On a recent flight I sat next to Chet Johnson, a professional Rodeo bronc rider. Imagine making a living sitting on a crazed horse that has one objective: Kicking you to the stars.
I asked Chet: “Okay, if I ever find myself on a bronc, what are the three things to remember if I want to be legendary?” His answer transcends his sport:
1) “Stay in front of the horse.” You must be more aggressive than the crazed beast that’s bucking, twirling and fuming. When a rider gets behind their horse, it’s a rough ride. It’s no fun. And you don’t score points.
2) “You score more points when the horse is strong.” You want the horse to buck as violently as possible. (If the horse is weak and you ride great – you still won’t win.) Then, remember point #1.
3) “You’re not competing against the horse. You’re competing with it.” The horse has no interest in working with you, but when you work with it, you can win.
Every rider gets thrown from the horse. Legends are made when they get back on.
Business is a like bronc. Of what courage are you built? Today you won’t hang up your spurs. Hope for a wild ride, stay in front, and work with what you’re thrown.
Go be a legend.
Great post Craig. I too have no knowledge of rodeo but notice the principles parallel Aikido… defend by creating a “oneness” with the aggression. Harmonize with its energy. The coordinated movement is the most efficient way to dissipate it. The stronger the aggression – and the more oneness you create – the easier it is to be effective.
Of course, much much much easier said than riding a bronco!
David: I loved the correlation you tie to this post and aikido. It’s stunning to think of leveraging challenges this way for ultimate success. Thank you for the inspiration today.