Leadership is NOT a Wardrobe Issue

Excerpt from my new book Leadership is NOT a Wardrobe Issue. Exploring life lessons on horsemanship and how those learnings apply through the leadership programs of The Natural Leader. A fifteen-year veteran of the experiential equine learning industry Nancy has delivered hundreds of programs to thousands of individuals.

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John Scott, horses on the set

“John is and always will be a cornerstone in the Alberta movie business. He has given an opportunity to an awful lot of people.” – Brent Woolsey

A third generation Alberta rancher it would be hard to find words to better introduce John. Along with running a The Scott Ranch and a number of movie locations, John has been a part of over 130 projects, including 4 Oscar winning movies. In his near 40 years in the movie industry John has been a stunt co-ordinator and performer, head wrangler, animal wrangler,  location scout, and transportation coordinator. In 2017 Scott was nominated for the Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Award.

There are few cowboys who have dealt with as many people as John, so I asked him how his experience with horses has helped him through the years.

“Never do anything that will embarrass your mother.” John Scott Grows Alberta by PattonCommunications.


JS – I think what my horses have taught me about leadership is to have patience and to assess the situation. See if the horse is comfortable with the situation what he is doing, he’ll tell you, his eyes, his ears. Just to be more observant about what is going on around you.

Well the same goes for working with people, if you are more observant working with people and what they are doing, it helps you avoid accidents. Some people need more patience than others.

TNL – Over the years in ranch life and in the movie industry: What do you believe is the most important thing the people you have worked with become aware of through working with horses?

John Scott – ATB Community











JS – Communication – it’s one word communication – it’s how you communicate with the horse. If you come on rough and gruff right off the bat, he’s gonna get scared of you then the horse will back away from ya, if you approach in a more gentle manner then he’s going to be a little bit more inquisitive about what you want to do and try a little bit harder. And people seem to get it.

TNL – When people begin to see how the horse changes when they change, have noticed that patience shows up in their dealings with other people/

JS – If you are working with a group of people once they come to understand what you are trying to do, and accomplish they might be a bit more forth coming and bit more helpful.

Like once the horse gets to know you they’ll be fine, same with a person, once they get to know you they’ll have confidence that you are not going to hurt them.

TNL – You began with the word patience – have you found your patience has improved over the years with horses and people.

JS – It’s definitely improved with horses – some people are a little slower to catch on.

Be interesting in what they do. Same with a horse you try and pay attention and figure out what interests them. You try and read a horse you try to figure it out. One example we had a horse that we had trouble bridling. He was worried about being beat around the head and very head shy. It took us about four months for get him to over it and he had confidence in us and we were able to bridle him easily.

TNL – If there is one thing a horse could teach another human being in their interactions with other humans.

JS – Well it’s different aspects depending on what you do. Take for example Therapeutic riding they provide an outlet to experience something different. A cutting horse will give the rider quite a bit of acceleration and the rider has to plan what he wants to do and the horse has to know what he is supposed to do and they have to work together. On a bucking horse, the rider has to know what the horse’s pattern is and whether he comes out of the chute to the left or the ride, whether or he drops his shoulder.  You have to be able to assess the situation of what you want to do and what you’re are going to be doing.

TNL – Do you believe you assess the situation the same going into a meeting?

JS – Yes



Nancy Lowery has been blogging about her Leadership Learning through Horsemanship Experiences for over ten years. This series began as “One Foot in the Arena” exploring what other leaders in Calgary have learned about their leadership through their relationships with horses.

To explore how a day with horses can complement your Leadership Training programs Nancy would love to hear from you. 


Leadership is NOT a Wardrobe Issue

Available NOW – Leadership is NOT a Wardrobe Issue. Considering starting a business with horses or have been building a business over the years and need some inspiration?

This book was a delightful surprise for me. Nancy’s knowledge and approach to horses and horsemanship
is complete and thoughtful. She then applies this awareness and understanding to her leadership programs. Her explanations and exercises are concise and creative. She caused me to think about these parallels in my own non-verbal horse/human communications. I definitely learned something, and hope that Nancy will not mind if I occasionally borrow some of her words in my clinics. Highly recommended.
Ellen Eckstien, CA, USA – Bringing it Together

Nancy put her 15 years of experience with The Natural Leader into more than 100 pages of information, tips, and wisdom.

