The man in the photo is attempting to gain followership from the unwilling horse. As leaders, we have a similar desire; to gain the followership of those in our charge. Yet, there are some who espouse to be leaders, who often struggle to gain willingness from people, to follow. As strange as it sounds to “manage a horse to water“, it should sound equally strange to “manage people to accomplish a task“.
In either instance, the person demanding obedience is going to have a struggle at best, but more likely a mutiny or rebellion is in the works. People and animals are naturally reluctant to have their will bent. Eventually, the person directing the effort (provided he or she has sufficient strength), will accomplish the task of gaining compliance, but not followership; meaning the relationship will not be mutual. In order for the relationship to be mutual and trustworthy, one must lead rather than manage, when interacting with living beings.
Notice how this sound now, “leading a horse to water“, and “leading people to accomplish a task“. Not only do the statements sound more correct, they are more in line with gaining followership vs. rebellion. When one consciously chooses to lead as opposed to manage living beings, relationships are strengthened, and trust is established. Who knows, perhaps when one opts to lead people (and horses) rather than manage them, he or she might even get them to drink.
What do you think? I welcome your comments and feedback.