The Power of the Herd: Gina’s review

I should have told you about The Power of the Herd 4 years ago – here’s THE TRUTH about WHY I didn’t share that one… 
BKPOW promo
My confession: I couldn’t finish this book.

I have NEVER pitched a book for sale to my dear customers without a wholehearted recommendation made after reading it from cover to cover. And I couldn’t get through this one. NOT because it contains content I don’t find interesting, or that it is poorly written, in fact it was exactly the opposite. The material in this book is so intensely researched, and so very well conveyed, it really is overwhelming to try and take it in, in it’s entirety. For 4 years this sat by my reading chair. I’d pick it up, intending to dive in and finish reading once and for all – so I could tell you all about it – and then I’d get sidetracked researching some tidbit that was mentioned, which lead to more reading on the internet. Interesting stuff, but I never finished the book.

452 pages is a LOT.  Especially when every page contains fascinating and noteworthy info begging for further investigation and study.

Soooo – when I finally came to terms that this one is totally worth sharing, even though I’d not (yet) read the whole thing, I needed a spiffy way to tell you all about it. The thought had scarcely crossed my mind, when the image of this powerful black stallion crossed my Facebook news feed. The photo above is by Lauren Duncan, of my friend Jennifer‘s horse. Especially cool is the story behind this horse and his owner. Black (full name Chase Manhattan GMF) was in a bad situation with the rest of very well bred Arabian herd; his owners had gotten older and things had deteriorated badly on their farm. Jennifer always wanted her very own black stallion (don’t we all?) so she rescued this guy and a couple of his herdmates. After years of being locked in a stall with no handling, Black was a handful, but Jennifer didn’t just stick him in the pasture and admire his beautiful form, she trained him for all sorts of interesting disciplines; like mounted archery and native costume. Even though she owns several horses, he is her go-to mount for trail riding, too.

Black’s bold expression fit perfectly with the quote from The Power of the Herd, and I knew it was time (after 4 years) to share this book with you all:

The Power of the Herd – A Nonpredatory Approach to Social Intelligence, Leadership, and Innovation 

Linda Kohanov is beloved for her groundbreaking articulation of “the way of the horse,” an experiential wisdom known to riders for centuries but little studied or adapted to off-horse use. Now Kohanov takes those horse-inspired insights on the nonverbal elements of exceptional communication and leadership into the realms of our workplaces and relationships. Here we explore the benefits of “nonpredatory power” in developing assertiveness, fostering creativity, dealing with conflict, and heightening mind-body awareness.

In “A Brief History of Power,” the first part of this far-reaching book, Kohanov profiles cultural innovators who employed extraordinary nonverbal leadership skills to change history, usually on horseback: Winston Churchill, George Washington, Alexander the Great, and Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha), among others. She also draws on the behavior of mature horse herds, as well as the herding cultures of Africa and Mongolia, to debunk theories of dominance hierarchies, challenge ingrained notions of “survival of the fittest,” and demonstrate the power of a consensual leadership in which governing roles are fluid.

Kohanov then adapts these lessons into twelve powerful guiding principles we can all incorporate into our work and personal lives. Eloquent and provocative, this is horse sense for everyone who seeks to thrive in the herds we all run in – our communities, careers, families, and friendships.

To order The Power of the Herd click here


  1. Thanks for recommending The Power of the Herd, Gina. This is the most intense book I’ve written. It took me four sold years of research and writing. But it’s really two books in one. I use it as a text book for many of my trainings, and in that context I have people read specific chapters that relate to specific questions or issues we are exploring, rather than read it from start to finish. The book is actually designed for people to jump around a bit.


  2. I like what you guys are up too. Such intelligent work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my website :).

    Liked by 1 person

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