Power comes from a source. When we hear the word horsepower most people think of engines. I do too, just of a different variety. Horse’s hindquarters are their engine.
“Horses are born with more weight on their front legs and are normally wider behind. The goal is to make those legs travel closer together, carry more weight and sit more, so the horse can carry himself freely in front. The only way to do this is to strengthen the hind legs and back. The principle is that of a powerboat: When the boat’s engine increases power, we can actually see the back of the boat become lower as the front rises up out of the water. You can have the prettiest speedboat in the world–but without a powerful engine, you can’t get that boat’s bow out of the water”.
Horsepower is a beautiful metaphor for the ability to free the organization from its restrictions, its limiters, its hardships, and be able to move out, almost effortlessly, with long purposeful strides up front and well-collected strong momentum to drive forward in the rear. Similar to a strong commitment to a concept that lifts your organization to the next level, with leadership leading at the front end, while motivating the collective brain trust of the organization to drive hard, in alignment, against the goal, and bring the entire organization forward.
There is a second dimension to horsepower for our purposes. While horsepower moves an organization forward, it also requires a driving force, a central purpose or motivation for the movement. For me, literally, it is the powerful freeing feeling I get while riding and working around my horse. It motivates me to be more, do more and accomplish more in every aspect of my life. I feel more whole and that in turn strengthens me internally and physically. It is indeed my horse power.
For organizations it involves a clear focus that is motivating and exciting, that unites and aligns them against a common goal and encourages accountability for the outcome. It requires an inner resolve to face challenges head-on, accept ownership and commit to the solution. That inner resolve can only be built on a clear vision of the future of the company. It requires the company to focus on the single concept that enables the organization to succeed in achieving its goals.
Only by having a specific directive or strategy for driving profitable growth and higher performance can the company effectively leverage its resources to achieve it. Only by having a clear, well understood concept at its core can the organization get everyone on the same page to drive it forward.