We've all seen the slogans, "everything I need to know I learned from" fill-in-the-blank. As horse people, we do learn a lot from our horses. If the world could just use horse sense we'd have a much smoother operation world-wide.
One of the first things you learn from horses is to move with purpose, but not too. quickly. In other words, plan ahead and don't act impulsively. With horses, you have to move slowly so as not to spook them, but also know what and where you're going in order to keep your horse following your lead. According to the world, leadership qualities are essential for success, so moving with purpose and not too quickly is sure to apply.
Another thing you quickly learn with horses is to respect the herd dynamics and recognize each individual's place within the hierarchy. If you treat a dominant horse the same as a submissive horse, you're bound to have trouble with one. The same is true of how you interact with people. Each person, like each horse, has a hard-wired place within their herd. Some people, like horses, are very dominant regardless of who challenges them. Others are submissive and content to go with the flow in order to keep the peace. In life, recognizing other people's place in the hierarchy usually keeps you out of the hot-seat -- especially in jobs with a clearly defined chain of command.
Paramount to any good training regime is to recognize a horse's physical strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes. Horses, like people, aren't cookie cutter images of one another. Each has qualities that lend them a step-up in certain areas, but others that hold them back from excellence in another discipline. Sometimes the physical aptitude is present for a certain discipline, but the attitude is not. The same is true of people. Recognizing these qualities and using them to your advantage is key to both horse training and people utilization.
Obviously generalities abound and sometimes are true. However, if there's anything I've learned from horses it's that recognizing each as an individual and adapting my methods to each leads to smoother training. The same holds true in every day life, recognize each person as an individual and treating them as such is by far the best way to go. Use a little horse sense in your daily life and you'll be more successful.