A few years back, I had the opportunity to go up to the San Juan Mountains, just West of CO Springs – for a father-son retreat. My father died 14 years ago, so he wasn’t with me on this trip (that would have been gross, very awkward, and like a bad sequel to Weekend At Bernie’s).
Reflecting on that time, I remember that we rode horses from 11,000 feet to 14,000 feet in elevation. The horses were strong, beautiful, and patient. Once arriving at our campsite the Rancher then called our attention to watch something that I’ll never forget:: he gave some type of signal to the horses that it was okay for them to run free now – with a smooth start, but with power that literally shook the ground, about 25 horses took off running over an enormous area that was not fenced in. They ran hard, they ran fast, but most of all, you could tell that they were running free. This passionate freedom went on for about 20 minutes until one by one they began to settle down, gather back near one another, and started to graze. And when called back into a safe area where they could rest together – they came back – (actual photos below)
During a recent conversation with a friend, he began to share about the need for leaders to allow those working with them to run free and trusting that if the vision is aligned and the trust is built, that we can allow others to run free without the fear that they may run off.
So how much freedom do you give those who are around you, who work on you staff or team? How does this relate to where you are? What are the consequences or possibilities of letting people you lead run free?