5 Steps to Anything

Feb 22, 2019

During my horse training years, I never really had a “program” I followed.  The training process just seemed to take place and I could never point to one thing or the other that I did with each horse at every stage.  In hindsight though here was a process that I went through every day with each different horse I was working with. This process has proven useful to me in my later years.  This process I call, 5 steps to anything.  We now use this process every week in our managers meetings at the ranch, and I use the process automatically in the majority of tasks I undertake.

Step 1:  Assess

When working with a horse I found that the assessment process was often a crucial one.  An accurate assessment often equaled a successful training session. Understanding where the horse was at at the beginning of the session would show me how to proceed with the training for the day.  I also found it equally important to assess myself. What baggage was I bringing into the round pen with me. Am I able to take my emotions out of the round pen and work with the horse on an action-reaction basis or would my emotions affect the process and if so… in what way?

Step 2:  Strategy

Strategy is, in a nutshell, the plan.  What is the big picture and the end result that I hope to achieve with the horse by the end of the session and by the end of the month?  How will these goals be accomplished and what reactions might I expect from the horse along the way?

Step 3:  Preparation

Prepare for success.  Following the plan, what gear will I need at my disposal as I begin the session with the horse?  Are there ways I can prepare that protect the horse as well as myself? The preparation step is also useful in business and in my personal life.  Being fully prepared based on my assessment of a situation will help to avoid knee jerk reactions.

Step 4:  Execution

This is the big one.  Sometimes execution means just getting into the round pen with the horse and beginning the process and sometimes it’s the point where I just need to get on the horse.  This is where the assessment comes into its own. If the initial assessment is accurate, the execution should produce the desired results outlined in the strategy. Execution, therefore, does not mean a blatant disregard for safety but execution should be a thoroughly calculated decision.  The process should give you confidence so you can act decisively precisely when it matters the most.

Step 5:  Reassessment

This is the fun one and it often happens organically.  That is to say it cannot be forced. Certainly there are obvious results that jump out but I found often the real important observations occurred during the down times.  This then fits perfectly with my next session with the horse… bringing forward all of the observations from the previous session to the fresh assessment the next day.

In business, and in life, it’s the same.  We bring our knew knowledge and experiences with us on a daily basis and by ensuring adequate downtime we can consciously set ourselves up for success the next day.

Crazy Horse.jpg 



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