August Eponaquest News

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Eponaquest is pleased to announce that Linda Kohanov’s fourth book, The Power of the Herd: A Nonpredatory Approach to Social Intelligence, Leadership and Innovation was just released in paperback. In honor of this special occasion, we are offering 20 percent off the November Power of the Herd four day, equine-facilitated workshop at Linda’s scenic facility in Arizona for those who register by August 24.

Please contact Eponaquest office manager Sue Smades directly to receive this discount at

“The fall 2015 edition of The Power of the Herd workshop is really two workshops in one,” Linda says. “It will also feature the latest research and activities encompassing The Five Roles of a Master Herder: A Revolutionary Model for Socially Intelligent Leadership, the topic of my next book which will be published in spring 2016.

“The two books are closely related. The Five Roles grew out of some unexpected research I accessed in writing The Power of the Herd, and further developed during lecture and workshop tours throughout the US and Europe after the hardcover version was published in 2013.”

In addition to receiving a pre-publication copy of the new book, participants in the November Power of the Herd workshop will be among the first to take the assessment tool created for The Five Roles of a Master Herder. “This test, developed in collaboration with Juli Lynch, PhD, evaluates which of the five roles you are already talented at, and which ones you need to develop in order to become a balanced, socially intelligent leader,” Linda explains. “Over the years, we’ve found that people tend to over-emphasize certain roles at work, while over-emphasizing other roles at home, and so we’ve created a two-part assessment for your professional life and your personal life.”

For more information on The Power of the Herd workshop:…/power-herd-leadership-21st-century/

For critical and reader reviews of book, The Power of the Herd:

And finally, for a more information about the Five Roles, here’s an excerpt from an article on the creation of this model:

The Five Roles offer a potent, deceptively simple way to understand—and transform—group behavior. This model is useful in business and personal settings, and has been successfully employed by corporate leaders, teachers, parents, therapists, clergy, and people who work in social and political activism contexts. Equestrians from amateur riders to professional trainers to horse rescue personnel have benefited from understanding this model and the accompanying experiential techniques, as have people who work in the equine-facilitated human development, therapy, and leadership training fields.

“The Five Roles are based on studies of traditional herding cultures and experiences with my own herd of horses,” Linda reveals. “Pastoral tribes travel vast distances through changing climates. Along the way, they meet up with different cultures, facing both two and four-legged predators at times. Even so, they manage to keep the herd and the tribe together without fences and very little use of restraints, relying instead on a sophisticated understanding of instinctual group dynamics, mutual aid, and interspecies socialization.

“Experienced herders in these cultures learn to employ five different leadership roles as needed, and I mean that each herder knows when and how to use all five, rather than specialize in one or two. These roles are the Leader, the Dominant, the Sentinel, the Nurturer/Companion, and the Predator. In our sedentary culture, most people—even accomplished equestrians—have lost this knowledge. Few people realize that in herds of freely roaming herbivores, the Leader and the Dominant are often two different animals, that they perform specific functions essential to the group’s well being, and that the other roles I mentioned also contribute to the healthy functioning of a herd.”

“I quickly realized that modern humans would also benefit from understanding when and how to use these five roles interchangeably, fluidly, as needed. I also observed that when humans overemphasized one or two roles (as most people in our culture are inclined to do), each role has a shadow side that results in dysfunctional behavior. We’re well aware, for instance, that people who overemphasize the role of Dominant or the role of Predator can wreak havoc in businesses, in families and most certainly in politics. Your average dictator takes it one step further, combining the roles of Dominant and Predator, enslaving and victimizing people in  order to thrive at their expense. But many people don’t realize that these two roles are useful, necessary in fact, when separated and employed sparingly, for very specific purposes, by people who are well versed in nonpredatory forms of power, people who know when and how to employ all five roles for the good of the tribe. For many people, it’s also counterintuitive, yet ultimately enlightening, to realize that even the Nurturer/Companion role can have toxic effects in organizations and families when this function is over-emphasized in an individual.”

The Five Roles of a Master Herder makes sense of previously confusing group dynamics, while helping people to develop a mature, balanced, mutually empowering approach to leadership and social intelligence: at work, school, home, and in larger cultural contexts.

“All kinds of audiences really get excited about this material,” Linda says. “Many have told me that simply hearing a short talk on this model provides an immediate sense of relief, helping them to see that much of the conflict occurring in groups is instinctual, not personal. When combined with horse-facilitated activities that exercise these roles, individuals and organizations become more confident, more compassionate, more thoughtful, empowered and supportive of each other.”

The Five Roles of a Master Herder, which will be published in spring 2016, has already created a stir internationally: Eponaquest POH Instructors have been employing this model in equine-facilitated workshops, in private coaching and counseling sessions, and in larger indoor lectures/seminars.

“One of our most recent graduates, Charlotte Richardson-Zwald, is teaching a modified version of the Master Herder skills to a seventh-grade special ed class,” Linda reports, “and the results of the initial, in-classroom pilot presentations were impressive. The students were not only receptive, but at times, enraptured with this material. I’m excited to see how this public school program progresses in fall 2015 when the students will be studying the Eponaquest tools five days a week with monthly trips to the barn!”

Last fall in Paris, Linda was asked to present the Master Herder power point to a multi-lingual audience of entrepreneurs and business students at the Executive MBA Program “Leading Innovation in a Digital World” de l’Institut Mines-Telecom. Didier Tranchier, head of this international program, wrote that this two-hour presentation “changed my life and the life of everyone in the conference room that night. Explaining the differences between a dominant and a leader, and the usefulness of predatory power when balanced with nonpredatory power were real insights to understand how companies are working and how we can improve our efficiency. With very simple words and great examples coming from the world of horses and traditional herding cultures, Linda explained the power of groups and how to build relationships that can enable any individual, even a child, to steer and leverage large and powerful organizations.”

Therapists and educators also find the model useful. “Linda has pioneered an innovative approach to understanding human behaviors in groups,” says author, psychologist and family reunification expert Dr. Rebecca Bailey. “Her insights are applicable to a wide variety of populations. By understanding the unconscious, often purely instinctual power plays in human relationships and nature, she is helping people shift old power patterns to be more effective in all their relationships. Corporations, educators, families and individuals will benefit from looking at themselves from this life altering perspective.”

The upcoming book will also include an assessment tool for people to learn which roles they are talented at (and tend to over-emphasize) and which roles they ignore or actively avoid. This assessment helps people understand how they use, or misuse, these various roles in their professional lives as well as in their personal lives. “What we have found in testing this material over the last three years,” Linda reports, “is that people sometimes overemphasize certain roles at work, while engaging in the habitual, yet still dysfunctional, overuse of other roles with family and friends,” Linda says. “Learning how to balance all five roles at home, school, work, and in larger community settings is key to experiencing greater harmony, effectiveness, and joy in all aspects of your life.”

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