Leadership is NOT a Wardrobe Issue covers 4 areas – The Business of offering Leadership with Horses, how Horsemanship has influenced the work of The Natural Leader; Activities to Complement your programs with lesson plans, coaching conversations and the lessons learned along the way; Coachable Moments – this section applies to those one-on-one conversations with horsemanship concepts. Coachable Moments draws from the experience Nancy has gained starting horses over the years connecting the two through questions.

Leadership is NOT a Wardrobe Issue is Offered in three options – pick the package that best suits your goals. The coaching sessions follow your agenda, Nancy will provide any additional supporting materials to help you get to the next step.


The Complete Package
  • Print version -  Leadership is Not a Wardrobe Issue & digital download of book
  • • ebooks - Creating Exceptional Leaders; Vol 1 & 2 Games People Play; In Business to Define
  • • Supporting digital materials - questionnaires; forms and charts
  • • 2 hours virtual coaching
  • Over $750 in total Value
The Starter Package
  • • Digital Download of Leadership is Not a Wardrobe Issue
  • • choice of Vol 1&2 Games People play or Creating Exceptional Leaders through Learning with Horses & In Business to Define
  • • 1 hour virtual coaching session
  • Over $400 in Value
The eBook
  • Digital Download of The Natural Leader's latest ebook "Leadership is NOT a Wardrobe Issue"

So what will you find in the more than 100 pages of
Leadership is NOT a Wardrobe Issue?

Why Does it take a Lifetime to Learn?
• The Idea for this book
• It’s not a One Size Fits All Deal
• How Did you Get Here?
• What is the one thing you want participants to walk away with?
• An Invitation

Applying Horsemanship Principles to Leadership
• What is Horsemanship?
• Interpreting Behavior
• A Horse’s Perspective

Benefits of Leadership through Experiential Learning
• Experiential Learning
• What is a better Question?
• The Awareness Wheel
• Critical thinking
• Feeling vs Acting
• Emotional Intelligence
• W.A.I.T.
• Safety first

The Business of Creating Great Programs 
• Why Leadership Development programs fail
• Barriers to Success
• Providing Value
• What TED can offer
• Things Learned Along the Way
• How can this book help you?

In lesson plan format with Notes from the Arena – lessons learned along the way delivering leadership work

Coachable Moments
Whether you are doing one-on-one work or working with an individual within a group. Sometimes you need to pull out a specific concept or idea that will resonate for that individual.


Packages include:


Add on a Coaching Session – $250 hr CDN

How to build your business to success – define what you want to do and how to get where you wish to be.

Coaching sessions set to your agenda – package sessions 3 for $600 CDN

prices are in Canadian dollars; Canadian clients GST will apply.





Leadership is NOT a Wardrobe Issue

Available NOW – Leadership is NOT a Wardrobe Issue. If you are considering starting a business with horses or have been building a business over the years and need some inspiration this will be an indispensable reference tool. Nancy has put her 15 years of experience with The Natural Leader into more than 100 pages of information, tips, and wisdom. Order your copy now >> 

“Never say WHOA in a mud hole.”

Wrangling the Greatest Show on Earth – Bob Thompson

The week before the 2018 Calgary Stampede, Past President and Chairman of the Stampede Board of Directors, Bob Thompson took time out of his busy schedule to speak with me. You could say that Bob had the dubious honor of holding that role in what might go down as the toughest year in Stampede history. That was 2013, the year the Bow and Elbow Rivers flooded downtown Calgary and the entire grounds fourteen days before the Stampede was set to open.

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Janice Webster – on horses entering her life

Janice Webster is Senior Vice President Human Resources at Solium. For over twenty years she has been enabling high-performing organizations to excel.  She admits these past three years have changed her through what she has learned from the two horses she and her husband now own. In this interview Janice explores what horses have taught her about herself, life and work. You could say it has been a fast ride!

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Stampede 2018

Join us July 10 & 11th at the 2018 Calgary Stampede for a hands-on #LeadershipThruHorsemanship experience with The Natural Leader herd – Northern Lights Arena 3 pm!

carey arnett

Horses are her sanctuary – Carey Arnett

Horses are sanctuary for the President of Arnett & Burgess Pipeliners.

Carey’s story with horses goes back a long way. When she was seven she brought home a riding lesson brochure and announced she wanted to ride. “My grandfather thought he’d start me off with a month of lessons to see if I was really interested. I never let my parents quit.”

Carey was hesitant on the question about how many horses she has “they’re a little like potato chips you can’t have just one.”

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