time Patrick had fully realized how much of his life and work had been about managing relationships rather than fully showing up in them.

After only one Leadership Mojo session, Patrick was confidently able to make significant changes. He had been struggling with this business issue for nine months, yet in the following two weeks, Patrick let go of some employees that frankly were not working out. He set up a mentorship program with three employees he believes will be critical for reaching the next level in his business and is developing a leadership team.

Patrick continues to do Leadership Mojo sessions and Chester continues to remind him when he falters in making his own needs important.


Susan Clarke and CrisMarie Campbell are Coaches, Consultants, and Speakers at thrive! inc. (www.thriveinc.com) They help business leaders and their teams use the energy of conflict, rather than – avoid or defuse it – to get to creative, innovative, profitable business results. You can see their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! On YouTube. They would be happy to coach you, consult with your team, or to speak at your next event. Contact them at thrive@thriveinc.com


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